A Dissection into the Life of the Intersex, (Hermaphrodite) Gender.
During 1960 Intersex (Hermaphrodite) infants were subject to nonconsenting irreversible gender reduction surgeries without consideration of their mental or emotional wellbeing (Knight 2017; sect. United Nation special rapporteur on torture noted, 2013). This infanticide practice isn't just a United States issue, its's globally practiced around the world in other counties. Newly born infants or young children are subjected to this nonconsenting reconstruction of their genital which will ultimately change their sexual gender and life path. Noted by (ISNA) 1993-2008 there is 1 in 1500 to 1 in 2000 noticeably atypical in birth, the belief that numbers of intersex or are minute are probably the cause for lack of advocacy to stop this mutilation on the behalf of the intersex population.
During the 1960 after child birthing and delivery only the parent emotional welfare was the concern of the physician not the infant child who was just born with these variances (Knight 2017). Much of this was due to the social taboo and lifestyles concern of being judged by others. The parent believe that concealment of these irregularities would protect the child and cause no harm. Subsequently castration the of these innocent newborn or infant children later in life will bear possible mental and emotional instabilities for intersex gender. Furthermore, there are consequences of not having a choice in life as an Intersex (Hermaphrodite); (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov), (Sexuality); (gender development).
The results are often shattering to the unsuspecting person as the develop into puberty manifestation of the opposite gender traits is often an issue. For example, gender traits are atypical for male and female within the same body (Knight 2017, atypical sex characteristics).
Medical implication in life, according to medical experts "hermaphroditism is now being call Disorder of Sex Development DSD" (medlineplus.gov). This is a complex genetic disorder of chromosomes and reproductive anatomy consisting of 46 XX intersex, 46 XY, True gonadal intersex, and complex or undetermined intersex gender individuals ("medlinepluse.gov"). It is the chromosome that determines a person gender and other genetic biological trait. Because surgery is performed unnecessary on many of these patients, they are at risk of being assigned the wrong sex gender. Furthermore, surgery can alter their appearance, they can have loss of pleasurable simulation, adhesion of sexual organs, bladder and bowel issues or even pituitary malfunction that requires lifetime hormonal treatment (Knight)2017. How are these surgeries harmful one might ask themselves this simple question, Is this really wholesome living, or just life?
Biologically it possible for intersex human to have fully functioning set of reproductive organs. If their choice of which one to keep is taken away, what are the true implication bestowed unknowing upon the innocent unaware of the unforeseen. (Knight) 2017; ( ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, sexuality). I can only image that the psychological devastation of the unaware intersex person that desired to carry a child, but couldn't understand why they had this overwhelming feeling, then at some point in life they underwent fertility testing then discovered that genetically they were male and female, but didn't have the required female hormone that allows them to conceive a child. Then to be devastated with additional diagnosis of intersex (Sandberg, Gardner, & Cohen-Kettenis 2012). having some stranger explain that their only the fully functioning outer and internal organs are of a female and that they surgical scaring from the removal of male reproductive organ. "Intersex traits are naturally occurring variation in humans, some intersex traits are visible at birth others are not until puberty, later in life and sometimes it never visible" (Knight) 2017.
The irreversible, permanent, daunting traumatizing socially stigmatism towards the intersex, and transgender population, to begin with the social stereotyping, which has been influenced by people's attitude toward the unknown. It is this fear factor that promotes the alienation and discrimination toward this population.
Society erroneous belief and categorizing intersex with other classes of gender differences is one misinterpretation, such as transgender which is completely another class of gender identity, even though they share similarities closely related to the intersex person. "
Intersex children when born are not what they seem to be at first sight, these children normally are not accepted by society. (Knight)2017.
"Both identify as men, women, gender-fluid, non-binary, Transgender identify differently from how they were assigned at birth, their biology at birth usually evolves into to the complementary structure of their sexual and reproductive anatomy. Intersex people are generally assigned male or female regardless of their anatomy, which is normally atypicality, but later in life they might identify differently, or they choose to identify as transgender. Medical scholars' states that a person cannot change to "become" intersex because having an intersex diagnosis is classified as a difference in reproductive structure that present at birth". (Lavlaw-Trans pg. 1)
Girls can be lacking female organs and boys can be without the male genitals. Dating and life for most can be difficult due to their unusual anatomy. Studies show that girls the psychosexual chromosome 46 XX CAH in girls reveal that they maintain their sexual identity majority of the times compared to boys (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov pg. 33).
Testosterone Biosynthetic Defects One in 13,000 births. There are about one and thirteen thousand births yearly with a defective chromosome of 46XY that is missing the important chemical enzymes cholesterol to testosterone. The human body needs these two chemicals if these missing or decreased than the genital will be nonconforming appearing girl in nature (Gold 2001).
Androgen insensitivity syndrome(AIS) one in Thirteen Thousand Births
AIS influences the chromosomes 46,XY that is not capable to respond to androgens. In Complete AIS (CAIS), testes are within the stomach and the outer genitals are female. Due to the lack of response of androgen male suck structure are developed, on the other hand, female, duct structures may not have developed because the testes continue releasing MIS. At puberty, CAIS people develops breasts but do not menstruate. The testes are occasionally eliminated from the abdomen the individual might acquire cancer later in life (Gold 2001).
