Two Views

I was pleased to see Ricki Lewis' article "Reevaluating Sex Reassignment."1 The piece is good as far as it goes, but it fails to do justice to the academic work that has been under way for the past five years, and which has used reasoned analysis to call for a change in the practice of sex reassignment surgery at birth. Such academic work has argued instead for greater gender variation and autonomy for the patients on whom surgery is now imposed. I recommend to the readers of The Scientist three books: one by me titled Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality (Basic Books, 2000); one by Suzanne J. Kessler titled Lessons from the Intersexed (Routledge, 1998); and one by Alice Dreger titled Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex (Harvard, 1998).

Changes in medical practice do not happen overnight, but through the hard...

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