Intersex Activists in Israel: Their Achievements and the Obstacles They Face
- 142 Downloads
This article focuses on the dynamic between the medical policy on intersex bodies and intersex activists in Israel. Recently, in many countries changes have taken place in medical guidelines regarding intersex patients and laws that regulate medical practices and prohibit irreversible surgeries for intersex babies for cosmetic reasons and without the patient’s consent. In Israel, intersex activists are limited by several factors. On the one hand, they are influenced by the achievements of intersex activism around the world but on the other, the pathologizing medical discourse and socio-medical practices, which include early diagnosis, early irreversible surgeries, and secrecy surrounding intersexed bodies, present obstacles to achieving bodily autonomy for intersex individuals and social recognition of different sex development. Nevertheless, intersex activists are attempting to find different social and media spaces in which to achieve public acknowledgement and future bodily autonomy for intersexed people and seeking medical professionals’ cooperation. Recently, the Israeli Ministry of Health published a new circular for intersex/DSD patients, and while it does not clearly forbid irreversible surgeries, it provides information about the complexities of intersex people and their experience.
KeywordsIntersex bodies Intersex activists Bodily autonomy Socio-medical practices Israel
- ––––. 2003. What is the agenda of the intersex patient advocacy movement? The Endocrinologist 13(3): 240–242.Google Scholar
- ––––. 2004. Long-term outcome of feminization surgery: The London experience. British Journal of Urology International 93(3): 44–46.Google Scholar
- Davis, G. 2015. Contesting intersex: The dubious diagnosis. New York and London: New York University Press.Google Scholar
- Dreger, A.D. 1998. Hermaphrodites and the medical invention of sex. Cambridge, and London: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Dreger, A.D. (ed). 1999. Intersex in the age of ethics. Hagerstown, MD: University Publishing Group.Google Scholar
- Elders, M.J., D. Satcher, and R. Carmona. 2017. Re-thinking genital surgeries on intersex infants. Palm Center Blueprints for Sound Public Policy. http://www.palmcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Re-Thinking-Genital-Surgeries-1.pdf. Accessed July 30, 2017.
- Feder, E.K. 2014. Making sense of intersex: Changing ethical perspectives in bio-medicine. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
- Foucault, M. 1973. The birth of the clinic: An archaeology of medical perception. New York: Pantheon Books.Google Scholar
- ––––. 1990. The history of sexuality. New York: Vintage.Google Scholar
- ––––. 1995. Discipline and punishment: The birth of the prison. New York: Vintage.Google Scholar
- Guilbert, K. 2018. Portugal approves law to boost transgender rights, protect intersex infants. Reuters, April 14. https://www.reuters.com/article/portugal-lgbt-lawmaking/portugal-approves-law-to-boost-transgender-rights-protect-intersex-infants-idUSL1N1RQ0ZP. Accessed July 27, 2018.
- Hashiloni-Dolev, Y. 2007. A life (un)worthy of living: Reproductive genetics in Israel and Germany. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
- Holmes, M. 2008a. Intersex: A perilous difference. Selinsgrove: Susquehanna University Press.Google Scholar
- ––––. 2008b. Mind the gaps: Intersex and (re-productive) spaces in disability studies and bioethics. Bioethical Inquiry 5(2/3): 169–181.Google Scholar
- Holmes, M., ed. 2009. Critical intersex. Surrey: Ashgate.Google Scholar
- Kasher, R. 2017. Second thoughts on circumcision. Herzliya: Niv Books (Hebrew).Google Scholar
- Kessler, S.J. 1998. Lessons from the intersexed. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
- Krege, S., K.H. Walz, B.P. Hauffa, I.K. Örner, and H. Rubben. 2000. Long-term follow-up of female patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia from 21-hydroxylase deficiency, with special emphasis on the results of vaginoplasty. British Journal of Urology International 86(3): 253–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Lee, P.A., P.H. Christopher, S.A. Faisal, and A.H. Leuan. 2006. Consensus statement on management of intersex disorders. Pediatrics 118(2): 488–500.Google Scholar
- Liao, L.M. 2006. Psychology and clinical management of vaginal hypoplasia. In Ethics and intersex, edited by S.E. Sytsma, 225–240. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
- Meoded Danon, L. 2014. What kind of body? The effects of the MinGuf process on intersex peoples’ lives. Tel Aviv: Resling (Hebrew).Google Scholar
- ––––. 2015. The body/secret dynamic: Life experiences of intersexed people in Israel. Sage Open 5(2): 1–13.Google Scholar
- Minto, C.L., L.M. Liao, C.R. Woodhouse, P.G., Ransley, and S.M. Creighton. 2003. The effect of clitoral surgery on sexual outcome in individuals who have intersex conditions with ambiguous genitalia: A cross-sectional study. The Lancet 361(9365): 1252–1257.Google Scholar
- ––––. 2009. What can queer theory do for intersex? GLQ: : A Journal of Lesbians and Gay Studies 15(2): 285–312.Google Scholar
- OII Intersex Network. 2018. Welcome [webpage]. http://Oiiinternational.com. Accessed July 27, 2018.
- Preves, S.E. 2003. Intersex and identity: The contested self. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
- Shalev, C., and S. Gooldin. 2006. The uses and misuses of in vitro fertilization in Israel: Some sociological and ethical considerations. Nashim: A Journal of Women’s Studies and Gender Issues 12(1): 151–176.Google Scholar
- Spurgas, A. 2009. )Un)Queering identity: The biosocial production of Intersex/DSD. In Critical Intersex, edited by M. Holmes, 97–122. Surrey, Burlington: Ashgate.Google Scholar
- Sytsma, S.E., ed. 2006. Ethics and intersex. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar