I am a cultural and medical anthropologist with an interest in cultural and social aspects of disease and illness categories, treatment practices, health policy, and illness experience; the biomedicalization of difference; and social movements around health. I also examine the social and cultural dimensions of gender and sexuality, particularly in the realm of biomedicine and science.
Since 1996 I've thought about these issues in the context of 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 just published in the American Journal of Bioethics. In 2013, I was a visiting scholar at the the Brocher Foundation in Geneva, Switzerland.
I frequently speak to academic, clinical, and lay audiences about my research, including the annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association, the Society for the Social Studies of Science, American Association of Law Schools, the American Psychological Association, and the Pediatric Endocrinology Nursing Society. I have also been interviewed about my work by the New York Times on several occasions, WNYC, the Associated Press, and Abcnews.com, among others.
I have lectured on a wide range of issues at the interface between medicine and society, as well as gender and sexuality, having 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.