Skip to main content
main-content
Top

Hint

Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book

2016 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

5. Transgender and Intersex: Unavoidable Essentialism and the Normative Struggle for Recognition

share
SHARE

Abstract

Transgender and intersex studies are stuck in an ‘anti rhetoric’ against heteronormativity and binary oppositions. Not only is this practice questionable from a theoretical point of view, but, much more problematically, it serves to alienate parts of the community—most notably many intersex people. In order to find new ways of formulating activism, this chapter grapples with the theoretical underpinnings of transgender and intersex studies, respectively. What emerges are two persistently recurring forms of essentialism: mind essentialism and body essentialism. But instead of denouncing them, the article shows how essentialisms can be employed for emancipatory positions. Such a strategy has further implications for transgender and intersex studies, and their contributions to gender studies in general. The chapter concludes by proposing a shift away from primarily fighting against a binary gender system in gender studies towards primarily working for intersex and trans people’s recognition and self-determination—tacitly accepting, of course, that this may change the gender framework as we know it.

To get access to this content you need the following product:

Springer Professional "Wirtschaft+Technik"

Online-Abonnement

Mit Springer Professional "Wirtschaft+Technik" erhalten Sie Zugriff auf:

  • über 69.000 Bücher
  • über 500 Zeitschriften

aus folgenden Fachgebieten:

  • Automobil + Motoren
  • Bauwesen + Immobilien
  • Business IT + Informatik
  • Elektrotechnik + Elektronik
  • Energie + Nachhaltigkeit
  • Finance + Banking
  • Management + Führung
  • Marketing + Vertrieb
  • Maschinenbau + Werkstoffe
  • Versicherung + Risiko

Testen Sie jetzt 15 Tage kostenlos.

Springer Professional "Wirtschaft"

Online-Abonnement

Mit Springer Professional "Wirtschaft" erhalten Sie Zugriff auf:

  • über 58.000 Bücher
  • über 300 Zeitschriften

aus folgenden Fachgebieten:

  • Bauwesen + Immobilien
  • Business IT + Informatik
  • Finance + Banking
  • Management + Führung
  • Marketing + Vertrieb
  • Versicherung + Risiko




Testen Sie jetzt 15 Tage kostenlos.

