Should Parents Choose Intersex Gender?

According to an excellent Daily Beast article on intersex children and gender choice, “Even as transgender rights progress, intersex children are still left in legal limbo.”

Here’s the crux of this piece, which deals with should parents choose the gender of their intersex children:

‘…left out of all this good news are intersex infants and children, whose fates are often decided in pediatric surgical rooms before they have a chance to develop gender identities. No law protects these children against routine “normalizing” surgeries, which often leave lasting physical and psychological damage. In this “transgender moment,” the recognition and legal rights are going to those, like Quine, who demand protections. The ones too young to speak out on their own behalfs are left in the legal cold.

“Intersex” is an umbrella term referring to the roughly 1 in 2,000 people born with variations of sex anatomy that put them somewhere on the long continuum between male and female. Formerly called hermaphrodites, doctors now say they have “disorders of sexual development.” Often these involve “ambiguous” genitalia or genitals that are clearly male or female but still atypical, such as a very small penis or an enlarged clitoris.’

The author of this insightful – and provocative – article is Eric Berkowitz, a human-rights attorney and the author of The Boundaries of Desire: A Century of Good Sex, Bad Laws, and Changing Identities (Counterpoint, August 2015).

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