Putting the ethical tools of philosophy to work, Ellen K. Feder seeks to clarify how we should understand "the problem" of intersex. Adults often report that medical interventions they underwent as children to "correct" atypical sex anatomies caused them physical and psychological harm. Proposing a philosophical framework for the treatment of children with intersex conditions-one that acknowledges the intertwined identities of parents, children, and their doctors-Feder presents a persuasive moral argument for collective responsibility to these children and their families.
Introduction. Disciplinary Limits: Philosophy, Bioethics, and the Medical Management of Atypical Sex1. The Trouble with Intersex: History Lessons2. "In Their Best Interests": Parents' Experience of Atypical Sex Anatomy in Children3. Tilting the Ethical Lens: Shame, Disgust, and the Body in Question4. Reassigning Ambiguity: Parental Decisions and the Matter of Harm5. A Question of Ethics as/or a Question of Culture: The Problem of What Is and What Ought to Be6. Neutralizing Morality: Nondirective Counseling of Parents of Children with Intersex Conditions, 2006-7. Practicing Virtue: A Parental Duty8. Protecting Vulnerability: An Imperative of CareConclusion. Lessons from PhysiciansNotesReferencesIndex