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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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So doctor, is it a boy or a girl? Ah... I don't know? - November 19th 2009, 04:40 PM

Ok, silly title, but more serious issue. With growing scientific knowledge and research, the number of children born with 'intersex' conditions, who are in some way not typically male or female, is notably significant. Something like 1 every 2000 births... at the same time, some conditions aren't even noticed by doctors at the infant's birth, so it's potentially higher.

When a child is born with 'ambigious gentitals' (so if they deem the clit to be too big, or the penis to be too small), they will carry out surgery on the child to give it clear cut gentitals (though note, they generally will turn gentitals into female organs, as its easier and more successful to take away tissue, then to build it up). This sometimes happens without even asking the parents. Or parents often consent to it, and won't even tell their kid.

There are intersexed adults who find out they've had this surgery performed on them before they remember, and they aren't happy with it, there are others who feel they were assigned the wrong sex, and I'm sure they are others who haven't got any issues and maybe don't even know.

But I guess my question in this discussion, do you believe parents have the right to change an infants sexual organs at a young age, or should they leave it till the kid grows up to decide? Do you believe they are obligued to tell their child if its done? Should doctors ever be allowed to do this without asking parents? Is this an issue of the gender policing that does happen a lot in our society?

This isn't so much about choosing to raise the kid as a particular gender... but specifically about the idea of surgery, and sorta, where do parental rights end, and the infant's begin.

I think this link gives the jest of info. Even wiki is pretty extensive, so yeah.

http://www.plannedparenthood.org/hea...rsex-26531.htm
   
  (#2 (permalink)) Old
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Re: So doctor, is it a boy or a girl? Ah... I don't know? - November 19th 2009, 08:54 PM

I've heard of this but I don't know much about it. My view is that it's pretty unethical...what right do the doctors have to change a couple's baby? They'd love it the way it is if they're good parents. The kid shouldn't need to change.
As for the parents getting it done for the baby, I think it depends on the importance of the surgery. Like if it's life threatening, then yeah, both parents and doctors should act on it. But to never tell to kid it happened...well...its not going to be the easiest thing to explain. But personally I feel it's not something you can keep from someone. I'm not sure of the consequences myself, but it sounds like a confusing and distressing ordeal to find that out thirty years later.




   
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Re: So doctor, is it a boy or a girl? Ah... I don't know? - November 19th 2009, 09:07 PM

I saw this on TV.
Law and Order SVU...
It's sad, but another question could be where are the parents rights? Why would a doctor preform surgery on your child without you knowing.


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Re: So doctor, is it a boy or a girl? Ah... I don't know? - November 19th 2009, 09:28 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by mexico View Post
I saw this on TV.
Law and Order SVU...
It's sad, but another question could be where are the parents rights? Why would a doctor preform surgery on your child without you knowing.
Don't they need consent.?


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Re: So doctor, is it a boy or a girl? Ah... I don't know? - November 19th 2009, 09:48 PM

Are there people with a penis and vagina? How?


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Re: So doctor, is it a boy or a girl? Ah... I don't know? - November 19th 2009, 10:45 PM

I've heard of this and if a child is born that way, I don't think it should be messed with unless the child consents to it when s/he is at the age when they're able to.


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Re: So doctor, is it a boy or a girl? Ah... I don't know? - November 20th 2009, 12:55 AM

I don't think it's right for parents, or doctors even, to decide what gender a person will be if it isn't clear. It's not a choice they will have to live with, the kid will have to deal with it. Plus many of those kids are not comfortable as the gender that was chosen for them, many of them feel out of place in their bodies.


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Re: So doctor, is it a boy or a girl? Ah... I don't know? - November 20th 2009, 01:15 AM

I vote for raising children as children as opposed to boys and girls. That way, it wouldn't matter if you don't know what gender your child is. I think they should let the child grow up and see what happens. I may be unrealistic but I believe that men and women are "different" because they were raised differently.


