There is little research into the effect religion may have on the gender assignment of intersex persons. This research addresses that issue, exploring the possible roots of contemporary gender assignment practices in ancient notions of purity and pollution, or purity rules, and argues that such customs or norms influence contemporary perspectives and attitudes surrounding gender identity. This work examines the practice of gender assignment of intersex persons in the “Western” world, along with any and all associated medical procedures and the teaching of gender performance and the adoption of gender performance by the subjects, and suggests that the practice of gender assignment is, in fact, a ritual practice stemming from western notions of purity and pollution surrounding the body, specifically, gender as it relates to the body. Finally, this work concludes that the “Western” notion of purity and pollution which frame the ritual practice of gender assignment, have failed to evolve despite advances in science, psychology and social ethics and thus, this ritual practice needs to be seriously reexamined.
|Advisor:||Stewart, David T.|
|Commitee:||Dahab, Elizabeth, Lowentrout, Peter, Pandya, Sophia|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 55/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Religion, Womens studies, Medical Ethics, Gender studies|
|Keywords:||Gender identity, Gender purity ritual, Intersex, Sexuality|
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