Intersexuality and sexual rights in southern Brazil

Case Studies & Research
15 p.
Periodical title
Culture, Health and Sexuality, 11 (3)

This paper reports of the socio‐medical management of intersexuality in a teaching hospital in southern Brazil. Findings reveal that the ‘search for sex’ in the body treats sex as a medical‐diagnostic category constructed during decision‐making negotiations. In the course of the various bodily ‘regulations’ and ‘corrections’ imposed, the insufficiency of a model in which categories are based around a sexual dichotomy is revealed. By questioning this dichotomy, it is possible to examine theoretical and ethical limits circumscribing the field of bioethics and the notion of sexual rights as human rights. The paper also explores the tensions that can arise from the application of sexual rights to health issues in general, and the medical sphere in particular.

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