The Turn Inwards

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:
The Turn Inwards

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter covers those case histories in which the sex of self was made into a serious object of psychological-medical investigation for the first time in history. Franz Ludwig von Neugebauer's attempts to find statistical links between a person's own sense of sex and gonadal sex are reported. The chapter then argues that the sex of self appeared as a phantom limb, as the projection of the severed moral and social order of sex on to the screen of an imagined self. The difference between Heinrich Zangger's and Magnus Hirschfeld's way of making the sex of self into an object of enquiry shows a particular aspect of the crucial shift Freudian psychoanalysis entailed. The concept of the subconscious helped psychiatrists to enact a (sex of) self already detached from these. In the case of hermaphrodites, not many physicians proved to have initiated techniques necessary for mapping an interior sex of self.

Keywords: sex of self; Franz Ludwig von Neugebauer; gonadal sex; social order; Heinrich Zangger; Magnus Hirschfeld; Freudian psychoanalysis; hermaphrodites

Chapter.  9478 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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