Anne Fausto-Sterling's "The Five Sexes" Essay

Words: 1151
Pages: 5

Exploring the Social Standards of Sex and Gender

There are several sources that tell a person how to be a man or woman. Science tells us by recognizing the X or Y chromosomes. The media shows us through the physically ideal celebrities that grace the covers of magazines and flaunt their bodies in commercials. Sports, wrestling, cars, and blue for the boys. Dresses, make-up, painted nails, and pink for the girls. All of these sources, as well as others, have evolved into an expectation that has become institutionalized within society. This expectation, is placement and belonging into the binary system of person: the man or the woman. In Anne Fausot-Sterling's acrticles “The Five Sexes” and the “The Five Sexes, Revisited”, the
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The consequences of that gamble can cost the patient a lifetime of psychological trauma. The debate on the dangers/benefits of “corrective” surgery is strong no both sides. To argue in favor of it, one must remember how it was growing up. Children, more-so than adults, want to fit it. There really is, however, a yearning to fit in as a child growing up. As an intersexed child, fitting in would be nearly impossible because of his/her confusion of self. Sterling's insights on what pushed people to surgically alter themselves in order to comply to what society has determined to be “ideal”. The media constantly reinforces what a man should look like and what a woman should look like, and these, sometimes unrealistic, notions of ideal bodies, distorts people. It reflects how society forces people into a box, and judges anyone who do not fit into that box. These dilemmas stem from a society flawed sense of standard genders, and why a five sex system is a refreshing suggestion. Anne Fausto-Sterling's notion of a five sex system stems from the culture in which we live. There is a cultural idea that mandates that there are only two standards, man and woman, and everything in between is a deviation that needs to be fixed. In “The Five Sexes, Revisited”, Fausto-Sterling makes an analogy to