A review of two books about “How to Treat Intersex People” in the Brooklyn Rail.

Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science (Penguin Press, 2015) by Alice Dreger

None of the Above (Balzer + Bray, 2015) by I. W. Gregorio

Galileo’s Middle Finger by Alice Dreger

None of the Above by I. W. Gregorio

Intersex people have been mistreated for a long time. Two doctors—one a professor, the other a surgeon—wrote books to shine light on this injustice.

In Galileo’s Middle Finger, Dr. Alice Dreger, a professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at Northwestern University, examines the enduring history of unethical medical practices imposed on intersex patients. Surgeon, Dr. I. W. Gregorio, tells a story about a teenager discovering she is intersex in the young adult novel, None of the Above.

These two books represent vastly different literary genres and readers, yet together they confront the pervasive lack of knowledge about intersex people and their systemic mistreatment in medical institutions and in society at large.

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