"Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex" by Alice Domurat Dreger
HarUn Press | 1998 | ISBN: 0674089278 0674001893 9780674001893 | 285 pages | PDF | 18 MB
This book explores extraordinary encounters between hermaphrodites - people born with "ambiguous" sexual anatomy - and the medical and scientific professionals who grappled with them. Alice Dreger focuses on events in France and Britain in the late nineteenth century, a moment of great tension for questions of sex roles.
While feminists, homosexuals, and anthropological explorers openly questioned the natures and purposes of the two sexes, anatomical hermaphrodites suggested a deeper question: just how many human sexes are there? Ultimately hermaphrodites led doctors and scientists to another surprisingly difficult question: what is sex, really?
This book takes us inside the doctors' chambers to see how and why medical and scientific men constructed sex, gender, and sexuality as they did, and especially how the material conformation of hermaphroditic bodies–when combined with social exigencies–forced peculiar constructions. Throughout the book Dreger indicates how this history can help us to understand present-day conceptualizations of sex, gender, and sexuality.CONTENTS
PROLOGUE "But My Good Woman, You Are a Man!”
CHAPTER 1 Doubtful Sex
CHAPTER 2 Doubtful Status
CHAPTER 3 In Search of the Veritable Vulva
CHAPTER 4 Hermaphrodites in Love
CHAPTER 5 The Age of Gonads
EPILOGUE Categorical Imperatives
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