Intersex and the role of religion on the path to health and well-being

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    Abstract

    During the 1990s intersex individuals coalesced into an international social identity and human rights movement. The intersex movement gave voice to both the shared and the unique lived experiences of individuals for whom psychical pain, psychosocial trauma, and social isolation were common themes threaded throughout personal histories and narratives. Except for a few historical accounts (e.g., that of nineteenth-century “hermaphrodite” Herculine Barbin),1 this was the first time intersex individuals were telling their own stories. The intersex literature emerged from a plethora of newsletters, academic treatises, books, journal articles, “letters to the editor,” biographies, anthologies, websites, and online chat-room posts. While no singular discursive field encompasses them all, I would argue that what appears common is the articulation of a conversation removed from the distorting lens of the medical profession that dominated the twentieth century. Furthermore, academics, social activists, friends, family, and even medical practitioners have joined intersex individuals to collectively rewrite and reconceptualize “intersex.” To assist in this endeavor, the intersex literature engages a wide range of extant discourses, such as feminism, gender studies, queer theory, postmodernism, the social model of disability, female genital mutilation, and childhood sexual assault.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationIntersex, Theology, and the Bible
    Subtitle of host publicationTroubling Bodies in Church, Text, and Society
    EditorsSusannah Cornwall
    Place of PublicationUnited States of America
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
    Chapter5
    Pages121-144
    Number of pages24
    ISBN (Electronic)978-1-137-34901-9
    ISBN (Print)978-1-349-56394-4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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