Intersex and the Power in a Name

Event Date

Location
SS&H 273

Intersex and the Power in a Name
Georgiann Davis, visiting from University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Wednesday, December 6

1:10-2:30 PM

SS&H 273 

Socializing and snacks in the Sociology Lounge from 2:30-3:10


Abstract: In 2006 the American Academy of Pediatrics officially renamed “intersex” a “disorder of sex development,” DSD for short. In this talk based on interviews with intersex people, their parents, and medical providers, I will show how DSD terminology allowed doctors to reclaim jurisdiction over the intersex body which was in jeopardy due to 1990s intersex activism that challenged medical authority. Today, DSD remains hotly contested throughout the intersex community, yet it has been widely implemented in virtually all corners of the medical profession. Throughout my discussion, I will describe how intersex people navigate their lives, specifically their relationships with family members and medical providers. And I will highlight current movement strategies that fuel contemporary intersex activism. Suggestions for how to be a good ally to intersex people will be provided.

Bio: Georgiann Davis, PhD, is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her research and teaching is at the intersection of sociology of diagnosis and feminist theories. Among other scholarly contributions that appeared in the American Journal of Bioethics, Gender & Society, Psychology & Sexuality, and Feminist Formations including co-editing a special issue on intersex for the journal Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics with Ellen Feder, PhD, she is the author of Contesting Intersex: The Dubious Diagnosis (NYU Press, 2015). Outside of the university she is the current board president of interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth (2017- present), and the former president of the AIS-DSD Support Group.