Major

Bioethics

Anticipated Graduation Year

2021

Access Type

Open Access

Abstract

Intersex individuals are born with sex characteristics that do not align with the binary expectations of male or female bodies. While intersex describes a wide variety of body phenotypes, some cases present visible intersex characteristics at birth, later on in life (puberty), or not at all. Intersex surgery uses medical intervention to modify atypical or ambiguous genitalia or sex characteristics. Individuals or their parents elect to undergo intersex surgery though it is not always medically necessary or advisable. The purpose of our study is to explore the biological and ethical underpinnings of intersex surgery over time.

Faculty Mentors & Instructors

Dr. Dawn Franks, PhD, Advanced Lecturer, Department of Biology; Dr. Jennifer Parks, PhD, Professor and Bioethics Minor Director, Department of Philosophy

Streaming Media

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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The Ethical Implications of Intersex Surgery

Intersex individuals are born with sex characteristics that do not align with the binary expectations of male or female bodies. While intersex describes a wide variety of body phenotypes, some cases present visible intersex characteristics at birth, later on in life (puberty), or not at all. Intersex surgery uses medical intervention to modify atypical or ambiguous genitalia or sex characteristics. Individuals or their parents elect to undergo intersex surgery though it is not always medically necessary or advisable. The purpose of our study is to explore the biological and ethical underpinnings of intersex surgery over time.