Intersex

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Re: Intersex

#21  Postby Agrippina » Feb 14, 2014 8:45 am

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Voltage wrote:Great points folks, If I had a child that was born with ambiguous genitalia, I would definitely have the child go through surgery to make it a male or female. I feel like this would be the best option for the child because in the future, he or she would probably be confuse or feel different about them selves if they weren’t like everyone else. And I think that it would have a negative impact on their self-esteem. I would raise my child just like I would if they didn’t have this condition because I would want them to feel normal and have a normal childhood.

what do u guys think?

That this is the same argument used by homophobes in favor of curing homosexuality.
'Cause homosexuals are confused and would fit better into society if they were like everyone else.

Note: I'm not saying or implying you're a homophobe, just pointing out that changing someone to be the same as everyone else isn't necisarrily a good argument/position.

It's far better for gender to be ambiguous in all children. Let them follow their own inclination. Make their clothes unisex, separate all toilet/shower facilities into private enclosures where they can do ablutions in the privacy of solitude so that other children don't judge them by their external appearance. Leave them to wear their hair the way they prefer it, and so on. Some kids will be obviously male, others obviously female, mostly though, you won't be able to tell just by looking at them.
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Re: Intersex

#22  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Feb 14, 2014 8:49 am

Agrippina wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Voltage wrote:Great points folks, If I had a child that was born with ambiguous genitalia, I would definitely have the child go through surgery to make it a male or female. I feel like this would be the best option for the child because in the future, he or she would probably be confuse or feel different about them selves if they weren’t like everyone else. And I think that it would have a negative impact on their self-esteem. I would raise my child just like I would if they didn’t have this condition because I would want them to feel normal and have a normal childhood.

what do u guys think?

That this is the same argument used by homophobes in favor of curing homosexuality.
'Cause homosexuals are confused and would fit better into society if they were like everyone else.

Note: I'm not saying or implying you're a homophobe, just pointing out that changing someone to be the same as everyone else isn't necisarrily a good argument/position.

It's far better for gender to be ambiguous in all children. Let them follow their own inclination. Make their clothes unisex, separate all toilet/shower facilities into private enclosures where they can do ablutions in the privacy of solitude so that other children don't judge them by their external appearance. Leave them to wear their hair the way they prefer it, and so on. Some kids will be obviously male, others obviously female, mostly though, you won't be able to tell just by looking at them.

:cheers:
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Intersex

#23  Postby Jbags » Feb 14, 2014 8:51 am

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Voltage wrote:Great points folks, If I had a child that was born with ambiguous genitalia, I would definitely have the child go through surgery to make it a male or female. I feel like this would be the best option for the child because in the future, he or she would probably be confuse or feel different about them selves if they weren’t like everyone else. And I think that it would have a negative impact on their self-esteem. I would raise my child just like I would if they didn’t have this condition because I would want them to feel normal and have a normal childhood.

what do u guys think?

That this is the same argument used by homophobes in favor of curing homosexuality.
'Cause homosexuals are confused and would fit better into society if they were like everyone else.

Note: I'm not saying or implying you're a homophobe, just pointing out that changing someone to be the same as everyone else isn't necisarrily a good argument/position.


But Thomas, by not choosing a gender, you are depriving the child of even the possibility of a normal upbringing and adulthood, or even having offspring themselves. I would like to stress, by normal I do not mean imposing specific social and cultural values, I rather mean devoid of abnormal suffering and deprivation.

The body goes through a lot of changes in puberty, and if you miss this window of gender differentiation then you are severely limiting the choices open to your child. The body is not nearly as malleable as the social constructs of gender.

By all means, let the child choose for themselves once they reach an age that they are capable of making such decisions, but physiologically there are wonderful reasons to be either male or female which the child would miss out on by not having such a choice made for them at a stage when they are incapable of choosing themselves.
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Re: Intersex

#24  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Feb 14, 2014 9:01 am

Jbags wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Voltage wrote:Great points folks, If I had a child that was born with ambiguous genitalia, I would definitely have the child go through surgery to make it a male or female. I feel like this would be the best option for the child because in the future, he or she would probably be confuse or feel different about them selves if they weren’t like everyone else. And I think that it would have a negative impact on their self-esteem. I would raise my child just like I would if they didn’t have this condition because I would want them to feel normal and have a normal childhood.

what do u guys think?

