Intersex Representation in the US Television Dramas

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper


Transgender and intersex identities are, at the time, blurred in both popular and scientific literature. The United Nations describes intersex as, “people born with physical or biological sex characteristics that do not fit the typical definitions for male or female bodies”. TV directors have previously thought of humans in two conventional genders as male or female. Anything other than that is whether taken as a freak or a monstrous creature from an alien world. Megan K. DeFranza (2015) has referred to Pliny’s The Natural History’s view that hermaphrodites were thought to be ‘monsters’ and put to death by drowning.

Having directorial experience of ten television drama series, I will use the filmmaker’s perspective in this research to investigate how the directors have approached the intersex subject and used their directorial techniques and styles to contribute to represent intersex characters as a mirror of society. I will use the auto-ethnographic approach in randomly selected ten US television series having at least one intersex character, aired in the last 25 years between 1994 till 2019. In conclusion, this study sheds new light on the little-recognized issue of intersex in US society.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2019

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