Dana Aliza Levy: "Conceptions and Perceptions of Human Difference: Albinos and Hermaphrodites in the Enlightenment" (Bachelor Thesis, 2012)    >>> Fulltext PDF
W A R N I N G : 
The thesis uses pathologising and demeaning language to describe intersex variations troughout, i.e. not only when quoting sources. In the following excerpts, pathologising expressions (with exception of direct or indirect quotes) have been replaced by [variations]:

The myth of Hermaphroditus lasted through the eighteenth century and as a result, the very existence of the hermaphrodite was more heavily debated than the origin of the [variation]. (p 94)

Buffon and De Pauw believed the rise of hermaphrodites was a natural occurrence resulting from excessive heat in climactic conditions and so they maintained that the hermaphrodite was a problem localized to warmer climates – specifically Africa and Asia. (p 108)

This effort aimed to regionalize hermaphroditism as a problem to the other (warm) regions of the world, where Buffon had successfully deemed the natives uncivilized, barbaric, and flawed as compared to Europeans. (p 96)

Michael-Anne chose to continue to live her life as a female. Jaucourt, the philosopher, wished to truly examine her genitalia and dictate the sex as which she should lead her life. Yet, her parents’ refusal to concede to a formal medical examination to assign her a sex troubled Jaucourt’s quest […] (p 100)

Although his discourse was initially somewhat scientific, Jaucourt subjectively cast the female hermaphrodite into a sexualized role. Almost by rule, in his opinion, there were hermaphrodites in Angola who possessed an enlarged clitoris and on their own volition asked others to remove it and enlarge their vaginal canal to better suit their male lovers. [212] Already embodying an excess of sexual genitalia, the notion that these women intended to alter their body for pure sexual gratification – whether it was for themselves or their mates—made the hermaphrodite into a sex-crazed creature concerned solely with pleasure. This sexualization of the hermaphrodite alluded to the erotic libertinism of the time; yet, this reduction of the hermaphrodites to their sexual urges made them less reasonable and more driven by instinct and need like animal. (p 99)

Voltaire’s idea of a hermaphrodite was an imperfect mixture of both sexes within a single human and thus, they became a combination of animal and human – a perfect monstrosity. (p 105)

Diderot made no differentiation between the category of the hermaphrodite and the normal human. (p 102)

Buffon and De Pauw believed the rise of hermaphrodites was a natural occurrence resulting from excessive heat in climactic conditions and so they maintained that the hermaphrodite was a problem localized to warmer climates – specifically Africa and Asia.  (p 108)

Additionally, De Pauw noted that climate motivated the rise of hermaphroditism, and therefore this human deformity was natural. Yet, this natural condition was a “radical” monstrosity. [219] He contested its actual existence, and claimed that almost all hermaphrodites were merely females with overdeveloped sexual organs, which became more enlarged with time and maturation. [220] In most cases, these deformities naturally cured themselves, but in the case of the hermaphrodite, nature had willed the enlargement to remain. Although Maupertuis’s opinion of nature would have concluded that if nature had maintained the deformity, it was an attractive and favorable development, De Pauw maintained hermaphroditism as a disease similar to Jaucourt’s work.

Although other authors’ concession of naturalness in the hermaphrodite somewhat normalized their condition, De Pauw insistently repeated his belief that hermaphrodites represented another type of human –though not so much as to define a variety or race—which was a monster. [221] Possessing both male and female genitalia marked the hermaphrodite’s inferiority to other normal humans. This [variation], to De Pauw, was enough to make them a different degree of human, though his discussion of their humanity did not delve into greater detail. Their physical condition indicated their inferior nature and status as a bastardized group of people. [222]

IGM on a Global Scale: 2015 Briefing for UN-CRC
• IGM: A Survivor's Perspective • Intersex Movement History
• What are IGM Practices? • What are Variations of Sex Anatomy?
• IGM and Human Rights • Conclusion: IGM as a Harmful Practice
>>> Download PDF (3.14 MB)     >>> Table of Contents

Intersex Genital Mutilations • 17 Most Common Forms
Human Rights Violations Of Children With Variations Of Sex Anatomy
IGM – Historical Overview  What is Intersex?  How Common are IGMs?
>>> Download PDF (3.65 MB)     >>> Table of Contents