To Imagine and Prevent Future Intersex Bodies

Gastvortrag von Limor Meoded Danon (Azrieli Faculty of Medicine, Bar-Ilan University, Safed, Israel)

Wort Gastvortrag mit Scrubblebuchstaben gelegtMittwoch, 05.07.2023, 16:45-18:15 Uhr
SN 19.4, Schleinitzstraße 19, 38106 Braunschweig

Dieser Vortrag in englischer Sprache im Rahmen der Lehrveranstaltung “Gender. Macht. Selbstbestimmung. Interdisziplinäres Ringseminar” ist für alle Interessierten geöffnet

This lecture focuses on the meanings and practices that exist in prenatal diagnosis settings in Israel, especially in the context of pre-implantation genetic testing (PGT) of ‘intersex’ embryos/ or embryos with variations of sex characteristics (VSC).

Background: Israel promotes and subsidizes the use of assisted reproductive technologies including in-vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles and PGT for early diagnosis of genetic diseases and carriers of genetic diseases. Many Israeli parents with a background of various genetic diseases take the genetic counselling and very often use PGT for the IVF by taking several cells from the pre-embryos for specific genetic testing. Recently, ‘DSD panels’ have been developed and are being used for genetic testing of variations of sex characteristics.

Conceptual/theoretical framework: Danon uses a critical sociological perspective that focuses on the biopolitical context in relation to the role of medical professionals in neoliberal societies, as well as undermines the socio-medical discourse on normative, healthy human bodies. From this perspective Danon will analyse the ways Israeli medical professionals perceive VSC and the use of PGT for VSC.

Methods: Between 2019-2022 Danon conducted 27 in-depth interviews with 6 paediatric geneticists, 8 geneticists- gynaecologists, 5 genetic counsellors, 5 gynaecologists, 2 endocrinologists and one social worker from different hospitals in Israel. Danon has been collecting quantitative and qualitative data in accordance with ethical standards. 

Key findings: The meanings given to VSC change according to cultural-religious and temporal context that exist in doctor-parents/patients-relations. Parents of children with CAH (in both cases, 46XX and 46XY) and patients with CAH are the common users of PGT in the context of VSC. In addition, during varied PGT cycles, (pre)embryos with karyotype other than 46XX or 46XY will not be returned or preserved.