daisy if you do

Sunday, September 24, 2006


One of the most interesting things I studied in college was the phenomenon of intersex births, or births in which the appearance of the genitals is not definitively male or female. Almost universally, the doctors and parents decide on one sex over the other, and after surgery (or surgeries) the child as raised as the selected sex. There are numerous ethical questions raised by this, however, and an article in this Sunday's NYTimes magazine does an okay job of bringing them to the awareness of public.

Quoting Wikipedia:
According to the highest estimates (Fausto-Sterling et. al., 2000) perhaps 1 percent of live births exhibit some degree of sexual ambiguity, and that between 0.1% and 0.2% of live births are ambiguous enough to become the subject of specialist medical attention, including surgery to disguise their sexual ambiguity.

Though unusual, intersex births are far from rare. So we are left with the question - do we raise intersex children as one gender or the other (decided by the parents and doctors), or do we raise them as "special" and let them decide their gender as they mature?


Blogger Andy said...

1st comment!

9:23 PM  

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