Extreme confusion about gender identity

Intersexuality and inter *. The compulsion of a clear gender identity within the bisexual norm

Table of Contents

1 Introduction

2 main part
2.1 Intersexuality
2.1.1 Conceptual approximation
2.2 Compulsion to choose a gender - why?
2.2.1 Bisexual norm
2.2.2 Heteronormativity
2.3 Standards
2.3.1 A conceptual approximation
2.4 Norms and Power or Power of Norms?
2.4.1 Power and Inter *
2.5 Alignment with the social norm
2.5.1 The power of definition of medicine
2.5.1.1 Legal implications of the medical power of definition
2.5.1.2 Physical effects of the medical power of definition
2.5.2 Effects of gender allocation measures on affected inter * persons
2.6 Parents of inter * persons
2.6.1 Parents' interest in the gender of their children being unambiguous
2.6.2 Recognition as an ethical frame of reference for decision-making processes

3. Conclusion

bibliography

1 Introduction

We live in a society in which gender only seems to exist in the form of female and male. For many people it is therefore still difficult to understand and accept that apart from this bisexual norm there is a variety of gender identities that are presented in the most varied of ways. Inter *1 Among other things, people embody this diversity. If a child is born with a gender that is ambiguous in the medical sense, doctors and parents are usually confronted with feelings of confusion and insecurity. The consequences for inter * persons from these insecurities are mostly characterized by serious experiences of sadness. This was shown, among other things, by the statement of the German Ethics Council in 20122, in the context of which inter * people were asked about their situation in life and their satisfaction with it. Many inter * people were and continue to be confronted with gender-reassigning operations and measures immediately after birth and throughout their entire childhood. These usually have severe physical and psychological effects and still affect the quality of life of adult inter * people to this day. The ambiguity of the child's gender identity is also often a major burden for parents. Although it is no longer necessary to assign a child to a gender directly after birth since 2013, this presents parents with new challenges and does not change anything that goes with them Uncertainty. They are confronted with social structures in which people who are outside of a bisexual norm have to deal with many obstacles and disadvantages. Within the present work, therefore, the question of support processes for parents of inter * children should be investigated, as well as for affected adult inter * persons who help to impart knowledge and to reduce fears and excessive demands. First of all, the term “Intersexuality” explains and viewed critically. Building on this, the effect and power of the bisexual norm are examined and critically questioned. In the further course, the gender assignment measures practiced up to now are critically questioned and their effects are shown. The last chapter then deals specifically with the problems faced by parents and derives from recognition-theoretical reference points, possibilities and assistance for these.

2 main part

2.1 Intersexuality

2.1.1 Conceptual approximation

Due to the increasing public and political activities of people who find themselves beyond the binary gender system, there has been an increasing discussion of individual terms and self-designations in recent years. Various self-help organizations have also increasingly campaigned for the rights of people who find themselves outside of heteronormative gender norms in recent years. Within this discourse, various definitions and self-definitions for the topic of intersexuality and the associated identity formation were worked out, which are now briefly presented below.

The not undisputed concept of intersexuality first of all describes the biological peculiarities of gender differentiation. The LSBTTIQ Baden-Württemberg network3 defines intersexuality as the natural expression of gender diversity within our society. People whose bodies move in a spectrum between the predominant gender affiliations (female and male) describe themselves as intersexual4. Increasingly, people are resisting the pathologizing background that is inherent in it. Hence they interpret the term intersex for themselves and thus create a positive identity category. In this context, people often choose the designation of the intersexual woman or the intersexual man, but without adopting the pathological meaning. The term is thus removed from its original meaning as a disease and becomes a gender or identity designation (cf. Lang 2006 p.153).

Inter * persons cannot be clearly assigned to one of the two predominant genders, i.e. women or men. This can have different forms and reasons.5 Inter * people's bodies show similarities with both sexes. This can be expressed through external features such as the development of breasts in people who are perceived as male. Genitalia declared as female (vagina, uterus, etc.) as well as chromosome sets, hormone production and gonads can also indicate a multiple sex. In medicine, the term “Disorder in Sex Development”, or DSD for short, is becoming increasingly established. However, this is rejected by inter * people as well as various organizations and self-help groups, as it contains a further pathologization that leads to confusion, ambiguity and fears in those affected and their relatives rather than reducing them.6

Inter * bodies indicate that gender is to be understood as a continuum and cannot be seen as bipolar. The categories Mrs and man are only two of the many possible genders (cf. Lang 2006, p. 154).

