The “Normalization” of Intersex Bodies and “Othering” of Intersex Identities in Australia
AbstractOnce described as hermaphrodites and later as intersex people, individuals born with intersex variations are routinely subject to so-called “normalizing” medical interventions, often in childhood. Opposition to such practices has been met by attempts to discredit critics and reasserted clinical authority over the bodies of women and men with “disorders of sex development.” However, claims of clinical consensus have been selectiv ely constructed and applied and lack evidence. Limited transparency and lack of access to justice have helped to perpetuate forced interventions. At the same time, associated with the diffusion of distinct concepts of sex and gender, intersex has been constructed as a third legal sex classification , accompanied by pious hopes and unwarranted expectations of consequences. The existence of intersex has also been instrumentalized for the benefit of other, intersecting, populations. The creation of gender categories associated with intersex bodies has created profound risks: a paradoxically narro wed and normative gender binary, maintenance of medical authority over the bodies of “disordered” females and males, and claims that transgressions of social roles ascribed to a third gender are deceptive. Claims that medicalization saves intersex people from “othering,” or that legal otheri ng saves intersex people from medicalization, are contradictory and empty rhetoric. In practice, intersex bodies...
CONCLUSIONS: Perceived devaluation was extremely prevalent among street-involved youth in our sample. We also observed that youth most in need of health and social services were significantly more likely to report high levels of perceived devaluation which may result in a reluctance to seek out key services and supports. These findings highlight the need to implement stigma reduction interventions for vulnerable youth in this setting. PMID: 30526206 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Conclusion/importance: This work is significant in expanding the populations thought to be impacted by and understanding social disparities related to SC use. Further investigation is needed to assess the relationship between concomitant use of SC and other drug, particularly opiates. This may suggest that the sequelae of one drug may enhance or alleviate the effects of the other. PMID: 30526203 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]