Book Id: 51550 A mechanical and critical inquiry into the nature of hermaphrodites. James Parsons.
A mechanical and critical inquiry into the nature of hermaphrodites

A mechanical and critical inquiry into the nature of hermaphrodites

Publisher Information: London: J. Walthoe, 1741.

Parsons, James (1705-70). A mechanical and critical enquiry into the nature of hermaphrodites. [6, including 1 page of adverts.], liv, [2], 156pp. 3 plates. London: J. Walthoe, 1741. Later half calf, gilt spine, marbled boards, a few preliminary leaves starting. Tear in one folding plate, minor foxing but very good. Modern bookplates.

First Edition. Unlike earlier medical and legal writers on intersex individuals—i.e., persons with sexually ambiguous genitalia—Parsons rejected the idea that such persons were “monsters” or “errors of nature,” instead arguing that “hermaphroditism,” as a medical category, did not in fact exist. “For Parsons, hermaphroditism was an illusion, a fundamental misreading of the ‘Fabrick of the Body.’ Hermaphrodites were actually only ever women with enlarged clitorises, or, in Parsons’ terminology, ‘Macroclitorideae’” (Gilbert, p. 33), and therefore should not be subject to legal or social discrimination. The three plates in Parsons’ work illustrate several examples of intersex genitalia that he had come across in his obstetric practice. Garrison-Morton.com 13383. Gilbert, Early Modern Hermaphrodites: Sex and Other Stories, pp. 33-34.

Book Id: 51550

Price: $950.00

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