That this is the same argument used by homophobes in favor of curing homosexuality.
'Cause homosexuals are confused and would fit better into society if they were like everyone else.

Note: I'm not saying or implying you're a homophobe, just pointing out that changing someone to be the same as everyone else isn't necisarrily a good argument/position.


But Thomas, by not choosing a gender, you are depriving the child of even the possibility of a normal upbringing and adulthood, or even having offspring themselves.

Not at all. The child can express at any timer that they're a boy or a girl.
It's not fixed from the moment they're born.

Jbags wrote:I would like to stress, by normal I do not mean imposing specific social and cultural values, I rather mean devoid of abnormal suffering and deprivation.

The question is whether that abnormal suffering is caused by their lack of gender or by bigotry that is the result of specific social and cultural values.

Jbags wrote:The body goes through a lot of changes in puberty, and if you miss this window of gender differentiation then you are severely limiting the choices open to your child. The body is not nearly as malleable as the social constructs of gender.

And how do you figure that it limits their choices? Mono-gendered people have no choice at all and they do just fine.
Like I said before, a child can, at any point express his gender idenity as being male or female and you can always discuss options then.
I feel it's safer to let the child make the decision, then to make it for them.

Jbags wrote:By all means, let the child choose for themselves once they reach an age that they are capable of making such decisions, but physiologically there are wonderful reasons to be either male or female which the child would miss out on by not having such a choice made for them at a stage when they are incapable of choosing themselves.

Can you give an example?
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Intersex

#25  Postby Veida » Feb 14, 2014 9:36 am

Jbags wrote:But Thomas, by not choosing a gender, you are depriving the child of even the possibility of a normal upbringing and adulthood, or even having offspring themselves.
Now what could this possibly mean? Are you implying that the surgery somehow enables the children to have offspring later in life?

If so, you are misinformed: in fact it is the other way around - the surgery in some cases eliminates the possibility of having offspring later in life.
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Re: Intersex

#26  Postby Jbags » Feb 14, 2014 9:47 am

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Jbags wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Voltage wrote:Great points folks, If I had a child that was born with ambiguous genitalia, I would definitely have the child go through surgery to make it a male or female. I feel like this would be the best option for the child because in the future, he or she would probably be confuse or feel different about them selves if they weren’t like everyone else. And I think that it would have a negative impact on their self-esteem. I would raise my child just like I would if they didn’t have this condition because I would want them to feel normal and have a normal childhood.

what do u guys think?

That this is the same argument used by homophobes in favor of curing homosexuality.
'Cause homosexuals are confused and would fit better into society if they were like everyone else.

Note: I'm not saying or implying you're a homophobe, just pointing out that changing someone to be the same as everyone else isn't necisarrily a good argument/position.


But Thomas, by not choosing a gender, you are depriving the child of even the possibility of a normal upbringing and adulthood, or even having offspring themselves.

Not at all. The child can express at any timer that they're a boy or a girl.
It's not fixed from the moment they're born.


This I think gets to the core of the problem for me, the social concepts of gender, and the physical implications of it. I am firmly in agreement with you about the freedom for individuals to choose the former. My concern comes from the latter, the physiological aspects of it, which are not easily changeable, and often there are ways in which they simply cannot be changed.

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Jbags wrote:I would like to stress, by normal I do not mean imposing specific social and cultural values, I rather mean devoid of abnormal suffering and deprivation.

The question is whether that abnormal suffering is caused by their lack of gender or by bigotry that is the result of specific social and cultural values.

Jbags wrote:The body goes through a lot of changes in puberty, and if you miss this window of gender differentiation then you are severely limiting the choices open to your child. The body is not nearly as malleable as the social constructs of gender.

And how do you figure that it limits their choices? Mono-gendered people have no choice at all and they do just fine.
Like I said before, a child can, at any point express his gender idenity as being male or female and you can always discuss options then.
I feel it's safer to let the child make the decision, then to make it for them.


Again, my point is that it comes back to biology. I am specifically thinking of the example where a child has "ambiguous genitalia" i.e. is not expressing phenotypes associated with either gender. In this scenario there are three choices, surgery to make the child physically male, surgery to make the child physically female, or no surgery and leaving the child devoid of gender. Please bear in mind, I am not talking about concepts of gender roles and social expectations for the child.

