'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

Paisley Currah

Brooklyn College of the City University of New York - Department of Political Science

Lisa Jean Moore

SUNY Purchase

Date Written: January 8, 2009

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Currah, Paisley and Moore, Lisa Jean, 'We Won't Know Who You Are': Contesting Sex Designations on New York City Birth Certificates (January 8, 2009). Hypatia Journal of Feminist Philosophy, Vol. 24, No. 3, Summer 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1324681

Paisley Currah (Contact Author)

Brooklyn College of the City University of New York - Department of Political Science ( email )

2900 Bedford Avenue
3413 James Hall
Brooklyn, NY 11210
United States

HOME PAGE: http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/polisci/pcurrah/

Lisa Jean Moore

SUNY Purchase ( email )

735 Anderson Hill Road
Purchase, NY 10577
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.purchase.edu/Departments/AcademicPrograms/Faculty/lisajeanmoore/lisajeanmoore.aspx

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