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DSD Debates: Social Movement Organizations’ Framing Disputes Surrounding the Term ‘Disor... - page 10 / 21





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identify positions in relation to the discourse, and texts regarding terminology of DSD specifically have been used for the analysis of the framing disputes.

Diagnostic Frame Disputes

Diagnostic frame disputes revolve around the conceptualization each SMO has of the problems that need to be addressed regarding intersex. Interestingly, all three SMOs state similar goals: removing the focus on gender and shifting the focus to health needs. The language, or codes, used in the process of attaining these goals, however, raises points of contention between the SMOs. ISNA/Accord wants medical practitioners to, “move away from the almost exclusive focus on gender and genitals to the real medical problems” (ISNAb). In attempting to make changes from within the medical realm ISNA/Accord has found the term ‘intersex’ to be problematic. Excerpts from the materials on ISNA/Accord’s website relating to the 2006 GLMA Conference, conceptualize ‘intersex’ as “a vague term”, a term with “a political meaning and history”, and a term that “labels a person.” (ISNA 2008; 46). Another excerpt includes the statement, “Parents whose children were casually exposed to the term ‘intersex’ found the word disturbing, damaging, and ‘brutal’ in one mother’s words” (ISNA 2008; 47). The diagnostic frame of ISNA/Accord that has been presented is that the term ‘intersex’ has problematic connotations for doctors and parents that interfere with its goals of shifting the focus to ‘the real medical problems.’ AISSGUK also wishes to de-emphasize gender, explaining on its site, “We are constantly trying to get away from the idea that intersex is necessarily to do with gender identity” (AISSG 2008c). Also on their website the terms ‘true hermaphrodite’, ‘male pseudo- hermaphrodite’, and ‘female pseudo-hermaphrodite’ are said to be ‘archaic.’ Further on the same page it is written, “The archaic terms have been much criticized by patients as being stigmatizing and out of date” (AISSG 2008c). The term ‘intersex’ is also found to be problematic, because of “the automatic association of the word ‘intersex’ with


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