Books

Books and selected journal articles on intersex issues, including fiction, peer-reviewed papers, and biographies.

Morgan Holmes, “Critical Intersex” (recommended reading)

Morgan Holmes, “Critical Intersex” (recommended reading)

Critical Intersex by Morgan Holmes is not cheap, but it’s a recommended read. From the publishers’ description: To date, intersex studies has not received the scholarly attention it deserves as research in this area has been centred around certain key questions, scholars and geographical regions. Exploring previously neglected territories, this book broadens the scope of…
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Intersex and the Sex Files: good for trans*, bad for intersex

Australian Human Rights Commission: The Sex Files

OII Australia supports trans people in their call for human rights, in the same way we support all LGBTI peoples and other marginalized minorities. Sometimes, however, rights called for by one minority group can disadvantage another unless close strategic alliances are maintained so that proposed changes to the law do not accidentally impinge on rights….
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The Yogyakarta Principles and intersex people

The Yogyakarta Principles

The 2006 Yogyakarta Principles on the application of international human rights law in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity are an important development, primarily furthering the rights of LGBT people, but with a crucial principle of particular interest to intersex people. Principle 1: The Right to the Universal Enjoyment of Human Rights All human…
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Teaching intersex issues

Teaching Intersex Issues

The listed resources are no longer current in this document published by ISNA in 2001, but we highly recommend Teaching intersex issues by Emi Koyama and Dr Lisa Weasel. It contains analysis, guidelines, readings and other resources. The authors present an analysis of self-selected scholars teaching women’s studies, queer studies and related fields in early…
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Kathleen Winter’s book, “Annabel”

Kathleen Winter’s book, “Annabel”

Kathleen Winter’s book is based on a short story originally intended for her collection boYs but rejected because it was too fantastic. Unfortunately, the same can be said of the novel itself. While literary and entertaining for its descriptions of Newfoundland, the lead character shows what happens when a preoccupation with gender dominates at the expense of an understanding of biology.

The New York Times on Cordelia Fine’s “Delusions of Gender”

The New York Times on Cordelia Fine’s “Delusions of Gender”

Cordelia Fine eviscerates popular notions of differences between men and women. This book is highly recommended: “Delusions of Gender” takes on that tricky question, Why exactly are men from Mars and women from Venus?, and eviscerates both the neuroscientists who claim to have found the answers and the popularizers who take their findings and run…
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Alan Berman and Shirleene Robinson, “Speaking Out: Stopping Homophobic and Transphobic Abuse in Queensland”

Alan Berman and Shirleene Robinson, “Speaking Out: Stopping Homophobic and Transphobic Abuse in Queensland”

Alan Berman and Shirleene Robinson have published their book, Speaking Out – Stopping Homophobic and Transphobic Abuse in Queensland: Based on the largest survey of gay, lesbian, bisexual, intersex, transgender and queer reactions to violence and harassment ever undertaken in Australia, this book gives voice to the many victims who have suffered in the state…
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Chris Somers xxy, Tracy Reibel and David Whyatt: Intersex and androgyny and implications for provision of primary health care

Chris Somers xxy, Tracy Reibel and David Whyatt: Intersex and androgyny and implications for provision of primary health care

Chris Somers xxy (vice-president of OII Australia) and colleagues present an analysis of intersex issues for primary healthcare providers. Chris Somers xxy is a national and international intersex activist with a M.Ed. By Research (UWA); concerning Androgyny; B.Ed. (Melb); Hons Dip Creative Photography (Trent Polytechnic now Trent University, UK); who has worked in a number…
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Katrina Karkazis, “Fixing Sex” (recommended reading)

Katrina Karkazis, “Fixing Sex” (recommended reading)

Published in November 2008, Fixing Sex: Intersex, Medical Authority, and Lived Experience by Katrina Karkazis is compelling and recommended reading. Meticulously researched and approachable in style, it presents a historical analysis of the treatment of intersex people, together with an analysis of both current medical practice and the impact on intersex people and our families….
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Karin on “Roberta Cowell’s Story, by Herself”

Karin on “Roberta Cowell’s Story, by Herself”

Karin at OII Australia has obtained a PDF rendition of the autobiography of British intersex woman Roberta Cowell. It was published in the UK in 1954 and has long been out of print. Roberta aka Betty underwent urogenital surgery in the early 1950s. She lived a long life, as a World War II fighter pilot…
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ABC’s First Tuesday Book Club: Alice Pung calls central character in “Middlesex” transgendered

ABC’s First Tuesday Book Club: Alice Pung calls central character in “Middlesex” transgendered

Jeffrey Eugenides’ book Middlesex uses as his central character a person with 5 alpha reductase, one of the many physical differences that can lead to intersex. It’s an award-winning and popular read, even though it contains some inaccuracies about intersex people, misrepresenting 5 alpha reductase as a difference that inevitably leads to male-like physicality and…
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Gerald N. Callahan’s book, “Between XX and XY”

Gerald N. Callahan’s book, “Between XX and XY”

Gerard Callahan’s book makes for good reading. Here are a few short extracts. Boys and girls … two things are clear. First, no one has yet figured out the list of ingredients needed to make a boy or a girl—neither chromosomes, nor hormones, nor genes, nor family or society or chance, alone or in combination,…
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