Situating Bio-Logic, Refiguring Sex: Intersexuality and Coloniality

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The entrance of ‘monstrosities’ into medicine aided the consolidation of medical authority, especially in the realm of obstetrics and gynecology, fields concerning women’s bodies, and specifically the occasion of childbirth, that had been formerly conceptualized as the realm of midwives. The affront to the authority of midwives offered by medical men was undoubtedly strengthened by the rise of the study of intersexuality. Lacqueur references pre-Enlightenment gender organization as a situation where the discussions of sex and gender seemed to operate by an inversion of ‘modern’ colonial logic: sex, or the body, understood as the epiphenomenon, while gender, what people take as a cultural category, was primary or ‘real’. This ‘circle of meanings’ with no discrete foundation, so dissimilar from the ‘ontological granite’ provided by Enlightenment bio-logic, elicits a specifically praxical basis for understanding sex difference: constituted not so much as what one is, but by what one does.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCritical Intersex
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781317157304
ISBN (Print)9781315575018
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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