17 Nov 2016
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
470 Stephens Hall
Assistant Professor of History, University of California, Berkeley
Though “gender” gained its prominence in 1970s and 80s feminism and social sciences, the term was actually first coined in 1950s medicine. The term “gender role” was introduced into clinical practice in the mid-1950s at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore to help doctors decide which sex to assign to “pseudo-hermaphroditic” children. Physicians, psychologists, and psychiatrists at the Pediatric Endocrinology Clinic claimed that gender role was learned and congruent with the sex in which the child was raised. Children became “boys” or “girls” seemingly regardless of biological characteristics. This talk focuses on the period between 1950 and 1955, when this new concept of gender was first formulated as an essential part of new and standardized treatment recommendations for intersex children.
Additional sponsorship comes from: CSTMS