Books

Books and selected journal articles on intersex issues, including fiction, peer-reviewed papers, and biographies.

“Alex as Well”, by Alyssa Brugman

We’ve recently seen a book by Alyssa Brugman, entitled “Alex as Well”. We believe that the author has confused intersex with non-binary identities, like genderqueer or bigender. We don’t recommend this book, due to its lack of research on intersex variations. Consider instead getting hold of “Golden Boy” by Abigail Tarttelin, or “None of the…
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“Golden Boy”, by Abigail Tarttelin

I loved this book. It vividly captures the effects of secrecy and shame on an intersex adolescent, and a family in crisis. It’s compassionately and beautifully written, from the perspective of six key characters: Max the protagonist, his brother, parents, doctor and friend. Unlike Jeffrey Eugenides’s Middlesex, which manages to convey the impression that intersex…
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Morgan Holmes on “Locating Third Sexes”

In the journal Transformations, Morgan Holmes writes about a third sex or gender. Morgan Holmes approaches the subject as a scholar and an intersex person; she was formerly a member of ISNA and is now an assistance professor of sociology at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada. The paper is recommended reading for people interested…
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Ground-breaking Swiss report on infant surgery, a review

Swiss National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics report on Intersexuality

Earlier this month, the Swiss National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics published an opinion document, On the management of differences of sex development, Ethical issues relating to “intersexuality”. Copies are available via the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health in English. This is a brief review of the key points in that position document. Our…
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“A medical condition is only as real as its definition”, Georgiann Davis on DSD in Sociology of Diagnosis journal

Sociologist Georgiann Davis Ph.D. recently had published her paper on DSD in Sociology of Diagnosis, Advances in Medical Sociology, Volume 12, 155–182. The paper, “DSD is a perfectly fine term”: Reasserting Medical Authority Through a Shift in Intersex Terminology is a hugely important critique and highly recommended reading. The context Even though the diagnosis carried…
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