“We Won't Know Who You Are”: Contesting Sex Designations in New York City Birth Certificates
Version of Record online: 16 JUL 2009
© by Hypatia, Inc.
Special Issue: Transgender Studies and Feminism: Theory, Politics, and Gendered Realities
Volume 24, Issue 3, pages 113–135, Summer 2009
How to Cite
CURRAH, P. and MOORE, L. J. (2009), “We Won't Know Who You Are”: Contesting Sex Designations in New York City Birth Certificates. Hypatia, 24: 113–135. doi: 10.1111/j.1527-2001.2009.01048.x
- Issue online: 16 JUL 2009
- Version of Record online: 16 JUL 2009
This article examines shifts in the legal, medical, and common-sense logics governing the designation of sex on birth certificates issued by the City of New York between 1965 and 2006. In the initial iteration, the stabilization of legal sex categories was organized around the notion of “fraud”; in the most recent iteration, “permanence” became the measure of authenticity. We frame these legal constructions of sex with theories about the “natural attitude” toward gender.