Literature
go back to reference Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome Support Group (AISSG). Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome Support Group (AISSG). Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome Support Group (AISSG), n.d. Web. 11. Feb. 2013. http://​www.​aissg.​org. Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome Support Group (AISSG). Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome Support Group (AISSG). Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome Support Group (AISSG), n.d. Web. 11. Feb. 2013. http://​www.​aissg.​org.
go back to reference Arbeitsgruppe Ethik im Netzwerk Intersexualität. “Ethische Grundsätze und Empfehlungen bei DSD Therapeutischer Umgang mit Besonderheiten der Geschlechtsentwicklung/Intersexualität bei Kindern und Jugendlichen.” Monatsschrift Kinderheilkunde 156.3 (2008): 241–5. Arbeitsgruppe Ethik im Netzwerk Intersexualität. “Ethische Grundsätze und Empfehlungen bei DSD Therapeutischer Umgang mit Besonderheiten der Geschlechtsentwicklung/Intersexualität bei Kindern und Jugendlichen.” Monatsschrift Kinderheilkunde 156.3 (2008): 241–5.
go back to reference Archer, Margaret. Being Human: The Problem of Agency. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2000. Archer, Margaret. Being Human: The Problem of Agency. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2000.
go back to reference Barbour, Julian. “Relational Concepts of Space and Time.” The British Society for the Philosophy of Science 33.3 (1982): 251–74. Barbour, Julian. “Relational Concepts of Space and Time.” The British Society for the Philosophy of Science 33.3 (1982): 251–74.
go back to reference Baudrillard, Jean. America. Trans. Chris Turner. 1988. London: Verso, 1996. Baudrillard, Jean. America. Trans. Chris Turner. 1988. London: Verso, 1996.
go back to reference ———. “The Precession of Simulacra.” Simulacra and Simulation. Trans. Sheila Faria Glaser. 1981. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 2010. 1–42. ———. “The Precession of Simulacra.” Simulacra and Simulation. Trans. Sheila Faria Glaser. 1981. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 2010. 1–42.
go back to reference Becker, Sophinette. “Transsexuelle Entwicklungen. Verlaufsdiagnostik, Psychotherapie und Indikation zu somatischen Behandlungen.” Psychotherapie im Dialog 10.1 (2009): 12–18. Becker, Sophinette. “Transsexuelle Entwicklungen. Verlaufsdiagnostik, Psychotherapie und Indikation zu somatischen Behandlungen.” Psychotherapie im Dialog 10.1 (2009): 12–18.
go back to reference Beemyn, Genny, and Susan Rankin. The Lives of Transgender People. New York: Columbia UP, 2011. Beemyn, Genny, and Susan Rankin. The Lives of Transgender People. New York: Columbia UP, 2011.
go back to reference Beier, Klaus Michael, et al. “Geschlechtsidentitätsstörungen im Kindes- und Jugendalter. Zur aktuellen Kontroverse um unterschiedliche Konzepte und Behandlungsstrategien.” Deutsches Ärzteblatt 105.48 (2008): 834–41. Beier, Klaus Michael, et al. “Geschlechtsidentitätsstörungen im Kindes- und Jugendalter. Zur aktuellen Kontroverse um unterschiedliche Konzepte und Behandlungsstrategien.” Deutsches Ärzteblatt 105.48 (2008): 834–41.
go back to reference Bhabha, Homi K. The Location of Culture. London: Routledge, 2004. Bhabha, Homi K. The Location of Culture. London: Routledge, 2004.
go back to reference Butler, Judith. Undoing Gender. London: Routledge, 2004. Butler, Judith. Undoing Gender. London: Routledge, 2004.
go back to reference ———. Bodies that Matter. 1993. London: Routledge, 2011. ———. Bodies that Matter. 1993. London: Routledge, 2011.
go back to reference ———. Gender Trouble. 1990. London: Routledge, 2007. ———. Gender Trouble. 1990. London: Routledge, 2007.
go back to reference Carmichael, Polly, and Julie Alderson. “Psychological Care in Disorders of Sexual Differentiation and Determination.” Paediatric and Adolescent Gynaecology. Eds. A. Valen et al. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2004. 158–78. Carmichael, Polly, and Julie Alderson. “Psychological Care in Disorders of Sexual Differentiation and Determination.” Paediatric and Adolescent Gynaecology. Eds. A. Valen et al. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2004. 158–78.
