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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Should We 'Fix' Intersex Children?

Standard medical practice is often to operate to "normalize" genitals, but some families are fighting back.

By Charlotte Greenfield
The Atlantic
Originally published July 8, 2014

Here is an excerpt:

M was born with genitals that were not clearly male or female. Also known as disorders of sex development (DSDs), the best guess by researchers is that intersex conditions affect one in 2,000 children.

The response by doctors is often to carry out largely unregulated and controversial surgeries that aim to make an infant’s genitals and reproductive organs more normal but can often have unintended consequences, according to intersex adults, advocates and some doctors.

A long and gut-wrenching list of damaging side effects—painful scarring, reduced sexual sensitivity, torn genital tissue, removal of natural hormones and possible sterilization—combined with the chance of assigning children a gender they don’t feel comfortable with has left many calling for the surgeries to be heavily restricted.

The entire article is here.
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