Gender cannot therefore be seen as a bipolar fact from which naturalistic thoughts and behaviors can be derived. Rather, a variety of possible manifestations and patterns of interpretation as well as self-determined identity formations can be observed here, to which recognition must be witnessed. Many people who are born as inter * people are confronted with instruments of pathology from birth which, among other things, can have severe psychological effects on the formation of their identity. The range of syndromes that medicine has defined for the recognition and classification of intersexuality is extremely large and cannot be discussed in more depth in the context of this work. However, it mainly serves to declare Inter * as a disease or symptom that requires appropriate treatments and corrections.7 Medicine appears here as a hegemonic power of interpretation, which thus takes on the interpretation of inter * bodies for inter * persons and / or their parents (cf. Lang 2006, p.144).

Which designation people choose for themselves as an identity category is entirely up to their discretion and their self-definition (cf. Lang 2006, p. 144). These are also changeable and can be renegotiated and accepted over time. This mostly arises in the confrontation with other affected persons and through the stimulation of various discourses, which can have a supportive effect in the self-interpretation and development of collective identities (cf. Lang 2006, p.145).

In spite of these facts, people who have sex characteristics of both predominant genders have been and still are confronted with the decision for one of these mostly in early childhood. In the following, an attempt will be made to present possible reasons for this compulsion to be unambiguous.

2.2 Compulsion to choose a gender - why?

Current research and more recent studies as well as various statements and demands from affected associations show that medical treatment is only necessary in very rare cases. In individual cases there may be life-threatening side effects that actually trigger the need for medical action. However, they do not give a reason for the clear assignment to the female or male gender. Rather, medicine, and often also the decision-making parents, is concerned here with an adjustment to the social norm. This standard is to be presented in more detail in the following chapter (cf. Voss 2012, p. 5).

2.2.1 Bisexual norm

Our modern society is characterized by a binary gender system. Many things that affect our everyday life are regulated by clear gender assignments and embedded in what appears to be an orientation framework. In the public and also in the political arena, we usually see ourselves confronted with different manifestations of this. In some areas we can perceive a binary gender system very clearly, for example in toilets in public spaces, which are usually still clearly divided into men and women, or in German marriage law, in which men and women are clearly spoken of as spouses and this connection is accorded special protection.8 The gender system is also divided into a binary gender order. The social possibilities of women and men differ, among other things, in the choice of profession, its exercise and also in the payment. Even if, through various emancipatory struggles today, we speak of equal rights for women and men in some areas, women are still very often affected by practices of discrimination and disadvantage, purely because of their being a woman.9

In a society in which such practices prevail and therefore no de facto equality can be identified, the gender to which a person is assigned gains considerable importance (cf. Voss 2012, p. 24). Which gender people belong to or are assigned to has social relevance and is seen by many people as a norm that is also reflected in German legislation and can thus become effective. Ambiguities therefore lead to a disruption of a social norm and are therefore considered to be in need of correction. In times in which classic gender roles are increasingly dissolving, sexuality no longer relates only to a desire between women and men and gender identity is freely selectable, the assumption of biological bisexuality represents a final anchor point for our occidental gender model (cf. Lang 2006 , P.44). Within modern gender research, Judith Butler in particular gave rise to the concept of Heteronormativity10 which, among other things, describes and analyzes a bisexual, heterosexual norm in more detail.

2.2.2 Heteronormativity

The term Heteronormativity tries to describe the binary gender system mentioned above as a system that only accepts two genders and equates gender with gender identity, gender role and sexual orientation; always in relation to the basic units of women and men. Thus, a seemingly natural norm is created here, in which apart from being a woman and being a man and their sexual relationship to one another, there can be no room for anything else. All forms of apparently different gender identity or even sexual orientations are perceived as breaking the norm and thus as abnormal (cf. Degele 2008, p. 88). Heteronormativity refers to thought structures, institutions and patterns of perception that stylize heterosexuality into a norm and assign it a privileged position.

Heteronormativity is the result of social normalization processes that naturalize bisexuality and heterosexuality and thus start from the fact that an ambiguous gender or another sexual orientation represents a deviation from natural behavior that needs to be treated and remedied. This is usually justified with human reproduction, which could not be guaranteed by homosexuality and therefore cannot be natural (cf. Degele 2008, p. 89).

