ABSTRACT

From 1955 to 1957, the Bulletin of the Johns Hopkins Hospital published five articles on so-called hermaphroditic conditions, including an article entitled “Recommendations Concerning Assignment of Sex” by John Money, Joan Hampson, & John Hampson (Volumes 96/6, 97/4, 98/1). This publication series marks the birth of the new treatment paradigm that was installed in what I call intersexualization.1 The new protocol was called ‘sex reassignment’ and its goal was to determine the optimum gender of rearing (OGR) for newborns with socalled ambiguous genitalia. The authors wrote that the direction of this ‘sex reassignment’ procedure should depend on the appearance and functionality of the outer genitalia, considering also the likelihood that they could be surgically altered in accordance with the assigned gender role as either penetrating or penetrable. The aim of the treatment promoted in the research by Money et al. was that ‘patients’ should “establish their gender with unambiguous certainty” (Money, Hampson, & Hampson, 1955b: 294). Money set the crucial age for this ‘sex reassignment’ procedure at around 18 months (Money et al., 1955b: 289). The possibility of surgical intervention was central in the determination of the OGR. Money and his team recommended clitor(id)ectomy and vaginoplasty as central to ‘intersex management’ and their advice is still alive and well today.2 “The import of the work by Money and the Hampsons in shaping protocols for intersex treatment cannot be overstated,” as Lisa Downing, Iain Morland and Nikki Sullivan argue in their comprehensive book on Money and his body of work (2014: 4). In the course of this chapter, I touch on the discursive and material preconditions that surrounded and impregnated Money’s theoretical and practical engagement with what he deemed to be a ‘psychosexual emergency.’ These preconditions most notably include psychoanalytical referencing and surgical techniques. My intention is to demonstrate how Money et al. constructed their research-object of the psychopathological hermaphrodite. As well, my research reveals that these scientists conveniently ignored the fact that their sample did not support their conclusions. In fact, they construed the concept of gender role in order to render their treatment recommendations comprehensible. Through references to stereotypical masculine and feminine behavior and appearance, they justified the necessity of developing a stable gender role for the intersex

child that was congruent with one set of surgically constructed genitals. They were able to essentialize and naturalize a binary notion of gender role by arguing that once ingrained, it is not reversible. I subsequently analyze how the term of innate bisexuality is woven into their neo-Freudian approach to the psychosexual; moreover, I uncover how Money et al. exclusively used those theories by Freud, which fed their argument of the bi-polarity of gender roles, which they based on the theory of dimorphic sexes. In the second part of this chapter, I demonstrate how stereotypes about people who are expected to live in a feminine gender role were used to consolidate the phallocentric and heteronormative organization of twentieth-century society. As I will show, the reinforcement and reinscription of phallogocentrism is literally ‘managed’ by surgical techniques that erase the (‘enlarged’) clitoris because it is considered to be phallic flesh that threatens the bi-polar construction of sex and gender on a psychological as well as biological level. I further demonstrate that current debates on intersexualization continue to be heavily influenced by Money’s treatment recommendations. Any researcher or clinician who currently takes part in intersexualization refers, if not to Money directly, at least to his collaborators or students.3