Thank you to editors Peter Aggleton, Rob Cover, Carmen H. Logie, Christy E. Newman, Richard Parker for inviting me to contribute a chapter on the health and human rights of people with intersex variations in the new second edition of the Routledge Handbook of Sexuality, Gender, Health and Rights.
For me, this was an opportunity to be published in a book edited by leading academics, and alongside many other authors whose work I deeply respect. While intersex variations are not a sexuality or gender, discussions on the meaning and implications of sex are pervasive in the field, with often incommensurate understandings of sex as biology and sex as birth registration. While these understandings do not necessarily impact many people, they do impact people with innate variations of sex characteristics, often in unintended ways. I hope that readers of the chapter will develop a better understanding of the health and human rights issues affecting this population. The draft chapter was delivered in August 2022, and the book of 48 very diverse chapters will be published in late December 2023.
Here’s the abstract for my chapter:
People with innate variations of sex characteristics, or intersex traits, have any of a wide range of physical traits that differ from norms for female and male bodies. These traits are perceived in ways that create experiences and risks of stigmatisation, discrimination, violence and harmful medical practices intended to promote social and familial integration. Like all stigmatised populations, a range of different language is used to describe intersex bodies, but many individuals with these traits lack a vocabulary to understand themselves. Dominant frameworks treat people with intersex traits as disordered and in need of fixing and/or as an ‘other’ category of sex, in need of recognition. Neither approach respects the diversity of the population and differing personal values and preferences. Specific traits are sometimes associated with specific health issues, frequently including innate or iatrogenic infertility, while one trait can be fatal if not medicated. Attempts to promote the right to bodily integrity seek to distinguish medical interventions to promote physical health and wellbeing from harmful but still prevalent interventions grounded in gender stereotypes or ideas about social and familial integration. A small but growing number of jurisdictions are taking action to promote bodily integrity and the right to health.
Find my chapter at: Carpenter, Morgan. 2024. ‘The Health and Human Rights of People with Intersex Variations’ in the Routledge Handbook on Sexuality, Health and Rights, 2nd edition, edited by Peter Aggleton, Richard Parker, Rob Cover, Christy Newman and Carmen Logie. Routledge. doi:10.4324/9781003278405-12
The flyer below contains a 20% discount code, valid at time of writing: EFL04.
Aggleton, Peter, Rob Cover, Carmen H. Logie, Christy E. Newman, and Richard Parker, eds. 2024. Routledge Handbook of Sexuality, Gender, Health and Rights. Second edition. Abingdon, Oxon; New York, NY: Routledge.