Cultural difference has been largely ignored within bioethics, particularly within the end-of-life discourses and practices that have developed over the past two decades in the U.S. healthcare system. Yet how should culturebe taken into account?
This article examines shifts in the legal, medical, and common-sense logics governing the designation of sex on birth certificates issued by the City of New York between 1965 and 2006. In the initial iteration, the stabilization of legal sex categories was organized around the notion of “fraud”; in the most recent iteration, “permanence” became the measure of authenticity. We frame these legal constructions of sex with theories about the “natural attitude” toward gender.
Medical anatomy is one of the key sites of the scientific production, reproduction and maintenance of sex and gender. Our Human Anatomies Project explores the construction, reconstruction and maintenance of difference in genital anatomies, focusing especially on the clitoris. This article focuses on representations of human genitalia in the form of cyberanatomies - video, CD-ROM and internetbased renderings of human bodies. In cyberspace as elsewhere, the biomedical expert remains the proper and dominant mediator between humans and their own bodies, despite (...) the democratization of knowledges supposedly possible through the Internet. Special attention is given to the specific sites of production and distribution of these different cyberanatomies. Through our review of the globalization of cyberanatomies, we have come to witness the very sedimentation of sex/gender/sexuality in new arenas of representations of human bodies. Western biomedical imperialism and globalization of a standardized (American) body are taken up as core theoretical concerns. (shrink)
This essay looks to the omission of aging queer bodies from new medical technologies of sex. We extend the Foucauldian space of the clinic to the mediascape, a space not only of representations but where the imagination is conditioned and different worlds dreamed into being. We specifically examine the relationship between aging queers and the marketing of technologies of sexual function. We highlight the ways queers are excluded from the spaces of the clinic, specifically the heternormative sexual scripts that organize (...) biomedical care. Finally, using recent zombie theory, we gesture toward both the constraints and possibilities of queer inclusion within the discourses and practices that aim to reanimate sexual function. We suggest that zombies usefully frame extant articulations of aging queers with sex and the dangerous lure of medical treatments that promise revitalized, but normative, sexual function at the cost of other, perhaps queerer intimacies. (shrink)
Safer sex has emerged as a collection of practices and ideas deployed to combat the spread of AIDS. Prevention messages and rituals of safer sex each rely on constructing a potential user's relationship to latex devices. This article is based on an analysis of twenty-seven interviews conducted with people in the sex trade. Since sex workers make it their business to exchange sexual services for economic compensation, many have become extremely sophisticated in their innovations and expressions of eroticism using safer (...) sex techniques. Sex workers are one of a group of key knowledge producers focused on safer sexual practices. Their worlds are metaphoric laboratories for empiri cal studies of emergent sexual practices. This article describes the innovations of the use of technologies of safer sex and the configuration of users. (shrink)