Partial AIS (PAIS) is indicated by a limited reaction to androgens. The outer sexual organ that are ambiguous and duct development is mature. Depending on the selection of hormone treatment, this class of people may manifest incomplete male or partial female characteristic at puberty (Gold 2001).
"In most people with true gonadal intersex, the underlying cause is unknown, although in some animal studies it has been linked to exposure to common agricultural pesticides." (MedlinePlus 2020).
Intersex persons have suffered discrimination at school, work legal identify and horrifying as it might seems even deaf due to social unacceptance and prejudice. Nevertheless, they should have the right to choose and decide what treatment would best fit their lifestyles. Having a choice could preserve these individual mental, and emotional stability. The highest rewards in life is a choice and patience's.
Gender medically unnecessary procedures on infants should be discontinued until their old enough to make their own decision (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, information awareness).
There are challenges of these hasty infanticide surgeries on children who are too young to express themselves. Although psychology studies reveal that these children cognitive awareness does not develop until about thirty months, it is unknown when the affective aspect full expands in reference to their sexuality. It still not clear the full psychological suffering to these children later in life as adults.
Equally important if they would have been able to make their own choice, this is will always be that uncertain question of the unknown. Additionally, not having a choice can vary from one individual to another. This is the nature of the beast, which leads you to ask do we stump our feet and shout aloud or speak softly for change.
Intersex advocates have made strides over the years, to include awareness about infanticide surgeries and the trues etiologies of the intersex. The parent of the intersex child should be offer peer support, counseling and given education training which includes written take home information referencing medical issues and implication. These parents should not be allowed time to reflect before deciding on something that will forever change the dynamics of their child's life. According to some research studies " parent and health providers later in the child life may consider inconsistent gender role behavior as an indication of gender dysphoria causing them to question whether the gender assignment decision was the right choice" (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov). It is important that the parent receive correct education, this is a vital life altering change to someone else life forever. "Consent and Autonomy: In the United States, intersex children often suffer non-consensual surgery on their genitals and reproductive organs to make their body look more typical, even though these surgeries damage sexual function and fertility. International human rights entities have called for an end to these surgeries, including the World Health Organization, Amnesty International, and the United Nations. American physicians recognized the harm of these surgeries as early as 1998, when the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association issued a resolution noting the physical and psychological damage of early genital surgery and calling for physicians to adequately inform parents of the negative outcomes and the opportunity to delay or reject surgery altogether. 1 Pediatric endocrinologists at leading hospitals have consistently outlined the need for transparency when guiding parents' medical decision-making for their intersex children". (Interact Advocates.)
More so the physicians need to receive training to be more sensitive to the family and the circumstances that may evolve in the future for this child. Considering there is no known scientific studies to support this mutilation of these individuals that has been a medical practice around the globe. "Although Surgeons have incorporated increasing anatomic understanding it into their techniques which they hypothesize should preserve sexual sensation and orgasmic capability, the claim that current surgical techniques preserve sensation is unsupported by the available data.
There have been very few systematic long-term studies of these procedures. Completed studies have relied on small sample size and have often involved surgeon assessments of their own work which raised significant concerns about observer bias other factors such as age". (Karkazis) 2006, Furthermore (Karkazis) sites there only about two decades of intersex clinical and assessments that have been implemented that studies the lives of these patients and how there truly affect by the premature gender reassignment. In ratio it still to early to know based on these clinical and assessment if taking one choice away is the best decision. Therefore, more research and time is required before we will truly have the full spectrum of its efficacy.
In final analysis when medical science alters genetically what is natural there is always a consequence, whether positive or negative. One must ask when it is a human do we want to change what was created to be one way to fit into our state of existence just to meet our objective of what reality is supposed to be as humans. Do we no longer compensate the unknown consequences with just an oh well! let's wait and see at the expenses of a child, the whom one day will become an adult whom studies has shown is likely have some negative behavioral or mental lifelong social and economic impact to themselves and the community. Infanticide over choice is never an option and should not be option for anyone to decide other than the subject themselves whom at birth is not able to voice their desire. The rush to perform these hasty, nonconsenting infanticidal surgeries are clearly to benefit the parent's ego without any consideration of the child wellbeing or any future consequences.
Gold, Carl. "The Intersex Spectrum." PBS, Public Broadcasting Service
"Understanding Intersex and Transgender Communities." Edited by Interact Advocates., Interactadvocates.org, LevLaw,
Karkazis, Katrine A. "Early Genital Surgery to Remain Controversial." PEDIATRICS, American Academy of Pediatrics
Knight, Kyle. "'I Want to Be Like Nature Made Me': Medically Unnecessary Surgeries on Intersex Children in the US." Human Rights Watch, Human Rights Watch
"Intersex: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia." Edited by MedlinePlus, MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine
Sandberg, David E, et al. "Psychological Aspects of the Treatment of Patients with Disorders of Sex Development." Seminars in Reproductive Medicine, U.S. National Library of Medicine