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The doctor will fix everything : intersexuality in contemporary culture

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The doctor will fix everything : intersexuality in contemporary culture

LeFay Holmes, Michelle Morgan (2000) The doctor will fix everything : intersexuality in contemporary culture. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This dissertation, The Doctor will Fix Everything: Intersexuality in Contemporary Culture , authored by Michelle Morgan LeFay Holmes, is submitted in partial fulfillment of the doctoral degree in Interdisciplinary Humanities. Using an interdisciplinary approach, this work examines the development of diagnosis and treatment of "intersexuality". I argue that intersexuality is not a medical condition per se , and that standard treatments contravene the ethical and legal standards regarding the treatment and care of minors. I situate medical discourse, fiction and (auto)biography as forms of narrative within a contemporary culture, and I examine how each narrative form respectively creates and contests what it means to be "intersexed". Various representations of intersexuality interest me for their ability to shape the category. This dissertation sets out to demonstrate that the scientific narratives are no less cultural products than are fictional and personal accounts, and argues that scientific texts are merely specific forms of cultural product. Therefore, I do not structure scientific or medical texts as opposites of personal or fictional ones. Instead, I read each for the ways in which it structures what is possible, knowable, and true about sex, gender and sexuality. This dissertation weighs the narratives of intersexuals against these cultural and scientific representations to contest standard beliefs and mythological stories about hermaphroditism. The work begins with a historical perspective, moves through narrative and cultural analysis and ends with an ethical discussion of current treatment standards. A glossary follows the bibliography.

Divisions:Concordia University > School of Graduate Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:LeFay Holmes, Michelle Morgan
Pagination:vi, 254 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (Ph.D.)
Program:School of Graduate Studies
Date:2000
Thesis Supervisor(s):Holmes, David
ID Code:1076
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:16
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:18
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