go back to reference Cohen-Kettenis, Peggy. “Psychological Long-Term Outcome in Intersex Conditions.” Hormone Research 64 suppl. 2 (2005): 27–30. Cohen-Kettenis, Peggy. “Psychological Long-Term Outcome in Intersex Conditions.” Hormone Research 64 suppl. 2 (2005): 27–30.
go back to reference Cowan, Sharon. “‘Gender is no Substitute for Sex’: A Comparative Human Rights Analysis of the Legal Regulation of Sexual Identity.” Feminist Legal Studies 13.1 (2005): 67–96. Cowan, Sharon. “‘Gender is no Substitute for Sex’: A Comparative Human Rights Analysis of the Legal Regulation of Sexual Identity.” Feminist Legal Studies 13.1 (2005): 67–96.
go back to reference Davies, Ceri. “‘The Truth is a Thorny Issue’: Lesbian Denial in Jackie Kay’s Trumpet.” Journal of International Women’s Studies 7.3 (2006): 5–16. Davies, Ceri. “‘The Truth is a Thorny Issue’: Lesbian Denial in Jackie Kay’s Trumpet.” Journal of International Women’s Studies 7.3 (2006): 5–16.
go back to reference Deeds Ermarth, Elisabeth. “Agency in the Discursive Condition.” History and Theory. Theme Issue 40 (2001): 34–58. Deeds Ermarth, Elisabeth. “Agency in the Discursive Condition.” History and Theory. Theme Issue 40 (2001): 34–58.
go back to reference Diamond, Milton, and Keith Sigmundson. “Sex Reassignment at Birth. Longterm Review and Clinical Implications.” Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine 151 (1997): 298–304. Diamond, Milton, and Keith Sigmundson. “Sex Reassignment at Birth. Longterm Review and Clinical Implications.” Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine 151 (1997): 298–304.
go back to reference Dreger, Alice Domurat. Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1998. Dreger, Alice Domurat. Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1998.
go back to reference Ebling, Smilla. “Heteronormativität in der Zoologie.” Heteronormativität: Empirische Studien zu Geschlecht, Sexualität und Macht. Ed. Jutta Hartmann. Wiesbaden: Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2007. 79–93. Ebling, Smilla. “Heteronormativität in der Zoologie.” Heteronormativität: Empirische Studien zu Geschlecht, Sexualität und Macht. Ed. Jutta Hartmann. Wiesbaden: Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2007. 79–93.
go back to reference Fuss, Diana. Essentially Speaking: Feminism, Nature & Difference. London: Routledge, 1989. Fuss, Diana. Essentially Speaking: Feminism, Nature & Difference. London: Routledge, 1989.
go back to reference Garcia-Falgueras, Alicia, and Dick F. Swaab. “Sexual Hormones and the Brain: An Essential Alliance for Sexual Identity and Sexual Orientation.” Pediatric Neuroendocrinology. Eds. S. Loche et al. Basel: Karger, 2010. 22–35. Garcia-Falgueras, Alicia, and Dick F. Swaab. “Sexual Hormones and the Brain: An Essential Alliance for Sexual Identity and Sexual Orientation.” Pediatric Neuroendocrinology. Eds. S. Loche et al. Basel: Karger, 2010. 22–35.
go back to reference Groß, Dominik et al., eds. Transsexualität und Intersexualität: Medizinische, ethische, soziale und juristische Aspekte. Berlin: Medizinisch Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft OHG, 2008. Groß, Dominik et al., eds. Transsexualität und Intersexualität: Medizinische, ethische, soziale und juristische Aspekte. Berlin: Medizinisch Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft OHG, 2008.
go back to reference Halberstam, Judith. Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal. Boston: Beacon P, 2012. Halberstam, Judith. Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal. Boston: Beacon P, 2012.
go back to reference ———. In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives. New York: New York UP, 2005. ———. In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives. New York: New York UP, 2005.
