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DSD Debates: Social Movement Organizations’ Framing Disputes Surrounding the Term ‘Disor... - page 6 / 21





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interacting with medical practitioners and maintaining their function as a support group. This is an approach that works from the inside (by working with medical practitioners) and works directly with those affected by medical practice (by maintaining the support aspect). AISSGUK approaches the discourse from the evolutionary perspective to alter medicalization but also maintains a focus on working with and gaining input from individuals who have been intersexualized. OII proposes the largest shift in thinking surrounding intersex and argues that intersex should be de-medicalized. The SMO argues that by grouping all intersex conditions together under one moniker the focus is on gender and the regulation of non-normative gender. The SMO uses the language of ‘discourse’ and ‘norms’ on its site, making such statements as, “Medical, legal, and religious discourse controls our lives in ways that other people with bodies that do not meet norms do not face” (Hinkle 2005). The group also discusses how medical practitioners working on intersex are part of a larger social discourse on gender/sexuality. The group’s website includes the statement, “It is only natural that the medical profession would see one of its duties as being to correct what to them appears to be abnormal, because this is part of their professional training” (OIIb). OII rejects the terms ‘intersex’, ‘hermaphrodite’, and ‘DSD’ as catch-all terms for medical conditions that involve sexual ambiguity. They suggest, rather, a shift toward the specific health needs of individuals. OII can thus be conceptualized as engaging with the discourse from a revolutionary perspective, that of the de-medicalization of intersex. All of the SMOs are concerned with changes in treatment surrounding diagnoses of intersexuality but attempt to affect change through different routes, or different points of engagement with the discourse. These evolutionary or revolutionary different points of engagement can lead to large divergences in relation to specific issues, in this case terminology. The different points of engagement have led to intense debates over the proposed ‘DSD’ terminology.


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