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February 12, 2015

Dr Wendy O’Brien publishes research on sexuality rights in the Human Rights Law Review.

Wendy O'Brien photoThe latest research by Deakin Criminologist Dr Wendy O’Brien considers the implications of the relatively recent move to include the rights to sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) in international human rights law. Published in the Human Rights Law Review, Wendy’s article argues that the current push for SOGI rights precludes full consideration of rights for individuals with intersex variation.

This article considers recent efforts by international bodies and advocacy groups to secure the human rights of individuals with intersex variation. Identifying that these efforts are constrained by powerful assumptions about binary sex, it argues that international rights discourse looks set to regulate intersex individuals by the same protective strategies applied to the last four decades of the women’s rights movement. A frank reading of legal feminist scholarship indicates several possible risks for the nascent intersex campaign. Efforts to ensure the substantive enjoyment of rights (for all) need to move beyond the constraints of a binary system in which women and sexed/sexual minorities will always be produced as other. Having argued that human rights are not contingent on biological determinants, the right to non-discrimination on the basis of sex traits is considered.

To access Wendy’s article click here.

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