Based on watching the NOVA program “Life’s Greatest Miracle” what have you learned about biological sex and the development of a human organism? Also, keeping in mind the articles we have read so far on gender and intersectionality how would you critique this video? Consider things such as the choice of actors and the way gender and sex are presented in the film, the tone of the narration and the way family is represented. What is the film telling us about sex and gender in a broad social context based on how it was produced?
Explain how you understand the term “intersex.” Do you think that being born with ambiguous genitals creates a problem for a child? Should a child with ambiguous genitals, complicated chromosomes or other characteristics that make M/F sex unclear be assigned a specific sex at birth? Who should make such decisions — doctors, parents, community or medical boards? What should be done to ensure that a child grows into an assigned gender identity? What are the risks and benefits of allowing a child to grow up without a clearly defined gender in our society? How do you answer the question after an intersex baby’s birth, “is it a boy or a girl?”
Transgender identites and the concerns of transgender people have become public in recent years in ways that are challenging the status quo around sexual identity for everyone. Trans identities threaten gender regimes that depend upon a strict division of the sexes and enforce adherence to social structures based on sexual dimorphism (penis=male=man=masculine and vagina=female=woman=feminine behavior). What are the main issues that transgender people say are most important concerns for them? What are the attitudes and issues in society at large that make transgender identities so difficult for some people and insititutions?