go back to reference ———. “‘A Writer of Misfits’: ‘John’ Radclyffe Hall and the Discourse of Inversion.” Palatable Poison: Critical Perspectives on The Well of Loneliness. Eds. Laura Doan and Jay Prosser. New York: Columbia UP, 2001. 145–61. ———. “‘A Writer of Misfits’: ‘John’ Radclyffe Hall and the Discourse of Inversion.” Palatable Poison: Critical Perspectives on The Well of Loneliness. Eds. Laura Doan and Jay Prosser. New York: Columbia UP, 2001. 145–61.
go back to reference ———. Female Masculinity: Durham: Duke UP, 1998. ———. Female Masculinity: Durham: Duke UP, 1998.
go back to reference Herrn, Rainer. Schnittmuster des Geschlechts: Transvestitismus und Transsexualität in der frühen Sexualwissenschaft. Mit einem Geleitwort von Volkmar Sigusch. Gießen: Psychosozialverlag, 2005. Herrn, Rainer. Schnittmuster des Geschlechts: Transvestitismus und Transsexualität in der frühen Sexualwissenschaft. Mit einem Geleitwort von Volkmar Sigusch. Gießen: Psychosozialverlag, 2005.
go back to reference Hughes, Ieuan et al. “Consensus Statement on Management of Intersex Disorders.” Archives of Disease in Childhood 9.7 (2006): 554–63. Hughes, Ieuan et al. “Consensus Statement on Management of Intersex Disorders.” Archives of Disease in Childhood 9.7 (2006): 554–63.
go back to reference Kessler, Suzanne J. “The Medical Construction of Gender: Case Management of Intersexed Infants.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 16.1 (1990): 3–26. Kessler, Suzanne J. “The Medical Construction of Gender: Case Management of Intersexed Infants.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 16.1 (1990): 3–26.
go back to reference Klöppel, Ulrike. XXOXY ungelöst: Hermaphroditismus, Sex und Gender in der deutschen Medizin. Eine historische Studie zur Intersexualität. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, 2010. Klöppel, Ulrike. XXOXY ungelöst: Hermaphroditismus, Sex und Gender in der deutschen Medizin. Eine historische Studie zur Intersexualität. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, 2010.
go back to reference ———. “Who Has the Right to Change Gender Status? Drawing Boundaries between Inter- and Transsexuality.” Critical Intersex. Ed. Morgan Holmes. Farnham: Ashgate, 2009. 171–87. ———. “Who Has the Right to Change Gender Status? Drawing Boundaries between Inter- and Transsexuality.” Critical Intersex. Ed. Morgan Holmes. Farnham: Ashgate, 2009. 171–87.
go back to reference Koyama, Emi, and Lisa Weasel. “From Social Construction to Social Justice: Transforming How We Teach about Intersexuality.” Women’s Studies Quarterly 30.3–4 (2002): 169–78. Koyama, Emi, and Lisa Weasel. “From Social Construction to Social Justice: Transforming How We Teach about Intersexuality.” Women’s Studies Quarterly 30.3–4 (2002): 169–78.
go back to reference Labov, William. “The Boundaries of Words and their Meanings.” New Ways of Analyzing Variation in English. Eds. Charles-James Nice Bailey and Roger W. Shuy Washington: Georgetown UP, 1974. 340–73. Labov, William. “The Boundaries of Words and their Meanings.” New Ways of Analyzing Variation in English. Eds. Charles-James Nice Bailey and Roger W. Shuy Washington: Georgetown UP, 1974. 340–73.
go back to reference Lang, Claudia. Intersexualität: Menschen zwischen den Geschlechtern. Frankfurt: Campus Verlag, 2006. Lang, Claudia. Intersexualität: Menschen zwischen den Geschlechtern. Frankfurt: Campus Verlag, 2006.
go back to reference Noble, Jean Bobby. Masculinities Without Men? Female Masculinity in Twentieth-Century Fictions. Vancouver: U of British Columbia P, 2004. Noble, Jean Bobby. Masculinities Without Men? Female Masculinity in Twentieth-Century Fictions. Vancouver: U of British Columbia P, 2004.
go back to reference peaceandparty. “being an xxy being.” YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web 16. Jul. 2010. (expired). peaceandparty. “being an xxy being.” YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web 16. Jul. 2010. (expired).
go back to reference Prosser, Jay. “‘Some Primitive Thing Conceived in a Turbulent Age of Transition’: The Transsexual Emerging from The Well.” Palatable Poison: Critical Perspectives on The Well of Loneliness. Eds. Laura Doan and Jay Prosser. New York: Columbia UP, 2001. 129–44. Prosser, Jay. “‘Some Primitive Thing Conceived in a Turbulent Age of Transition’: The Transsexual Emerging from The Well.” Palatable Poison: Critical Perspectives on The Well of Loneliness. Eds. Laura Doan and Jay Prosser. New York: Columbia UP, 2001. 129–44.
