Bodily Integrity and the Surgical Management of Intersex

Grabham, Emily (2012) Bodily Integrity and the Surgical Management of Intersex. Body and Society, 18 (2). pp. 1-26. ISSN 1357-034X . (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Surgeries inevitably raise questions of bodily integrity: how the post-surgical body reframes (or does not reframe) its experiences of functionality to incorporate new features. Nevertheless, when we try to define or delimit the concept of bodily integrity, it becomes increasingly important to think about how the physical and social unease caused by some forms of surgeries sits alongside the more transformative potential of surgical bodily modification. This article focuses on aesthetic genital surgeries on infants with disorders of sex development (DSD, previously termed 'intersex' conditions). Using the work of Pierre Bourdieu and Elizabeth Freeman on time, bodies and 'chrononormativity', this article excavates not only the temporalities that produce what I would term 'chrono-abnormalities' of sex development, but also the temporalized medical responses, including surgeries, which retrieve 'abnormal' bodies into more normative time-lines. My conclusion is that when DSD-affected individuals experience aesthetic genital surgeries as painful and full of social unease this is not necessarily because the pre-surgical body was the 'natural', 'whole' or 'intact' body prior to surgery. Instead, it is because these surgeries interrupt what Bourdieu would term a sense of corporeal 'immersion into the forthcoming'; an immersion which, in his theory of time as social action, is intimately linked with social power and possibilities.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: bodily integrity; Bourdieu; chrononormativity; Freeman; intersex; prosthesis; surgery; temporality; time
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Law School
Depositing User: Jenny Harmer
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2012 10:48
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2013 16:43
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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