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Jbags wrote:By all means, let the child choose for themselves once they reach an age that they are capable of making such decisions, but physiologically there are wonderful reasons to be either male or female which the child would miss out on by not having such a choice made for them at a stage when they are incapable of choosing themselves.

Can you give an example?


So to draw the above to a conclusion, giving the child a biological gender gives them the option to choose the associated social role along with this gender with greater ease. Again, this is only an option, should the child wish to exercise it. Without intervention, the person lacks the biology of either gender, which I think would make it more of a challenge if they wished to choose a gender later on. I think it is reasonable to assume that the majority of children in this case would want to choose one gender or the other.

Here's a theoretical example then, you can choose a biological gender for the child, that would allow them in future to be a biological father or mother. The choice must be made prior to puberty to allow the relevant characteristics to be born to maturity. By not choosing, you withhold from them the opportunity for biological reproduction. In that case, I would definitely want to choose a physical gender for the child, because I would feel terrible depriving my child of that ability through my indecision. I would still want my child to have the freedom to choose their own gender, and I would not want to enforce gender stereotypes on them. In this way, I am only seeking to optimize the freedom of my child.
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Re: Intersex

#27  Postby Jbags » Feb 14, 2014 9:49 am

Veida wrote:
Jbags wrote:But Thomas, by not choosing a gender, you are depriving the child of even the possibility of a normal upbringing and adulthood, or even having offspring themselves.
Now what could this possibly mean? Are you implying that the surgery somehow enables the children to have offspring later in life?

If so, you are misinformed: in fact it is the other way around - the surgery in some cases eliminates the possibility of having offspring later in life.


I am speaking in general terms, associated with the thought experiment in the OP, not about specific circumstances. As in my previous post my guiding principle is optimizing freedom for the child, and therefore of course I would not want to deny a child the option to have biological offspring, that is something very important in my mind.
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Re: Intersex

#28  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Feb 14, 2014 9:51 am

But by giving them the freedom of biological offspring, you're denying them the freedom to grow up and make their own choice with regards to their gender/sex.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Intersex

#29  Postby Jbags » Feb 14, 2014 9:57 am

Thomas Eshuis wrote:But by giving them the freedom of biological offspring, you're denying them the freedom to grow up and make their own choice with regards to their gender/sex.


Well, I hope they would still have this freedom, by becoming transgender if they so wished. They may have to retain the original sexual organs if they wish to reproduce, but then if they don't wish to reproduce, they don't have to keep them. I know this is all blue sky thinking, but that is at least my take on the matter.
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Re: Intersex

#30  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Feb 14, 2014 10:00 am

Jbags wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:But by giving them the freedom of biological offspring, you're denying them the freedom to grow up and make their own choice with regards to their gender/sex.


Well, I hope they would still have this freedom, by becoming transgender if they so wished.

But by then they'd have been forced to live as a specific gender for their whole childhoood.

Jbags wrote:They may have to retain the original sexual organs if they wish to reproduce, but then if they don't wish to reproduce, they don't have to keep them. I know this is all blue sky thinking, but that is at least my take on the matter.

I get that, I'm just explaining that either way you're denying them a choice.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Intersex

#31  Postby Agrippina » Feb 14, 2014 10:21 am

Jbags wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Voltage wrote:Great points folks, If I had a child that was born with ambiguous genitalia, I would definitely have the child go through surgery to make it a male or female. I feel like this would be the best option for the child because in the future, he or she would probably be confuse or feel different about them selves if they weren’t like everyone else. And I think that it would have a negative impact on their self-esteem. I would raise my child just like I would if they didn’t have this condition because I would want them to feel normal and have a normal childhood.

what do u guys think?

That this is the same argument used by homophobes in favor of curing homosexuality.
'Cause homosexuals are confused and would fit better into society if they were like everyone else.

Note: I'm not saying or implying you're a homophobe, just pointing out that changing someone to be the same as everyone else isn't necisarrily a good argument/position.


