Ambiguous genitalia

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2010
Ambiguous genitalia
7
Sat, 03-26-2011 - 6:53pm

What are you guys thoughts on parents and doctors who decide to do reconstructive surgery on children with ambiguous genitalia? I think this kind of relates to circumcision since we're talking about cutting on children's genitalia without their consent. Do you think the same arguments against circumcision apply to this as well?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-06-2005
Sun, 03-27-2011 - 11:43am

Nocirc has always supported the rights of intersexed individuals.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-01-2010
Sun, 03-27-2011 - 7:23pm

I whole heartedly agree Noelani.

Avatar for islaywhisky
Community Leader
Registered: 01-06-2002
Sun, 03-27-2011 - 8:53pm

"Why can't adults leave baby/child genitals alone?

"Education is the discovery of our own ignorance." Will Durant


"Almost any manmade phenomenon i

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-06-2005
Tue, 03-29-2011 - 11:36am
"But we should support and understand the task and trauma their parents will experience in the meantime."

I also agree with that. It would be very difficult to know what to do, in a case like that, especially in a society that essentially insists that everyone has to be male or female. Its another area where parents really need information and support from the medical community. Since American physicians often see nothing wrong with cutting the normal genitalia of male infants, it isn't surprising that the same people wouldn't hesitate to cut a child born with ambiguous genitalia. There are probably many parents who had surgery done to make their child look female, who regret it. I would think that the case of David Reimer, the man whose parents were told to raise him as a girl, after his penis was destroyed during circumcision, has influenced cases of infants born with ambiguous genitalia. For thirty years, that was reported as being a tremendous success; that the child was growing up as a well-adjusted female, while the child was actually suicidal. I first remember hearing about the case in 1975, when I was at BYU. I hope that David's courage in sharing his story with the world has reached enough eyes and ears to help parents and physicians think twice before assuming that a child born with ambiguous genitalia (or having become that way after circumcision accidents) can become female just by making the outer part look that way.

I always wonder how many people there are out there who, like David, were born male but lost their penises because of circumcision. We know that there are others, but I don't know of any where the people involved have gone public with it. It really isn't surprising that there should be accidents when someone takes surgical instruments to the tiny penis of a newborn baby. it still amazes me that otherwise intelligent people have no problem with the idea of cutting babies' genitals.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-01-2010
Tue, 03-29-2011 - 5:33pm

"There are probably many parents who had surgery done to make their child look female, who regret it"

I suspect that is true as well.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2010
Wed, 03-30-2011 - 11:33pm
Well, to be fair, they don't just think changing the genitals will do it, but also hormone therapy.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2010
Wed, 03-30-2011 - 11:38pm

The reason I thought of this subject was because of movie I watched called XXY. It's a pretty good movie about an intersex 15 year who has been raised as a girl, but is starting to feel less like a girl as she explores her sexuality, at the same time her mom is trying to get her