THE NEITHER MAN NOR WOMAN IN LAW
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THE NEITHER MAN NOR WOMAN IN LAW book
However, it does not specify that the operation be penectomy and vaginoplasty, or hysterectomy and phalloplasty. Nevertheless, in the case of OLG Zweibruken,12 concerning a transsexual man, the courts have been asked to ascertain what the law requires for a ‘clear approximation’ to the opposite sex. Would the bilateral mastectomy undergone by the applicant be sufficient (Council of Europe, 1995, p 89)? Interestingly, one of the lower court’s reasons for rejecting the state’s arguments for compulsory vaginal occlusion was that occlusion of the vagina was unnecessary as hormone therapy would diminish the size of the vagina, so precluding sexual activity as a woman. This makes several false assumptions: first, that the vagina diminishes in size; second, that women always have vaginal intercourse; and third, that transsexual men are never gay. The decision and commentary on it by Wills (Council of Europe, 1993) are indicative of the lack of understanding of transsexualism, its features and the effects of reassignment treatment, and it highlights the continuing problems of ignorance in this area.