Elizabeth Reis: Physicians are and have long been influenced by our larger social anxieties, especially concerning marriage and sexual desire. Medical management is fundamentally a cultural, not simply a scientific, endeavor.
In August, Caster Semenya of South Africa became a world champion, posting the year’s fastest time in a women’s 800-meter race. Critics and rivals said that she could not be a woman. Elizabeth Reis, a historian of intersexuality, explains what’s involved in this issue.