Towards bodily autonomy for everyone: an interdisciplinary conversation

Travis Wisdom, Aileen Kennedy, Quinn Eades, Amelia Walker


This conversation article grows from the “Bodily modifications, consent, and bodily autonomy” panel held at the 2017 South Australian Gender, Sex and Sexualities conference. The panel’s focus was on legal, medical, political, cultural and ethical issues regarding modifications of children’s sex characteristics, especially but not exclusively surgical and hormonal modifications of children with intersex variations and genital cutting (including circumcisions) of non-intersex children. The panel also explored surgical and hormonal bodily modifications of transgender people, including transgender minors. This article, constructed via email exchange across the six months following the conference itself, continues the conversation. It reflects our continuing thinking through issues from both panel and conference—how we each remain impacted by panel and conference dialogues, carrying this learning into our current and ongoing practices as academics, activists and cultural change seekers who shared investment in issues of gender, sex, sex characteristics, and sexuality as they intersect with issues of social justice broadly.


Bodily Autonomy; Bodily Modification; Intersex Rights; Transgender Rights; Circumcision

Full Text:



Facebook: Follow us on FacebookTwitter: @WritingBelow

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License.

ISSN: 2202-2546

© Copyright 2015 La Trobe University. All rights reserved.

CRICOS Provider Code: VIC 00115M, NSW 02218K