go back to reference ———. “No Place Like Home: The Transgendered Narrative of Leslie Feinberg’s Stone Butch Blues.” Modern Fiction Studies 41.3–4 (1995): 483–514. ———. “No Place Like Home: The Transgendered Narrative of Leslie Feinberg’s Stone Butch Blues.” Modern Fiction Studies 41.3–4 (1995): 483–514.
go back to reference Sandland, Ralph. “Feminism and the Gender Recognition Act 2004.” Feminist Legal Studies 13.1 (2005): 43–66. Sandland, Ralph. “Feminism and the Gender Recognition Act 2004.” Feminist Legal Studies 13.1 (2005): 43–66.
go back to reference Senf, Wolfgang. “Transsexualität.” Psychotherapeut 53.5 (2008): 316–27. Senf, Wolfgang. “Transsexualität.” Psychotherapeut 53.5 (2008): 316–27.
go back to reference Sharpe, Andrew N. “Endless Sex: The Gender Recognition Act 2004 and the Persistence of a Legal Category.” Feminist Legal Studies 15.1 (2007): 57–84. Sharpe, Andrew N. “Endless Sex: The Gender Recognition Act 2004 and the Persistence of a Legal Category.” Feminist Legal Studies 15.1 (2007): 57–84.
go back to reference Sharpe, Andrew N., Ralph Sandland, and Sharon Cowan. “The Gender Recognition Act 2004: Debate and Dialogue.” Social and Legal Studies 18.2 (2009): 241–63. Sharpe, Andrew N., Ralph Sandland, and Sharon Cowan. “The Gender Recognition Act 2004: Debate and Dialogue.” Social and Legal Studies 18.2 (2009): 241–63.
go back to reference Stryker, Susan. “(De)Subjugated Knowledges: An Introduction to Transgender Studies.” The Transgender Studies Reader. Eds. Susan Stryker and Stephen Whittle. London: Routledge, 2006. 1–17. Stryker, Susan. “(De)Subjugated Knowledges: An Introduction to Transgender Studies.” The Transgender Studies Reader. Eds. Susan Stryker and Stephen Whittle. London: Routledge, 2006. 1–17.
go back to reference Taylor, John R. Linguistic Categorization. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009. Taylor, John R. Linguistic Categorization. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009.
go back to reference Voss, Heinz-Jürgen. Making Sex Revisited: Dekonstruktion des Geschlechts aus biologisch-medizinischer Perspektive. Bielefeld: Transcript, 2010. Voss, Heinz-Jürgen. Making Sex Revisited: Dekonstruktion des Geschlechts aus biologisch-medizinischer Perspektive. Bielefeld: Transcript, 2010.
go back to reference Whittle, Stephen. Foreword. The Transgender Studies Reader. Eds. Stephen Whittle and Susan Stryker. London: Routledge, 2006. xi–xvi. Whittle, Stephen. Foreword. The Transgender Studies Reader. Eds. Stephen Whittle and Susan Stryker. London: Routledge, 2006. xi–xvi.
go back to reference Whittle, Stephen, and Lewis Turner. “‘Sex Changes’? Paradigm Shifts in ‘Sex’ and ‘Gender’ Following the Gender Recognition Act?” Sociological Research Online 12.1 (2007): n. pag. Whittle, Stephen, and Lewis Turner. “‘Sex Changes’? Paradigm Shifts in ‘Sex’ and ‘Gender’ Following the Gender Recognition Act?” Sociological Research Online 12.1 (2007): n. pag.
go back to reference Zhou, Jiang-Ning, et al. “A Sex Difference in the Human Brain and its Relation to Transsexuality.” Nature 378 (1995): 68–70. Zhou, Jiang-Ning, et al. “A Sex Difference in the Human Brain and its Relation to Transsexuality.” Nature 378 (1995): 68–70.
go back to reference Zucker, Kenneth J., and Robert L. Spitzer. “Was the Gender Identity Disorder of Childhood Diagnosis Introduced into DSM-III as a Backdoor Maneuver to Replace Homosexuality? A Historical Note.” Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy 31.1 (2005): 31–42. Zucker, Kenneth J., and Robert L. Spitzer. “Was the Gender Identity Disorder of Childhood Diagnosis Introduced into DSM-III as a Backdoor Maneuver to Replace Homosexuality? A Historical Note.” Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy 31.1 (2005): 31–42.
Metadata
Title
Transgender and Intersex: Unavoidable Essentialism and the Normative Struggle for Recognition
Author
Sebastian Jansen
Copyright Year
2016
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-71325-7_5