'We Won't Know Who You Are': Contesting Sex Designations on New York City Birth Certificates
Hypatia Journal of Feminist Philosophy, Vol. 24, No. 3, Summer 2009
Posted: 11 Jan 2009 Last revised: 1 Sep 2013
Date Written: January 8, 2009
This article examines shifts in the legal, medical, and common sense logics governing the designation of sex on birth certificates issued by the City of New York between 1965 and 2006. In the initial iteration, the stabilization of legal sex categories was organized around the notion of "fraud"; in the most recent iteration, "permanence" became the indicia of authenticity. We frame these legal constructions of sex with theories about the "natural attitude" toward gender.
Keywords: transgender, gender identity, birth certificates, surveillance studies, biometrics, transsexualism, transsuality, identity documents, gender binary
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