The Epistemic Injustice Expressed in “Normalizing” Surgery on Children with Intersex Traits

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Renata Ziemińska
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4403-0987

Abstract

I present the notion of epistemic injustice coined by Miranda Fricker and apply it to the situation of people with intersex traits, especially intersex children who are the subjects of “normalizing” surgery. Several studies from Polish hospitals show that both early “normalizing” surgery and the decision to postpone such surgery can result in harm to an intersex child. For this reason, I claim that “normalizing” surgery is only an expression of the epistemic hermeneutical injustice existing before the surgery and that its source is the lack of an empirically adequate notion of sex characteristics. The binary notion is too simple to grasp intersex traits, and this epistemic dysfunction turns into practical harm. In contrast to Morgan Carpenter, I defend the nonbinary gender category as being important to limiting “normalizing” surgery.

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How to Cite
ZIEMIŃSKA, R. The Epistemic Injustice Expressed in “Normalizing” Surgery on Children with Intersex Traits. Diametros, p. 1-14, 9 Jun. 2020.
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Articles
Author Biography

Renata Ziemińska, University of Szczecin

Instytut Filozofii Uniwersytetu Szczecińskiego, profesor
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