Alice Dreger

Alice Domurat Dreger is a historian, bioethicist, author, and former professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois. Dreger has been a featured speaker at TED Talks.

Dreger is widely known for her academic work and activism in support of individuals born with atypical sex characteristics (intersex or disorders of sex development) and individuals born as conjoined twins. She challenges the perception that those with physical differences are somehow "broken" and need to be "fixed". She has opposed the use of "corrective" surgery on babies whose genitalia are considered "ambiguous". She has criticized the failure to follow such patients in later life, and reported longer-term medical and psychological difficulties experienced by some of the people whose sex is arbitrarily assigned.

She is also known for her support of J. Michael Bailey in the face of controversy over his book The Man Who Would Be Queen (2003). In an article in 2008 and in her 2015 book Galileo’s Middle Finger, Dreger argued that the controversy had gone far beyond addressing the scientific theories presented in Bailey's book to become an attack upon the author, creating an out-of-control spiral of identity politics.

Galileo's Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and One Scholar's Search for Justice

What happens when a scholar presents new evidence that threatens the foundations of a popular narrative? Ideally, those who hold to the established explanation examine the evidence presented, raise counterpoints if they have any and a discussion ensues. There are other times, however, when people come after the scholar instead of the idea. Psychologist Michael Bailey was one such scholar whose name and reputation got dragged through the mud after presenting a controversial thesis about sexual minorities. Scholar and activist Alice Dreger got caught in a crossfire when she showed the smear campaign to be motivated by ideology rather than facts. Galileo’s Middle Finger is a glimpse into Dreger’s world of activism and scholarship, the particulars of the Bailey smear, and how activists and academics handle controversies.

Bio information sourced from Wikipedia