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Re: So doctor, is it a boy or a girl? Ah... I don't know? - November 20th 2009, 01:56 AM

This is definitely wrong.


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Re: So doctor, is it a boy or a girl? Ah... I don't know? - November 20th 2009, 03:20 AM

I see this as kind of wrong :|




   
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Re: So doctor, is it a boy or a girl? Ah... I don't know? - November 20th 2009, 03:29 AM

gender isn't a result of biology, it's a result of socialization. SEX is a result of biology; if a child is born with traits of both sexes, the parents have to choose to raise it as one GENDER in order for it to have a normal life. This is not unethical.
   
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Re: So doctor, is it a boy or a girl? Ah... I don't know? - November 20th 2009, 04:43 AM

Holy shit. This just jogged my memory of getting surgery on my area when I was reaaaaallly young. I WONDER IF THAT HAPPENED TO ME CONSIDERING I AM GENDER DYSPHORIC O.o


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Re: So doctor, is it a boy or a girl? Ah... I don't know? - November 21st 2009, 09:35 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Invert View Post
But I guess my question in this discussion, do you believe parents have the right to change an infants sexual organs at a young age, or should they leave it till the kid grows up to decide?
I think it could be beneficial if the parents decide IF the parents cannot accept the child's ambiguous sex as that may pose a threat to the child's development. If the parents are fine and can raise the child which includes educate the child about its sex, then there's no need for the surgery.

In other words, it'd be unethical for the parents to not have the child undergo the surgery if the parents cannot raise it properly for that reason. It may not allow the child to decide but it then begs the question, what is more important, allowing the child to grow up in a proper environment or get to choose something for itself even when it means possibly compromising it from having normal development. The answer is obvious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Invert View Post
Do you believe they are obligued to tell their child if its done?
I see no reason why they would be obliged.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Invert View Post
Should doctors ever be allowed to do this without asking parents?
If it is a grave emergency to save the infant, otherwise, no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Invert View Post
This isn't so much about choosing to raise the kid as a particular gender... but specifically about the idea of surgery, and sorta, where do parental rights end, and the infant's begin.
The infant may have rights when it is very young, however, it does not have the capacity to use them so it would need others (i.e. parents) to make the decisions on its be-half.
   
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Re: So doctor, is it a boy or a girl? Ah... I don't know? - November 21st 2009, 06:56 PM

To be honest I don't think parents should specifically have a choice as to what happens either, I means what's to say they'll make the right decision? But then again for a child have a trouble free life, if they could do it early on it would be better... A doctor can make a completely impartial decision, so, why not?



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Re: So doctor, is it a boy or a girl? Ah... I don't know? - November 23rd 2009, 05:01 PM

I think it's ok for the parents to decide what gender they'd like their child to be, as long as the baby genuinely was born with an undeterminable gender. My dad used to teach a little girl who'd been born like that; the doctors had asked her mother what gender she wanted the child to be. I don't think it's right for the doctors to do surgery on the baby without asking the parents first though.


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Re: So doctor, is it a boy or a girl? Ah... I don't know? - November 23rd 2009, 07:12 PM

I think our society is too dependent on binaries, and this is what causes this whole problem. Most people cannot imagine raising a child as something other than a biological girl or boy because it seem "unnatural." I find this kind of ironic, however, when a child is born with intersex conditions, undergo surgery, and are labeled with a gender that they very well might not be.
I do not think the parents or the doctors should have the right to change their child's sexual organs. It is up to the child to decide what they want when they are old enough to understand and appreciate the situation.
As a female, I wouldn't be pleased if I was given a penis at birth because I believe that I would still remain a female no matter what kind of sexual organs I have. How is anyone to say that a baby, who is born different genitalia than the norm, is going to feel otherwise about their gender in the future.
I think that society needs to understand that not everything is black and white, there is also a bit of gray in between.
   
