Metamorfoses van sekse. Hermafroditisme en de verschijning van een 'sekse van het zelf' in operatieve praktijken vanaf het einde van de negentiende eeuw.
According to Stefan Hirschauer, during the
treatment process, transsexualism metamorphoses
from a social conflict between a
person and society about his or her proper
enactment of sex, to a conflict between a
self and a body. Surgery operates as a way
of swearing one’s (initial inappropriate) sex.
In this article, this metamorphosis is analysed
historically in cases of hermaphroditism.
Until about 1900 doubting sex mainly had
affected the hermaphrodite as a person:
as someone inscribed in society through a
name, an outer (physical) appearance, a role,
and a civil status. The trouble was located in
the relation between the person and society,
not in the relation between a body and a self.
With the introduction of surgery and anaesthesia
from about 1900 physical sex could be
sharply distinguished from the person. Mo-
reover, plastic surgery on genitals evoked a
quickly increasing demand of hermaphrodites
to operate on their sex upon their wish. The
emerging frictions between an objectified
physical sex on the one hand and the person
or the wish of the hermaphrodite on the
other, led physicians to treat the person, his
or her consciousness, feelings, emotions and
sexual inclinations as a separate entity. The
sex of self became something doctors started
to take care of and gain competence over.