Intersex surgeries: is it right to assign sex to a baby? – BBC News

BBC News – The UN says as many as 1.7% of the world have intersex traits – that’s the same as the number of people with red hair.

+It may sound strange but it wasn’t until very late in life that I realized I was intersexed. I had watched a TV program where a doctor did a circumcission on a baby. Having been circumcised myself, I was amazed about the simplicity of the operation. The scars on the shaft of my penis, however, were from something other than circumcission. Something my parents never told me about.

Childhood memory

Hospital visit when I knew how to speak. On an ascending elevator with chicken-wire windows. Struggling against being held down on a table. A metal cup that reminds me of a gooseneck lampshade placed over my face…then standing up in a child’s crib at the hospital with my mother standing below me. I am happy to see her. She tells me to calm down so I don’t hurt (?) myself.

In the late 1990s the Internet was just getting started. There was a program on the Discovery Channel about intersex children with disorders of sexual development (DSD). The local library had internet access, but Bess, the porn dog, kept me from reading about intersexuality. The librarian typed in a password so I could peruse this “adult” material. One site had young boys with intersex conditions with erect penises. This got me to thinking: why was mine the way it was? Further research has led me to surmise that I was born with hypospadias (DSD where urethra exits the penis under the glans.

As far as being a girl born in a boy’s body goes, I can remember something somewhere about my mother taking Progesterone so she could carry me to term. (After the embryo after me miscarried, Mom had a hysterectomy.)

Monday of this week I had my Oregon ID card renewed. There were three choices on the application for sex: male, female, and “other”. I told my friend helping me with the form to keep me female. If I had died before Monday I would have saved $40.50. But I would have missed out on learning that Oregon now recognizes three genders/sexes. America is starting to grow up.

The BBC link has a lot of articles about intersex children and the responses of differing societies to this situation. The book: The Boy Who Was Raised As a Girl by John Colopino tells the story of nature trumping nurture when it comes to gender identity. I also recommend reading this book.

— Read on

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