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Re: So doctor, is it a boy or a girl? Ah... I don't know? - November 23rd 2009, 07:54 PM

I don't think they should be allowed to. I studied Psychology A level and we were told about a young boy whose genitals were mutilated by a dog ... his parents chose to ask doctors to make him "a girl" and raised him as a girl and his twin brother as a boy. Anyway as he grew up no matter what they did he insisted that he was a boy, and ended up having a sex change back to being male.
Basically I think that if the sex of a child is questioned at a young age, for whatever reason, that child should be allowed to get their own gender identity rather than their parents deciding for them. Gender is not just determined by sexual organs, so changing them will not define the child as a boy or girl, only he or she can do so.


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Re: So doctor, is it a boy or a girl? Ah... I don't know? - November 24th 2009, 09:04 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by magiciansasssistant View Post
I don't think they should be allowed to. I studied Psychology A level and we were told about a young boy whose genitals were mutilated by a dog ... his parents chose to ask doctors to make him "a girl" and raised him as a girl and his twin brother as a boy. Anyway as he grew up no matter what they did he insisted that he was a boy, and ended up having a sex change back to being male.
Basically I think that if the sex of a child is questioned at a young age, for whatever reason, that child should be allowed to get their own gender identity rather than their parents deciding for them. Gender is not just determined by sexual organs, so changing them will not define the child as a boy or girl, only he or she can do so.
That example doesn't fit because the boy was able to remember the event, whereas a newborn generally cannot remember events several years later, and so the newborn probably wouldn't know of the surgery unless they were told.

The problem with having the kid choose is that the newborn cannot choose right away, it has to mature over time. The problem arises with how it will be raised because society and cultures are geared to having two sexes, boy or girl. The parents may be at a loss because they may be unsure how to treat the infant, what clothes to buy, etc... . For example, pink is for girls, blue is for boys but if your child is intersexed, then what do you choose? Either choice you make you know the child isn't really that sex. People identify themselves and others by their sex but if this life-long identification is compromised, then it's going to be more stressful for the family and compromise the child's development. It's well-documented that boys and girls are raised differently, with different values instilled but what happens when the parents know that the child isn't truly a boy or isn't truly a girl? Furthermore, what if one parent views the child as more feminine whereas the other parents views the child as more masculine? All in all, the child's development and parents' raising of the child can be compromised.

So what is greater, having the child choose their sex years later at the cost of compromised development, confusion, etc... or having that solved, at least temporarily and avoid compromised development and sex confusion?
   
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Re: So doctor, is it a boy or a girl? Ah... I don't know? - November 24th 2009, 01:37 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThereIsHope View Post
I've heard of this and if a child is born that way, I don't think it should be messed with unless the child consents to it when s/he is at the age when they're able to.
I saw this too and I agree with this, give the child a name that could be used for a boy or a girl and let the child decide when they're old enough which gender they feel more like or they can decide to stay the way they are.

Doctors need consent to do any kind of surgery on a baby, but parents often prefer to choose a gender, raise the child as the chosen gender and the doctors tell the parents never to tell the child about it, which is so wrong.
   
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Re: So doctor, is it a boy or a girl? Ah... I don't know? - November 24th 2009, 02:04 PM

I think it's okay for parents to decide that for their child. Although chosing the sex of their baby is a way bigger issue, it's sort of like when parents pierce their childs ears. There's no way the child can consent to it, but they do it, and most people don't even mind about that type of thing. But I really believe that it is okay for parents to decide because it's their child. And, even if some don't like the idea, have a right to do nearly anything they want with their child until their at a legal age to decide those things for themself. Plus, I could only imagine the ridicule a child with both a penis and vagina would face in school. Yeah yeah, people won't know. I'm sure everyones thinking that. But shit gets out and then I bet the amount of bullying they would face would be incredible.



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Re: So doctor, is it a boy or a girl? Ah... I don't know? - November 24th 2009, 03:55 PM

I watched a really great documentary on this just a few days ago, though it deals not only with intersexed people but transexuals.

Worth a watch. Heres the link to part 1, there are 11 parts but they come up when you finish each part.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWGRi99cVHo

   
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