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Bodily rights and gifts: intersex, Abrahamic religions and human rights.

Authors
  • Cornwall, Susannah1
  • 1 Department of Theology and Religion, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Culture, health & sexuality
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2021
Volume
23
Issue
4
Pages
533–547
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/13691058.2020.1743882
PMID: 32412330
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Recommendations about best practice for upholding the agency and physical integrity of intersex people using human rights discourses acknowledge that the lack of specific protections for people with intersex characteristics to date is a problem. However, failure to follow such recommendations leaves people with intersex characteristics still vulnerable to violations of their agency and physical integrity. Religious communities, especially those that teach that binary sex is intended by God, may be particularly challenged by intersex, despite historic recognition of multiple sex categories in Judaism and Islam in particular. However, these religions also contain resources for constructing rich and robust accounts of personhood, and understanding diverse forms of embodiment as a gift. In particular, Abrahamic constructions of life as gift from God offer a different way to promote the physical and spiritual integrity and wellbeing of people with intersex characteristics.

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