Defining Sexuality

The Western biomedical model of sex and gender, coupled with the Judeo-Christian model of reproduction and sexuality, provides for only one socially acceptable model of sexuality, namely heterosexuality. The concept of heterosexuality is based upon a sexing of the body that forces the body to be seen as either male or female (based upon the observed genitalia) and either masculine or feminine (based upon the individual's self-perception), and is coupled with the expected reproductive role required of those two states of being. The tacit assumption is that a male (genetically XY), with masculine self-perception and social role acceptance—in the best of all reproductive worlds—when having sexual intercourse with a female (genetically XX), with feminine self-perception and social role acceptance, will produce a child having either of these two states. Such a construction is consistent with Cassell's (1998) "right mind/right body" concept. With this construct as the socially accepted norm of reality, it is clear that any deviance would be dealt with as just that—a deviance—and handled within the resources of the social system's mechanism for dealing with deviance. In the case of intersexuality (right mind/wrong body [confused body]), the system medical-izes the problem and deals with it as a body issue. In the case of transsexuality (confused mind [wrong mind]/right body), the system medicalizes the problem and deals with it as a "mind" issue, as we have already discussed in a previous section.

As Western biomedical medicine holds to a body-oriented philosophy, it is easy to see how "intersex," which is body oriented, easily visually identified with the senses (body-oriented detectability), and remediable with "surgery" (body-oriented intervention consistent with the biomedical way of thinking) is far more acceptable than "transgender," which is in the mind (mind oriented), not readily verifiable via any sort of Western biomedical rational means, and remediable with a set of counterintuitive surgical interventions that violate the visceral sanctity of the body public and private. Intersexuality is concretized within the "medicalization of illness," as is understood through the western cultural norm of somati-cizing medicine. It is not listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed., text revision) (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). In fact, the intersex condition is an explicitly stated contraindication for diagnosis of gender identity disorder. On the other hand, transgenderism is too elusive; it is culture bound, a deviation at a visceral level of gender role "embodiment" (Cassell, 1998), inaccessible, and confounding.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

If Pregnancy Is Something That Frightens You, It's Time To Convert Your Fear Into Joy. Ready To Give Birth To A Child? Is The New Status Hitting Your State Of Mind? Are You Still Scared To Undergo All The Pain That Your Best Friend Underwent Just A Few Days Back? Not Convinced With The Answers Given By The Experts?

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