“Measuring Phalluses, Gendering Babies, and Speaking to the Dead: What History tells Us About Handling Intersex Today”
Alice Domurat Dreger, Ph.D., author of Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex (Harvard University Press, 1998)
At the New York Academy of Medicine, Tuesday, December 10, 2002, 6:00 PM
Can and should the history of "hermaphroditism" and other unusual anatomical types be used to inform the present-day medical and social treatment of people born with intersex conditions? If so, how do we decide which bits of history matter? And what do we do with the gaping evidentiary holes? Finally, in an age of tremendous medical progress, can we take seriously the possibility that past practices were superior? In this lecture, these questions are addressed from the point of view of a medical historian who has been working with physicians, persons with intersex, and patient advocates to improve the social and medical treatment of intersex.
Professor Dreger is a historian of anatomy at Michigan State University, in East Lansing, Michigan, where she holds the titles of Associate Professor of Science and Technology Studies and Associate Faculty in the Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences. She is also Chair of the Board of Directors of the Intersex Society of North America, a non-profit advocacy and policy organization. Her research focuses on the biomedical and social treatment of people born with unusual anatomies and her books include Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex (Harvard University Press, 1998), Intersex in the Age of Ethics (University Publishing Group, 1999) and One of Us: How Conjoined Twins Unite Us All (Harvard University Press, forthcoming in 2003). Dr. Dreger’s essays on the human origins and impacts of science have appeared in the New York Times.
This event is free and open to the public. For more information about NYAM programs in the history of medicine, write firstname.lastname@example.org or call Christian Warren.
Founded in 1847, the New York Academy of Medicine is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the health of the public through research, education and advocacy, with a particular focus on disadvantaged urban populations. Please visit our website.
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