Sex Determination: An Exercise of Aesthetic Consciousness | Intersex , an Emerging Possibility

Understanding aesthetic consciousness as a phenomenon that limits emerging possibility, this work aims to expose the artifice of the binary conception of biological sex as being reductive and harmful. This paper first turns its attention to the issue of sex determination. The process of assigning male or female at birth poses a problem for infants who do not fit into either category. Intersex is a term that encompasses a host of variations of chromosomal, hormonal, or anatomical patterns that do not clearly fit into the binary notions of male or female. The modern practice of sex determination, based on the “optimum gender of rearing” model, encourages surgical intervention to assimilate the intersex child to their assigned gender (Grayling 2008:48). In favor of conforming infants to a societal standard, parts of their bodies are removed without consent, and they are often later led to believe that the way their bodies naturally manifest is shameful and wrong. By exploring the human body through various frameworks as being unlimited in expression—as opposed to correcting ‘errant’ bodies from a traditional dichotomy—this work seeks not only to reveal the problems created by a socially informed clinical approach, but a solution through ontological praxis.

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Candex Louie