Sex and (Sexed by) the State
Western New England University School of Law
Women's Rights Law Reporter Vol. 25, p. 217, Fall 2004
This Article discusses how the law not only tries to discipline the body into traditional sex roles, but it also has the power to declare you to be a particular legal sex, even over your objection. The majority of jurisdictions follow the orthodoxy of sex as "genitalia-at-birth." Under this view, a male to female transgender woman (who, for example, has undergone surgery and is anatomically indistinguishable from someone born with female genitalia) is deemed in the majority of states to be legally male. In a handful of more progressive states, the law looks predominantly -- although unfortunately, not exclusively -- at an individual's gender identity to determine legal sex. As a result of these differing legal approaches, a person can be legally male in one state and female in another. Thus, the law (at least cross-jurisdictionally) acknowledges the fluidity of sex, yet it makes central life decisions tum on what sex you are.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 2
Keywords: sex roles, transgender
Date posted: December 14, 2011 ; Last revised: December 28, 2011
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