OutCasting Episode 48 – Intersex — part 1

Guests: Georgiann Davis, Ph.D.,  of the University of Nevada Las Vegas; Cary Gabriel Costello, J.D., Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

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Content notice:  This OutCasting series looks at intersex, a term describing people who, in some cases, are born with a mix of male and female body parts.  Our guests, who are both authorities on the subject and intersex themselves, talk about some of these body parts using their proper names.  There is nothing salacious in using these terms in this context, but if hearing them makes you uncomfortable, please enjoy a different edition of OutCasting.


(April 29, 2018)  Most of us are conditioned to think of sex in binary terms — people are either male or female, one or the other.  But nature is rarely if ever binary, and some people are born with a combination of male and female organs, internal and external, and these people are called intersex.  (The term intersex also encompasses other things, such as different ways in which people’s bodies react to hormones.)  People can be intersex without even knowing of it; we recall a story of a man in his seventies who, following abdominal surgery, discovered that he had a uterus and ovaries.



Guests Cary Gabriel Costello and Georgiann Davis


On this edition of OutCasting, we talk with two eminent authorities on intersex who are intersex themselves: Georgiann Davis, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the board president of InterACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth, and Cary Gabriel Costello, Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and the coordinator of the LGBT Studies Program there.  Also see Georgiann's web site and Cary's blog.

On this episode, we look into questions like:  How does the medical profession deal with intersex people?  What kinds of discrimination to intersex people experience?  Is it a medical emergency if a baby is born with intersex traits?  Is it justifiable to perform life-affecting elective surgery on an infant simply to try to eliminate his or her intersex traits?  Can intersex people just be allowed to grow up with their intersex traits intact?  Join us for this fascinating discussion.





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