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Lessons from the Intersexed Paperback – July 1, 1998
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Top Customer Reviews
Her book has a large number of foot notes and cross references to other works. She is well read and very current. The text is some 131 pages. The footnotes are another 30 pages. The glossary is 4 pages. The bibliography is 10 page. And the index is another 12. This a very well researched book with innovative ideas.
Her closing words are: "We must use what ever means to we have to give up on gender. The problems of intersexuality [and gayness, transsexuals, transvities, ect] will vanish and we will, compensate intersexuals for all the lessons they have provided."
Lessons from the Intersexed
(New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1998) 193 pages
(ISBN: 0-8135-2529-2; hardcover)
(ISBN: 0-8135-2530-6; paperback)
(Library of Congress call number: RC883.K47 1998)
Intersex people were physically ambiguous at birth with respect to their sex:
They were born neither clearly male nor clearly female.
And since it became possible in the 20th century,
they were usually given medical treatments
to make them more definitely one sex or the other.
But the author of this book takes a different stand:
Kessler believes that doctors should not interfere with what nature has created.
She believes that 'gender' is a social construct.
Her consistent use of the word "gender" to refer to the sex of an individual
--whether that person is a male or a female--
continues the confusion so common in our everyday thinking about sex and gender.
When we discuss the gender-personality of an individual person,
whether that person has 'masculine' or 'feminine' character traits,
we are clearly dealing with learned emotional responses.
Likewise, when we refer to the sex-role of an individual,
we a discussing external behavior expected in any society
because the individual is either a male or a female.
Both gender-personalities and sex-roles are fluid and flexible.
These are cultural constructs--the results of experiences since birth.
But the biological sex of any animal organism is not a social construct.
Most animals are clearly male or female.
Only a few have any ambiguity with respect to their biological sex.
These are the intersex individuals.Read more ›