Allison Taylor Silverman
Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationCalifornia, Irvine, U. of
Grant numberGr. 10451
Approve DateOctober 11, 2022
Project TitleSilverman, Allison (California, Irvine, U. of) "Engendering Adolescence: Identity, Care, & Pediatric Transgender Medicine in the United States"
This project is an ethnographic investigation of adolescence, identity, and care in the emergent field of Pediatric Transgender Medicine (PTM). Since the first PTM clinics opened in the United States (US) a decade ago, new policies and technologies have made biomedical gender transitioning possible for adolescents as well as adults. PTM clinicians are embracing an ethos of “gender affirming care,” prescribing hormone therapies to disrupt biological puberty and, with it, normative gender development (AAP et al. 2018). The practice of PTM raises new and pressing anthropological questions about the interdependence between US biomedicine and gender and racial identity formation. While PTM is often branded as either “liberatory” or “abusive” in the media, this project will interrogate the co-existence of care and harm throughout the life course. Through 12 months of ethnographic fieldwork in and around PTM clinics in Rhode Island (RI), I will examine the ways in which clinicians, transgender teenagers, and family members are mobilizing biomedicine to transform adolescence and care.