Heteronormativity can also be seen as an internalized society, since heteronormative patterns of action and thought need by no means be in the consciousness of those involved. They function rather covertly and often unquestioned, which is why they are difficult to break through (cf. Degele 2008, p. 89).

Due to their deep anchoring in social structures, politics and jurisprudence up to commercialization in the form of gender-specific advertising products and also children's toys, heteronormative thought structures and patterns of action have a great impact and

Degele 2008, p. 88: "Heteronormativity is a binary, bisexual and heterosexually organized and organizing scheme of perception, action and thought which, as a fundamental social institution, contributes or reduces complexity by naturalizing heterosexuality and bisexuality. should contribute. ”can be viewed as hegemonic. The hegemony of the bisexual norm refers, among other things, to a connection between gender and power. But how do such effective norms and associated power structures come about within a society? How can these be effective and who determines and reproduces them? The following section aims to show how social and cultural norms arise and what effects they can have on social processes and also on individuals. First is the term Norms illuminated in more detail to then go into their power. The concept of power according to Foucault will also be briefly presented.

2.3 Standards

2.3.1 A conceptual approximation

Norms are part of our coexistence and interpersonal interaction. They are made by people and derived from values ​​that apply within a society or between individual groups and individuals. They serve to establish rules for behavior that can be considered appropriate and socially acceptable in certain situations. They can therefore provide relief, since we orient our behavior and decisions that we have to make to them and do not have to continually make new decisions. Standards are obligatory, even if they do not necessarily have to be adhered to (cf. Franzke; Unterlinner 2007, p. 7ff). Within a society there are norms, non-compliance with which is accompanied by severe sanctions. In our society, for example, murder would be a violation of an applicable norm that provides for criminal prosecution and a corresponding sanction under applicable law. This example clearly shows how a norm was derived (no person may kill another) based on certain values ​​(human dignity, right to physical integrity, etc.) and how this has become institutionalized by being enshrined in applicable law . However, norms and values ​​can be changed and are tied to social change (cf. Franzke; Unterlinner 2007, p. 7ff). Exceeding or not complying with certain norms, which individual groups (often minorities) view as obstructive, outdated or discriminatory, can lead to social change.

[...]



1 See www.transmann.de/trans-intersex-informationen/intersex-informationen#Definition: The term intersexuality is often associated with the sexual orientation of a person due to the ending "--sexuality", which leads to a wrong association . To avoid this, the term "Inter *" is used. The asterisk stands for all other possible word endings that people can choose for themselves. This form is therefore also used in this work when it comes to the designation of people. [07/19/15]

2 German Ethics Council: Statement on intersexuality., Berlin, 2012. Available at: www.ethikrat.org/daten/pdf/stellungnahme-intersexualitaet.pdf, [26.07.15]

3 See www.netzwerk-lsbttiq.net: is a non-partisan and ideologically not bound association of lesbian-gay-bisexual-transsexual-transgender-intersexual and queer (LGBTTIQ) groups, associations and initiatives. The aim is to promote the cooperation of the various LGBTTIQ member groups at the state level and to intensify the exchange of experiences, to develop joint positions on central issues and to represent them to decision-makers in the state.

4 Available at: http://www.netzwerk-lsbttiq.net/index.php/lsbttiq#Intersexuell [07/24/15]

5 See www.transmann.de/trans-intersex-informationen/intersex-informationen#Definition, [07/19/15]

6 See.www.intersexuelle-menschen.net/intersexualitaet/ [07/20/2015]

7 See www.dgti.org/intersexualitaet. Here is a table in which the individual symptoms are listed. Sources: Großer Brockhaus, Tuirner Syndrom e.V., NümbrechtAIS, SHG Bremen / Hamburg, Onan's children, Abadi Verlag, 2000, AGGPG Bremen, dgti e.V., Cologne - Trier [07/24/15]

8 See www.bmjv.de/SharedDocs/Downloads/DE/Broschueren/DE/Das_Eherecht.html: Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection Department for Public Relations; Internet, Berlin, 2014: "The marriage law" [07/24/15]

9 e.g. career choice, payment and recognition within gainful employment, raising children, household tasks, etc.

End of the reading sample from 23 pages