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Title: Queer Theory and Biomedical Practice: The Biomedicalization of Sexuality/The Cultural Politics of Biomedicine
Authors: Spurlin, WJ
Keywords: biomedical knowledge;queer theory homosexuality;gender identity disorder;gender dysphoria;HIV/AIDS
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Citation: Journal of Medical Humanities
Abstract: Abstract This article works across multiple disciplinary boundaries, especially queer theory, to examine critically the controversial, and often socially controlling, role of biomedical knowledge and interventions in the realm of human sexuality. It will attempt to situate scientific/medical discourses on sexuality historically, socially, and culturally in order to expose the ways in which “proper” sexual health in medical research and clinical practice has been conflated with prevailing social norms at particular historical junctures in the 20th century. How might the relationship between the clinical and cultural spheres be better engaged in biomedical knowledge and clinical practice in understanding sexual health, given the impact of homophobic and transphobic assumptions in the diagnostic histories of homosexuality and Gender Identity Disorder in Childhood, a new diagnostic category introduced into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) following the removal of homosexuality in the DSM-III? The article will argue further that biomedical knowledge is always already mediated through culture by analyzing normative racial, gender, class, and sexual ideologies that regulated early understandings of the epidemiology of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the West and in the postcolonial world while informing global health policy on HIV/AIDS. The article concludes by examining the implications of medical education for both LGBT patients and medical professionals, for understanding gender and sexual rights as human rights, and for thinking about new kinds of interventions, contestations, and struggles to resist continued homophobic and transphobic assumptions in biomedical practice today and their ongoing effects in the everyday world.
ISSN: 1573-3645
Appears in Collections:Dept of Arts and Humanities Embargoed Research Papers

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