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The Picture of HealthMedical Ethics and the Movies$
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Henri Colt, Silvia Quadrelli, and Friedman Lester

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199735365

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199735365.001.0001

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coming of age with intersex

coming of age with intersex


(p.372) 9 coming of age with intersex
The Picture of Health

elizabeth reis

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the intersex condition as seen in the film XXY (2007). The film tells the story of 15-year-old Alex and her parents as they confront Alex's intersex condition. Intersex used to be called hermaphroditism and lately has been renamed disorders of sex development (DSD) in medical circles; it is an umbrella term that describes incongruity between external genitalia, internal reproductive anatomy, hormonal levels, and chromosomes. Alex's family face with the following questions about her identity: Is Alex a girl or a boy? Is she sexually attracted to girls or boys? Throughout XXY, Alex takes steps to evade further medicalization of any sort and begins to decide for herself not only her sexual identity but her gender identity as well.

Keywords:   XXY, intersex condition, hermaphroditism, disorders of sex development, bioethics, sexual identity, gender identity

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