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Bodies in Doubt

An American History of Intersex

Elizabeth Reis

second edition
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This renowned history of intersex in America has been comprehensively updated to reflect recent shifts in attitudes, bioethics, and medical and legal practices.

In Bodies in Doubt, Elizabeth Reis traces the changing definitions, perceptions, and medical management of intersex (atypical sex development) in America from the colonial period to the present. Arguing that medical practice must be understood within its broader cultural context, Reis demonstrates how deeply physicians have been influenced by social anxieties about marriage, heterosexuality, and same-sex desire throughout American…

This renowned history of intersex in America has been comprehensively updated to reflect recent shifts in attitudes, bioethics, and medical and legal practices.

In Bodies in Doubt, Elizabeth Reis traces the changing definitions, perceptions, and medical management of intersex (atypical sex development) in America from the colonial period to the present. Arguing that medical practice must be understood within its broader cultural context, Reis demonstrates how deeply physicians have been influenced by social anxieties about marriage, heterosexuality, and same-sex desire throughout American history

In this second edition, Reis adds two new chapters, a new preface, and a revised introduction to assess recent dramatic shifts in attitudes, bioethics, and medical and legal practices. Human rights organizations have declared early genital surgeries a form of torture and abuse, but doctors continue to offer surgical "repair," and parents continue to seek it for their children. While many are hearing the human rights call, controversies persist, and Reis explains why best practices in this field remain fiercely contested.

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Bodies in Doubt

Elizabeth Reis

second edition
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Reviews

Reviews

[Reis's] goals of extending our thinking about intersex to an earlier era and linking often separate moments and issues are well realized in this engrossingly readable overview.

An excellent book that treats its subject matter with care and respect, and which encourages critical thinking about the issues discussed.

In telling her story, Reis has also provided an excellent collection of illustrations. For scholars and medical students, this pleasantly written history provides an opportunity to view examples of these unusual problems.

Informative, engaging, and intersex supportive in tone. [This book] might be most useful as a supplement in a university course on human sexuality or the psychology of gender. It is recommended to anyone interested in the sociological history of intersex, as one of the very few volumes on the subject.

An excellent history of attitudes towards intersex persons from the 17th century onward.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
288
ISBN
9781421441849
Illustration Description
7 b&w photos, 10 b&w illus.
Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction
A Note About Terminology and Illustrations
Chapter 1. Hermaphrodites, Monstrous Births, and Same-Sex Intimacy in Early America
Chapter 2. From Monsters to Deceivers in

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction
A Note About Terminology and Illustrations
Chapter 1. Hermaphrodites, Monstrous Births, and Same-Sex Intimacy in Early America
Chapter 2. From Monsters to Deceivers in the Early Nineteenth Century
Chapter 3. The Conflation of Hermaphrodites and Sexual Perverts at the Turn of the Century
Chapter 4. Cutting the Gordian Knot: Gonads, Marriage, and Surgery in the 1920s and 1930s
Chapter 5. Psychology, John Money, and the Gender of Rearing in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s
Chapter 6. Bioethics, Informed Consent, and Children's Rights
Chapter 7. Who Stands Under the Umbrella? The Politics of Naming and Categorizing Intersex
Notes
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Elizabeth Reis

Elizabeth 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.