I am a cultural and medical anthropologist at the Center for Biomedical Ethics at Stanford University where I’ve been since 2003. I’m also a faculty affiliate in the Program for Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, also at Stanford.
I began my career looking at controversies over treatment for people with intersex traits, which resulted in my book Fixing Sex: Intersex, Medical Authority, and Lived Experience (Duke 2008). It's been widely reviewed in journals ranging from the New England Journal of Medicine to Women's Studies Quarterly.
My most recent work examines "gender verification" policies for elite female athletes (e.g., the Olympics and the International Association of Athletics Federations). An article analyzing the latest policies was published in the American Journal of Bioethics and quickly became the most read article in the history of the journal (we’ve since slipped to #2). This work is funded by the National Science Foundation and will be part of a book to be published with Harvard University Press. My work has also been funded by the NIH, the Social Science Research Council, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the Brocher Foundation, among others.
I have been lucky to have had my work featured in the New York Times on several occasions, the BBC, HBO, WNYC, the Associated Press, and Abcnews.com, among others (see the Writing and Media tabs). And I frequently speak to academic, clinical, and lay audiences about my research as well as a wide range of issues at the interface between medicine and society.
I currently teach research and clinical ethics at Stanford. More generally, I’ve taught at the undergraduate and graduate level in schools of social sciences, public health, and medicine at Stanford and Columbia Universities.
I received a PhD in medical and cultural anthropology from Columbia University, where I also received a Masters in Public Health. I subsequently completed postdoctoral training in bioethics at the Center for Biomedical Ethics at Stanford University, where I currently hold the position of Senior Research Scholar. My undergraduate degree is in Public Policy from Occidental College.