Chapter

Early Sex Reassignments and the Absence of a Sex of Self

Geertje Mak

in Doubting Sex

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780719086908
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702628 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719086908.003.0003
Early Sex Reassignments and the Absence of a Sex of Self

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This chapter describes the self of hermaphrodites as it appears in cases of sex reassignment following medical examinations. It introduces the historiography of sex and self. It also discusses how the selves of hermaphrodites were envisioned in German and French medical case histories. Dror Wahrman's theory is very helpful in making a distinction between different ways in which the self has been conceptualized throughout history. He shows a distinct shift in the appreciation of women playing men's roles. The self was not conceived of as a distinct entity, but presented in its connection to either the outside world or to the body. Sex is an indication of someone's proper place in society. It is a location and reassigning it uproots a person. It is noted that a reassignment of sex or an annulment of marriage deeply affected the lives of the people involved in hermaphrodite.

Keywords: hermaphrodites; sex reassignment; self; medical case histories; Dror Wahrman

Chapter.  11305 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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