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week_9_handout - The Medical Construction of Gender: Case...

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The Medical Construction of Gender: Case Management of Intersexed Infants Suzanne Kessler Physicians consider several factors others than just the biological ones in determining, assigning, and announcing the gender of an infant. When a baby is born with genitals that are neither clearly male or female, it is referred to as an intersex baby. Intersexed babies are born usually with either ovaries or testes, but they appear to be ambiguous at birth. Three factors determining attitudes towards intersexuality: 1.) The advancements in surgery has now allowed doctors to surgically correct ambiguous genitalia, even though this condition is not harmful to the infant’s health. This leads to society and more specifically, the doctors and parents in believing they have to resort to surgical corrections. 2.) Women have been valued within society as reproductive beings. Now the absence or presents of functional gonads is no longer the only definitive criterion for gender assignment. 3.) Psychologists now focus on “gender identity,” which is very much culturally
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week_9_handout - The Medical Construction of Gender: Case...

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