Gender Binary In Sexing The Body

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The gender binary is the reduction of gender into strictly a male or female identity. However, gender is a spectrum and is not limited to two options. The binary is an “effect of a […] taxonomic gender process that perpetually re-sorts (and reinterprets) all complex gender operations […] back into comprehensible dual alignment of bodies” (Roof 3). Individuals who cannot conform to the two categories are oppressed and ostracized. Similarly, a sexual dimorphic system is the regulation of two body types, masculine and feminine, based on genital anatomy and secondary sexual characteristics; it therefore becomes a technology for heterosexual reproduction because biological bodies “must” align with the sexual binary to be acknowledged (Preciado…show more content…
Though Money argues that intersexual individuals face contradictions between their feminine and masculine identities that should be dangerous to their mental health (333), he provides no evidence for a valid argument. In reaction to Money’s statement, Anne Fausto-Sterling in her book, Sexing the Body, redefines infant genital surgery as “cosmetic surgery performed to achieve a social result—reshaping a sexually ambiguous body so that it conforms to our two-sex system” (80). With special emphasis on the cosmetic, not medical, pressure for the surgery, Fausto-Sterling builds confidence in her argument by analyzing multiple studies on both sides of the debate. Surgeries for clitoroplasty or vaginoplasty that reinforced an alignment between gender and sexes were considered successful only if the criteria were based on cosmetic results rather than mental health or wellbeing (82-83, 88-91). In contrast, individuals who were raised as either female or male with unusual genitalia demonstrated a healthy psychological profile, even those whose sex of rearing differed from their sex of choice (96-100, 102-106). Though there is strong scientific evidence that disproves Money’s work, the multiormphic sytem threatens the gender and sexual binary…show more content…
Sexual dimorphism, according to Preciado, is the regulation of masculine and feminine sex assignment constructed on visual criteria of reproductive genitals (102). Because intersex infants have criteria of both masculine and feminine genitals, Money stressed the importance of sex reassignment surgery so that the infants can be reared in compliance with a sexual dimorphic society. He claimed that infants have malleable gender, which can be shaped by extrinsic social cues and a gender-specific upbringing. His “seemingly solid” theory of gender plasticity is advertised as “a relatively simple surgical solution to one of the most vexing and emotionally fraught conundrums in medicine: how to deal with the birth of an intersexual child” (Colapinto Chapter 2). Colapinto’s diction indicates how clinical applications of sexology during the 1960s were not evaluated for their effectiveness and validity, but rather for their endorsement of a dimorphic understanding of sex. Cultural emphasis on dimorphism was an attempt to regulate gender and sexuality for simplicity and tradition. Confronted with the “infinite variability of bodies and desire” (Preciado 105) that opposed the dimorphic gender binary, the traditional system of epistemology is
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