Meaning, morality, and medically assisted gender crossing

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Abstract

Throughout the last two thirds of the 20th Century, and up to the present, medicine has played a crucial role in the lives of transgender people. Its most conspicuous contributions have been in the use of what today are often called "gender confirmation surgeries" and hormonal interventions. Yet medicine has made at least equally significant conceptual contributions: faced with a phenomenon that has been hard to square with widely accepted truisms about maleness and femaleness, putting "gender identity disorder" or "gender dysphoria" into the nosology has provided ways of thinking about transgender that have been useful to both transgender and non transgender people. Increasingly transgender people have challenged these medical understandings. In this presentation, I examine what it might mean for medicine to assist gender crossing, not under the rubric of a diagnostic category, but guided by understandings of gender and transgender negotiated with those requesting its help.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016; noon to 1 p.m.; Room D1.602. "Meaning, Morality, and Medically Assisted Gender Crossing". Jamie Lindemann Nelson, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy, Faculty Associate, Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences, Michigan State University.

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