Sex, Gender, and Violent Care: An Analysis of Intersexuality and Medical Treatment

Alexandra Gomez-Lacayo


Drawing upon the theories of Lisa Stevenson, Pidgeon Pagonis, and Michel Foucault, this paper examines medical jurisdiction, understandings of sex and gender, intersex conditions, and the intersex liberation movement. Gomez-Lacayo demonstrates how these concepts relate to Foucault’s theory of biopolitics and Stevenson’s conception of care. By analyzing specific cases of sexual reassignment such as that of Herculine Barbin, the author argues that treatment of intersex conditions often constitutes a violent form of care made possible through increasing medical intervention and jurisdiction. Gomez-Lacayo further analyzes medicine as a vehicle for the expression and recreation of cultural and social pluralities.

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