Article ID: CBB390437615

Gender and Cortisone: Clinical Practice and Transatlantic Exchange in the Medical Management of Intersex in the 1950s (2018)


This article complicates the history of the standardization of intersex case management developed at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s by focusing on clinical practices and logics and the transatlantic circulation of knowledge. Using patient records and published studies, I follow the exchanges between pediatric endocrinologists Lawson Wilkins (Pediatric Endocrinology Clinic, Baltimore) and Andrea Prader (University Children’s Hospital, Zürich) on cortisone treatment for children with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), on psychosexuality and gender role, on choosing and changing the sex of intersex children, and on genital surgery. I argue that a focus on the transatlantic exchanges between these two clinics illuminates a more complex genealogy of modern intersex case management. It also provides insight into how physicians understood their clinical practice and sheds light on the messiness and pragmatic contingencies of what only in retrospect appears to have been a consistent treatment regime.

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Authors & Contributors
Eder, Sandra
Forth, Christopher E.
Crozier, Ivan
Newcombe, Suzanne
Murray, Heather Michelle
Kraus, Cynthia
Canadian Bulletin of Medical History/Bulletin Canadienne d'Histoire de la Medecine
History of Psychiatry
Asian Medicine: Tradition and Modernity
Journal of American Culture
Endeavour: Review of the Progress of Science
Lexington Books
Science History Publications
University of Illinois Press
Duke University Press
Johns Hopkins University
Gender identity
Medicine and gender
Wilkins, Lawson
Money, John
Westman, Axel
Herodotos of Halicarnassos
Harlow, Harry Frederick
Bettelheim, Bruno
Time Periods
20th century, late
20th century
19th century
21st century
18th century
17th century
United States
Great Britain
Southern states (U.S.)
Johns Hopkins Hospital

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