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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know that it is not quite the same issue but it definetely gets covered by the remit of Genital Integrity.

So what do you think of this issue? Disturbing as it might be for a new parent to ask "Is it a boy or a girl?" and receive the response "No." has the approach taken in the past (surgical "Amendment") been an appropriate one? Do parents have a right to opt for it considering that as accepting as they might be society might feel less than tolerant? Or is that in defiance of basic human rights?
 

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In Hanny Lightfoot-Klein's book Secret Wounds, she argues against infant/child genital surgery for intersexed children. It's an amazing book that I have mentioned many times before (about FGM and MGM as well as intersexed children.)

First of all, doctors usually get it wrong. According to her, most "intersexed" children should have been boys but did not receive enough testosterone in the womb (probably due to environmental toxins), but "making" girl parts is easier, so docs often choose to create girls out of would-be boys, which is obviously a problem, eg. David Reimer.
 

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Well Reimer was a little different since nothing negative happened during the womb and he would have been fine but for that circumcision.

But I do see your point. That would be quite awful.
 

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James--I have read several articles regarding intersex/hypospadias (I had a friend who was on the fence about circ who was born with severe hypospadias). From what I believe, from what I read, if I had a child who was born intersexed (and hypospadias is consididered to be a variant of intersex) I would leave them alone. If they chose to have their genitals altered when they get older (legal age), that is their choice.
 

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James--According to the intersexed organizations it is considered one type of an intersex disorder. In the mild cases it can just be the urethral opening being on the distal part of the glans. A lot of surgeons push surgery on parents whose children have hypospadias, even where it may not be medically necessary and even potentially harmful.

I knew a homosexual man in college who had received an operation for hypospadias as an infant and had a lot of issues with the fact it had been done without his consent. He had complications resulting in fistula (sp?) and more surgeries. He claimed to have numbness in about half of his penis (no foreskin either) and he said, being that he *knew* men, he knew what he should have been feeling. He said he would have rather sat down to pee all the time than suffer the consequences of his surgery. What he said made an imprint on my brain...cutting/surgery on the genitals is not a good thing and does damage!

So, it's in that place that I believe that unless clearly medically indicated surgery on the genitals should not be performed on unconsenting minors.

It's the whose body, whose rights? sort of thing...


Hey go look it up yourself, google hypospadias intersex and I'm sure you'll find some info.
 

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My friend, I don't know...she was an online friend, in a pregnancy buddy group (mainstream group but she was a breastfeeding vegan, though she had a pretty high trust in the medical community 3 cesareans for shaky reasons). She pretty much waited about it. I sent her a TON of links, etc. We talked circumcision for a long time, and at the time she was leaning towards NOT DOING IT! As a result of our conversation about circ (which involved our whole group) she found out her father was intact AND so did another preggo on the group.

Though, the hypospadias thing threw her for a loop. His hypospadias was near the base of the penis, and pretty severe. She had shared that with us, and I did some research and reported back to her. I think that most likely her husband got what he wanted though, the circ was probably done and then used to repair the hypospadias (though it doesn't need to be used, there are foreskin preserving surgeries for that).

On a side note, we did find some research that women who injest a lot of soy in the early parts of pregnancy have higher rates of hypospadias...something about the phytoestrogens. There are a lot of estrogen mimmicing components in the environment (pollution
) which is why hypospadias rates are increasing, penis sizes are decreasing as well as perineal spaces. They had research on animals, but the first research on humans was completed about a year and a half ago.
 

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Gender is in the brain, not the genitals, and since you can't ask a baby or small child what gender they are/feel like, you should leave their genitals alone. They will figure it out themselves. Also, I am sure most people would like fully sensitive genitals that looked weird than surgically constructed genitals that were numb. Leave intersex kids alone.
 

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When I was a child my mother had a friend who had been born without a clear gender. Her parents wanted a girl (and that was easier) so they made her into one. I didn't really think one way or the other about it then, but looking back I can see that she had some fairly masculine traits. She and my family drifted apart, but I saw her about four years ago at the place I worked. She had discovered that she was lesbian and was in a stable relationship.

I've often wondered if she is a female who is lesbian or if she is a male with female body parts who likes women.

Anyway, I wouldn't have any genital surgery done on a baby regardless of what genitals they had or didn't have, unless there was a problem with elimination of wastes. As the child grows, it will tell you what gender it is. Just my opinion.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Revamp
I know that it is not quite the same issue but it definetely gets covered by the remit of Genital Integrity.

So what do you think of this issue? Disturbing as it might be for a new parent to ask "Is it a boy or a girl?" and receive the response "No." has the approach taken in the past (surgical "Amendment") been an appropriate one? Do parents have a right to opt for it considering that as accepting as they might be society might feel less than tolerant? Or is that in defiance of basic human rights?
Having have seen quite a few babies with ambiguous genetalia at work, as well as having read the accounts of many older people who had their sex assigned to them as infants, I am 100% in favor of leaving the child alone and letting them decide how they feel when they get a little older. Most of the time the choices the parents make doesn't match the way the person feels inside. It is terribly sad.
 

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This is my whole position on this thing. Leaving a child intact could have some later serious issues. Related to the fact either the child wont know what to choose in terms of gender. It is not a simple operation by far. It is very scary for any teenager or adult to go through the procedure to get it changed into how ever they feel. Some of them with out a question will be made fun of by either women or men depending on what gender they are or choose when they are ready for sex if they haven’t gotten it changed. If they have no friends like them or they can relate to talk to that will even more complicate things. I know this sounds like circumcision. But its nothing like it in any way. The ramifications on the child can detrimental. Especially if some one has hurt them in some way cause of how they are. Being rejected for a thing like this is not a good thing. I knew some one who was left like he was and he became paranoid any one might find out. God only knows what secrets that man hides now.
 
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