intersex - intersex handout:

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intersex handout: http://www.marchofdimes.com/professionals/681_1215.asp recall Anne Fausto-Sterling: about 1 in 2000 infants born with ‘ambiguous genetalia’ and 1 in 400, 5 sex-related characteristics do not correspond neatly according to binary model of difference more variety than even “5 sexes” — hormonal as well as anatomical patterns our Q: what are various ways in which culture-bearing humans have interpreted and lived with this natural ambiguity? and why? a) cultures have accommodated the ambiguity hermaphrodite (hermes + Aphrodite) 1) hijra in India— not so much a ‘natural category’ of person, but a role that can subsume a range of sex/gender nonconformists including intersexuals but also what in west would call eunuchs (castrati), homosexuals, transsexuals, transgendered persons anthropologist Serena Nanda interprets hijras in the conceptual, cultural context of Hinduism the hijra is marginalized, but recognized — there’s a conceptual space for intersex 2) guevedoche (‘penis at 12’) Dominican Republic = the hereditary genetic mutation that Cal has in Middlesex , which in US has no popular name and is treated as a medical condition — 5 alpha- reductase — “treatable” in US, are there ways of accepting ambiguity? “queer” identity — not based on shared essential identity but on shared nonconformism — “queer nation” or “transgender nation”— not in thrall to binary sex/gender distinction in which biology and cultural identity and behavior viewed as both
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This note was uploaded on 11/08/2011 for the course ANTHRO 2.158 taught by Professor Ericajames during the Spring '03 term at MIT.

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intersex - intersex handout:

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