Mainstream Fictional Depictions of Intersex Experience: Representations and Real Lives

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Lee, Jenny ORCID: 0000-0002-5383-694X (2011) Mainstream Fictional Depictions of Intersex Experience: Representations and Real Lives. International Journal of the Humanities, 8 (11). pp. 169-184. ISSN 1447-9508


This paper presents a range of similar experiences that relate to the lives of intersex people. These experiences often include non-disclosure by medical professionals and parents about their intersex diagnosis, supposedly to facilitate the child's acceptance of their assigned sex. In the past, medical professionals have often only disclosed part of the diagnosis to parents, so it is difficult for parents to have the information they need to inform their children about their intersex condition. This paper moves the discussion from this common intersex narrative to discuss the depictions of intersex characters in mainstream contemporary fictional accounts. Some fictional depictions of intersex characters include the issue of non-disclosure in the narrative, others depict very rare intersex conditions, and others present an alternative and preferred method for medical professionals to manage intersex births. It is argued that narratives that reflect the experiences of the majority of intersex people are needed, to authentically mirror their lives. These narratives are needed in order to challenge the taboos associated with this topic and to increase understanding about the issues.

Item type Article
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Communication and the Arts
Historical > FOR Classification > 2001 Communication and Media Studies
Historical > SEO Classification > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture
Keywords ResPubID21101, ResPubID23679, intersex, gender, sexuality, sex, medical ethics, fiction, film, television, memoir, real lives
Citations in Scopus 1 - View on Scopus
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