Judicial determination of the sexual identity of post-operative transsexuals: a new form of sex discrimination

Judicial determination of the sexual identity of post-operative transsexuals: a new form of sex discrimination

 

Taitz J.
Faculty of Law, University of Cape Town
Abstract [Full Text] [PDF]

 

 

Abstract
Transsexualism is a condition in which an individual’s psychological gender is the opposite of his or her anatomical sex. A “sex-change” operation can bring anatomical sex into line with gender, but it cannot create a new biological sex capable of procreation. The operation is expensive, dangerous and lengthy, yet in 1983 there were an estimated 6,000 post-operative transsexuals in the United States.

Certain European countries have legislation recognizing the post-operative transsexual’s new sex. Case law in the United Kingdom and the United States, however, prevent post-operative transsexuals from gaining legal recognition. The author does see some hope, however, for a change in the trend against recognition of transsexuals’ post-operative sex.

This Article discusses the reasons behind this trend and concludes that the greater danger would be a consensus of medical opinion holding that sex-change surgery is unnecessary, questioning the very existence of post-operative transsexuals.
Finally, the author calls for legislative action to remove judicially-imposed obstacles and to give legal recognition to the post-operative transsexual’s new sex and identity.

 

Citation: Am J Law Med 1987;13(1):53-69 an article published on the Internet by PubMed <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/>