Date of Submission
Campus Only Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
© 2015 Celia M Flinn
Christine Jorgensen is the first known American citizen undergo sexual reassignment surgery. After her medical operations in Denmark in 1952, during which George Jorgensen Jr., a twenty-six year old man from the Bronx, New York, became Christine Jorgensen, an attractive, feminine woman, Jorgensen returned home to face the curiosity and scrutiny of the American public. As the “first celebrity transsexual," Jorgensen sparked public controversy by questioning the gender expectations that structured society in mid-twentieth century America. Jorgensen’s gender presentation closely aligned to the idealized standards of womanhood reinforced by institutional forces during the 1950s. Due to the amount of public scrutiny she faced after her transition, Jorgensen had to conform to these expectations entirely in order to achieve social acceptance. Examining Jorgensen’s gender expression critically exposes the social limits for expression of gender as well as what forces were responsible for placing these limits on women.
Flinn, Celia M., "Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice: "America's Original Transgender Sweetheart" and the Construction of Womanhood" (2016). CMC Senior Theses. 1259.
This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.