FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
From her initial work in the history of Victorian medicine and surgery on infants, Alice Dreger found surprising secrets within the medical community. Those secrets, sometimes shared but often withheld even from parents, threatened prevailing definitions of sex and gender.
Medical professionals largely believed that surgical “corrections” shortly after birth would prevent a lifetime of identity confusion. Dreger’s historical work helped to reveal that such secrets were still being kept in the 1990s, and that the surgeries seemed to be responsible for lifetimes of confusion in more ways than anyone had imagined. Based on her scholarly findings, she joined a growing community of activists seeking reform in medical practices and a place in society for people who are born intersex. Dreger continues to explore challenging questions about identity based on health care practice, biology, gender, social science, and history. These include both individual questions and broader societal interests.