Intersex Children

What happens when someone is born both boy and girl?

“I grew up a girl. I was always a tomboy, I wrestled, I played softball. I had bladder problems when I was a kid, and when I went in to have my urethra fixed” — at age 3 — “they decided to give me a vaginoplasty and also a clitoridectomy,” that is, surgically reshape the vagina and reduce the size of her clitoris. “When I finally learned all this, I spent a lot of time staring in the mirror” — she pressed her hands flat against her cheeks and stretched her skin of her face back toward her ears — “going: ‘Do I look like a boy? Do I look like a boy?’ Now I think being intersex is pretty weird but kind of sweet. I just wish someone had given me the tools to be able to talk about it.”

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Posted in gender. 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Intersex Children”

  1. Rachel Says:

    I have a very strong opinion about this. I think that these children should be left alone and that if they want to – they can make the choice if they want to be a boy or a girl. Give them a name like Jo or Kerry or Francis.

  2. Tom Says:

    @Rachel: Happily, that’s current medical practice, and has been for some time.

    It’s easy to write an article bashing the medical establishment when you’re allowed to base it on the corrected mistakes of past decades.

    Anyway, funnily enough, i happened to be reading some interesting articles sort of related to this earlier.

    The biology of all this stuff is pretty fascinating too. Defining the concept of gender turns out to be rather like defining the concept of species – easy to do roughly, but quite impossible to do rigorously.

    Anyway, when it comes to weird sex, the invertebrates win hands down.

    — tom


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