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About this product
- DescriptionWhat does it mean to be human? To be human is, in part, to be physically sexed and culturally gendered. Yet t all bodies are clearly male or female. Bodies in Doubt traces the changing definitions, perceptions, and medical management of intersex (atypical sex development) in America from the colonial period to the present day. From the beginning, intersex bodies have been marked as other, as monstrous, sinister, threatening, inferior, and unfortunate. Some nineteenth-century doctors viewed their intersex patients with disrespect and suspicion. Later, doctors showed more empathy for their patients' plights and tried to make correct decisions regarding their care. Yet definitions of correct in matters of intersex were entangled with shifting ideas and tensions about what was natural and rmal, indeed about what constituted personhood or humanity. Reis has examined hundreds of cases of hermaphroditism and intersex found in medical and popular literature and argues that medical practice cant be understood outside of the broader cultural context in which it is embedded. As the history of responses to intersex bodies has shown, doctors are influenced by social concerns about marriage and heterosexuality. Bodies in Doubt considers how Americans have interpreted and handled ambiguous bodies, how the criteria and the authority for judging bodies changed, how both the binary gender ideal and the anxiety over uncertainty persisted, and how the process for defining the very rms of sex and gender evolved. Bodies in Doubt breaks new ground in examining the historical roots of modern attitudes about intersex in the United States and will interest scholars and researchers in disability studies, social history, gender studies, and the history of medicine.
- Author BiographyElizabeth Reis is an associate professor in the Women's and Gender Studies Department and the History Department at the University of Oregon and author of Damned Women: Sinners and Witches in Puritan New England.
- Author(s)Elizabeth Reis
- PublisherJohns Hopkins University Press
- Date of Publication13/03/2012
- SubjectMedicine: General
- Place of PublicationBaltimore, MD
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintJohns Hopkins University Press
- Content Note15, 15 black & white halftones
- Weight358 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine13 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US)
- Interest AgeFrom 17
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