Streams

Intersexuality

Friday, December 05, 2008

About 1% of babies are born with some degree of sexual ambiguity. We look into how people who are have ambiguous genitalia or a combination of male and female body parts cope in a gender-based society. Katrina Karkazis is author of Fixing Sex; and Katie Baratz and Janet Green have both lived with some degree of intersexuality.

Guests:

Katie Baratz, Janet Green and Katrina Karkazis

Comments [8]

F. Leo Hogan from The Bronx

Very interesting and adult-level discussion on this sensitive and potentially provocative topic. It's certainly helped me look at my own sexuality in a more mature way. It's made the complexes that historical religious prohibitions have placed on the discussion and topic of sexuality come into better perspective....Oh,what they didn't know years ago!!! So Thank God for modern medical research and technological advancement. And I applaud the courage of the speakers to step out of the darkness into the open. Thank Youl

Dec. 06 2008 02:59 PM
Antonia from Emerson, NJ

The concept of gender (a social construct) laid over the reality of sex ( the biology) will make for interesting law. If marriage is defined as between a man and a woman, then this segment shows that the devil is in the details. If you can't define gender without a resort to genetics, hormonal status, and apparent phenotype how will the equal protection clause of the constitution be enforced.

Does the protection of marriage require us to examine every couple to determine if they meet the definition of their assigned gender? If we deny marriage to some don't they have a reasonable case to ask that it be defined according to the best science available? Do we really want the Federal government to enforce this. So do we need genetic screening, a physical exam by the gender police and blood chemistry as part of the pre-marriage rituals?

Maybe we should recognize that biology is far more flexible that the law and call it quits on legislating who we marry. Universal marriage the concept of two people loving each other and making a commitment to live together sounds like a no-brainier to me

Antonia

Dec. 06 2008 09:16 AM
olivier from bklyn

My belief and understanding is that all humans carry a dual(duel)-nature masculin/feminin and unfortunately our society emphasizes strength for man and looks for woman. Male perspective maybe......
I am a heterosexual man that recognizes his feminine side and his wife's masculine one.

Dec. 05 2008 12:57 PM
Elise from East Village

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides is my favorite book. I am wondering what your guests think of it.

Dec. 05 2008 12:50 PM
Matt from The Bronx

That's certainly the rumor--that JLC has androgen-insensitvity syndrome.

Dec. 05 2008 12:50 PM
Chuck from Brooklyn

What about hormones for these ladies? How does this effect development?

Are they more androgynous like in body type? Thin, tall, wide shoulders, etc.

Dec. 05 2008 12:48 PM
Hugh from Crown Heights

There is a philosopher -- Judith Butler -- who has written and spoken a great deal on issues related to this. (And I'm sure there are a great many more such thinkers.)

If your guests are familiar with Butler's work, I wonder if they have any thoughts. (In all likelihood, they're a lot more familiar with the work than I am.)

Generally, it seems to me that the facts of intersexuality should prompt us to rethink our determination to fit every person into either the male or female category.

It also should raise questions about the conformist forces in American culture.

Dec. 05 2008 12:45 PM
Chuck from Brooklyn

Does Jamie Lee Curtis have Androgen insensitivity syndrome?

Dec. 05 2008 12:40 PM

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