Bodies Unbound

by Piper Sledge

Bodies Unbound is a comparative study showing how ideologies of gendered bodies shape medical care and the ways in which patients respond to these ideologies through decisions about their bodies using three cases: transgender men seeking preventative gynecological care, cisgender men diagnosed with breast cancer, and cisgender women with breast cancer who elect to undergo prophylactic mastectomies. Bodies Unbound is a story about how the relationship between bodies and gender becomes socially intelligible as well as how medical professionals use their position of relative authority over bodies to dictate which combinations of bodies and genders are legitimate or not. Drawing on the experiences of individuals whose bodies and gender identities don't match medical and social expectations for gynecological and breast cancer care, Sledge unravels the taken-for-granted alignment of bodies and gender that provide the foundation of medical care in the United States.
Publication Date: 
March 12, 2021