chole005 Blog Eight Assignment
What stood out to me most in the article by Suzanne J. Kessler titled â€œThe Medical Construction of Gender: Case Management of Intersexed Infantsâ€? is that being born with extra or â€˜ambiguousâ€™ genitalia (i.e. those that were neither completely male nor completely female) was treated like a disease or a deformity. When the medical establishment reacts to this infant, they are doing so in a society that considers male and female to be the two sexes, with no grey areas in between.
Kessler talks about how many medical workers are ill-trained on how to deal with such a situation, though within this male/female binary context, I donâ€™t feel that this is really possible. Not only do doctors and nurses and those who assist with the birth need to change their idea of the sexual binary being the norm, society itself has to accept the fact that intersexuality is not a disease, and canâ€™t truly be â€˜curedâ€™ by hormones or surgery.
Although the medical establishment is partly to blame on how we deal with intersexed infants, they are trying to cater to society and ultimately make the lives of the child and parents easier in the long run. If they were not to do this, the parents, if they were desirous of a â€˜boyâ€™ or â€˜girlâ€™ child, would go to a doctor that would.
One thing that upset me about this article is that the way Kessler describes how our bodies are sexed, which I would summarize as:
Penis = male (of â€˜properâ€™ size)
Lack of penis=not male
Anyone with any medical training should know just how untrue this is. Things will not get better until the medical community as a whole accepts the idea of intersexuality, and society is able to accept a human being that identifies as such.