On April 3, TJSL Professor Julie Greenberg delivered a talk at UC San Diego’s Osher Institute, titled, “What Makes a Man a Man and a Woman a Woman?”
The title came from a Texas court that recently posed the following question: “When is a man a man and when a woman is a woman?” According to the court, “every school child, even of tender years, is confident he or she can tell the difference, especially if the person is wearing no clothes.” Yet when a person who was dressed as a woman, had the breasts, hormones, and genitalia of a woman, and whom every school child would identify as a woman presented herself to the Texas court, the court decided that she was legally a man.
In her presentation, Professor Greenberg discussed how medical and legal authorities determine a person’s sex for purposes of marriage, custody, identity documents, housing, bathroom and locker room use and athletics. “Sex determinations have profound medical, legal, and psychological effects on the millions of people who are born with an intersex condition or are transgender,” said Professor Greenberg.
Professor Greenberg noted that the audience of more than 100 people engaged in a lively discussion about importance of sex and gender in our society.
Professor Greenberg is an internationally recognized expert on the legal issues relating to gender, sex, sexual identity and sexual orientation. Her path-breaking work on gender identity has been cited by a number of state and federal courts, as well as courts in other countries. Her work has been quoted in hundreds of books and articles and she has been invited to speak at dozens of national and international conferences on the subject.