“Gender troubled” – from the production and reproduction of masculinity to the forms of overcrossing gender: Intersex persons: medical practice, social movement, and the problem of the third sex category
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The author presents medical, psychological and social data about intersex people and discusses the third sex category. Intersex persons are persons born with ambiguous genitals, gonads or chromosomes, neither male, nor female. Since the 1960s intersex newborns have undergone “normalizing” surgeries, for instance an enlarged clitoris/micro-penis is removed. Intersex people’s social movements started in 1990s in the USA as more and more surgically corrected intersex newborns grew older and complained about wrong gender identity, the lack of sensitivity of their corrected sexual organs and about shame and secrecy surrounding their bodies. Intersex Society of North America (ISNA) forced medical community to improve the medical treatment. Organization Intersex International (OII) fights for prohibiting surgery and treatment of the sex characteristics without informed consent, for social visibility and legal recognition of intersex people. In Australia you are allowed to have an “X” (indeterminate/intersex/unspecified) in your passport. In Germany intersex newborns can have no identification of sex on their birth certificates (intersex organizations oppose this regulation as compulsory for intersex newborns). Third sex category in law is useful for intersex newborns and for all non-binary people (the non-binary movement is growing among transgender people).
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