Intersexuality and the Law: Why Sex Matters (Introduction)
INTERSEXUALITY AND THE LAW: WHY SEX MATTERS, New York University Press, 2012
9 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2012 Last revised: 26 Feb 2015
Date Written: February 1, 2012
The term "intersex" evokes diverse images, typically of people who are both male and female or neither male nor female. Neither vision is accurate. The millions of people with an intersex condition, or a DSD (difference/disorder of sex development), are men and women whose sex chromosomes, gonads, or sex anatomy do not fit clearly into the male/female binary norm. Until recently, intersex conditions were shrouded in shame and secrecy; many adults were unaware that they had been born with an intersex condition and those who did know were advised to hide the truth. Current medical protocols and societal treatment of people with a DSD are based on false stereotypes about sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability, which create unique challenges to framing effective legal claims and building a strong cohesive movement.
In "Intersexuality and the Law: Why Sex Matters," Professor Julie A. Greenberg examines the role that legal institutions can play in protecting the rights of people with an intersex condition. She also explores the relationship between the intersex movement and other social justice movements that have effectively used legal strategies to challenge similar discriminatory practices. In addition, she discusses the feasibility of forming effective alliances and developing mutually beneficial legal arguments with feminists, LGBT organizations, and disability rights advocates to eradicate the discrimination suffered by these marginalized groups.
Keywords: intersex, difference of sex development, disorder of sex development, DSD, social justice movements, LGBT, gay, lesbian, feminists, disability rights, discrimination, medical ethics, informed consent
JEL Classification: K19, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation