Paula Martin

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Chicago, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9833

Approve Date

April 30, 2019

Project Title

Martin, Paula (Chicago, U. of) "Practicing Gender: The Meanings and Uses of Gender Affirming Medicine for Youth in the United States"

The proposed research investigates practices of gender and practices of medicine within the field of “gender affirming medicine” for youth in the United States. Studying the interventions that align bodily characteristics with individually held gender identities, interventions generally glossed as gender affirming medicine, offers an opportunity to explore how gender is enacted and understood. Rather than assuming medical practices either reify the gender binary or break it, the proposed research pushes back against reading gender as dichotomously biological or performative, instead attending to the material and ideological practices shaping the current provision of gender affirming care. This project thus asks, 1) how gender is “enacted” within the clinic, 2) what ideas and values of “development” structure treatment options for youth and 3) who can “know” gender, and through what means. Findings from clinical participant-observation will be enriched through in-depth ethnographic interviews with key informants, contextualized through observations at trainings and conferences, and historicized through archival research on early methods of knowing and treating gender. By taking up enactment, development and knowledge as central research objectives, this project will provide insight into the meanings and uses of contemporary biomedical treatments for gender.