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gender2 / (Fwd) RE: OAS-RadioButton

From: Eric D. Pierce <>
Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2000 12:09:15 -0700
Message-Id: <>


Thanks for the background.

Here is some more stuff (Canadian govt site on civil rights issues, contains lots of definitions and analysis of policy problems):


"gender - there are perhaps five broad categories of gender:
[1] physical anatomy, or sex organs,
[2] secondary sex characteristics that develop at and after puberty,
[3] fashion choices,
[4] movement and behaviour, and
[5] the mind including gender identity. Sometimes we have to make it
clear which of these we are talking about. Gender is also used as a prefix."

"gender identity - the hard-to-define sense of being male or being female that is usually in accord with, but sometimes opposed to, physical anatomy. There is no clear agreement on how gender identity is formed, but most current theories say that gender identity is formed before birth."


Nevertheless, new technologies-specifically laparotomies and biopsiesin  the 1910s made this approach untenable. It now became possible (and, by the standing rules, necessary) to label some living people as "true" hermaphrodites via biopsies, and disturbed physicians noted that no one knew what to do with such people. There was no place, socially or legally, for true hermaphrodites.Moreover, physicians found case after case of extremely feminine-looking and feminineacting  women who were shown upon careful analysis to have testes and no ovaries. The latter were cases of what today is called androgeninsensitivity  syndrome (AIS), also known as testicular feminization syndrome. We now know that individuals with AIS (roughly 1/60,000 8) have an XY ("male") chromosomal complement and testes, but their androgen receptors cannot "read" the masculinizing hormones their testes produce. Consequently, in utero and throughout their lives, their anatomy develops along apparently "feminine" pathways. AIS is often not discovered until puberty, when these girls do not menstruate and a gynecological examination reveals AIS. Women with AIS look and feel very much like "typical" women, and in a practical, social, legal, and everyday sense they are women, even though congenitally they have testes and XY chromosomes.

In the 1910s, physicians working with intersexuality realized that assigning these women to the male sex (because of their testes) or admitting living true hermaphrodites" (because of their ovotestes) would only wreak social havoc. Consequently, in practice the medical profession moved away from a strict notion of gonadal "true sex" toward a pragmatic concept of "gender" and physicians began to focus their attentions on gender "reconstruction."Elaborate surgical and hormonal treatments have now been developed to make the sexual anatomy more believable, that is, more "typical" of the gender assigned by the physician.


And, something on the highly controversial issue of forced (experimental medical) gender reassignment on infants/children:

(*warning* this is a shocking expose about medical scandal and corruption) -

(alternative site: ) Received on Fri Jul 28 2000 - 14:09:15 CDT

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