But Thomas, by not choosing a gender, you are depriving the child of even the possibility of a normal upbringing and adulthood, or even having offspring themselves. I would like to stress, by normal I do not mean imposing specific social and cultural values, I rather mean devoid of abnormal suffering and deprivation.

You can see a child's preference for their gender by the time they're two years old. You're not depriving someone who can't take themselves to the toilet yet, the chance of being who they are. You can see from their toy and TV viewing preferences whether they lean towards more "masculine" or "feminine" interests. But even then, some children don't show that until they're told they are male or female. These kids need to be allowed to be androgynous until they can say which they identify with.

The body goes through a lot of changes in puberty, and if you miss this window of gender differentiation then you are severely limiting the choices open to your child. The body is not nearly as malleable as the social constructs of gender.

Kids display their gender well before puberty. They should be left alone to explore all choices, and if they identify with a gender that isn't obvious from their genitalia, they should be allowed to do that. They'll say when they want to be "a boy" or "a girl" and it's usually well before puberty.

By all means, let the child choose for themselves once they reach an age that they are capable of making such decisions, but physiologically there are wonderful reasons to be either male or female which the child would miss out on by not having such a choice made for them at a stage when they are incapable of choosing themselves.

Why? Why should any one gender be more "wonderful" than the other? Why shouldn't a child be left alone to explore whatever they want to explore? If that means a "girl" being more interested in building Meccano models and dismantling engines than baking cakes with her mother, why should that experience be as "wonderful" as baking cakes may be for her brother?

The trouble is that people are way too hung up on putting people into boxes. There's no denying that my husband is male and I'm female, yet he enjoys grocery shopping far more than I do, and he hates fixing things, or doing gardening. I hate frills, and lacy dresses, although I enjoy dressing up, I'd far rather wear a pants suit and bow tie than a designer gown, so why shouldn't we be accepted if we go to a formal ball, both dressed in tuxedos? Why do I have to wear a ball gown, just because I'm female? I'm not missing out on the "wonderful" :yuk: experience of socialising in a beautiful setting with lights, and music, etc etc., but because of a physical difference, it's frowned on for me to not wear a ball gown. I get really angry about this nonsense because when I watch TV shows about forensic medicine, I go back to a time when I was forced to do home economics, knitting, sewing, cooking, typing, shorthand etc etc., rather than maths and science which would've made me eligible to become a forensic pathologist, just because I was a girl.
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Re: Intersex

#32  Postby HomerJay » Feb 14, 2014 10:44 am

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Voltage wrote:Great points folks, If I had a child that was born with ambiguous genitalia, I would definitely have the child go through surgery to make it a male or female. I feel like this would be the best option for the child because in the future, he or she would probably be confuse or feel different about them selves if they weren’t like everyone else. And I think that it would have a negative impact on their self-esteem. I would raise my child just like I would if they didn’t have this condition because I would want them to feel normal and have a normal childhood.

what do u guys think?

That this is the same argument used by homophobes in favor of curing homosexuality.
'Cause homosexuals are confused and would fit better into society if they were like everyone else.

Note: I'm not saying or implying you're a homophobe, just pointing out that changing someone to be the same as everyone else isn't necisarrily a good argument/position.

It really isn't the same argument at all, the only reason I think you have introduced this canard is to try to slur another member.

It's an awful piece of emotional blackmail.

Absolutely disgusting but not uncommon technique here..
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Re: Intersex

#33  Postby Veida » Feb 14, 2014 10:51 am

Jbags wrote:
Veida wrote:
Jbags wrote:But Thomas, by not choosing a gender, you are depriving the child of even the possibility of a normal upbringing and adulthood, or even having offspring themselves.

Now what could this possibly mean? Are you implying that the surgery somehow enables the children to have offspring later in life?

If so, you are misinformed: in fact it is the other way around - the surgery in some cases eliminates the possibility of having offspring later in life.


I am speaking in general terms, associated with the thought experiment in the OP, not about specific circumstances. As in my previous post my guiding principle is optimizing freedom for the child, and therefore of course I would not want to deny a child the option to have biological offspring, that is something very important in my mind.


In general terms: the surgery can eliminate the possibility of having offspring later in life, but it cannot introduce this possibility. Any argument based on the premise that surgery would enable having offspring is clearly bogus.
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Re: Intersex

#34  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Feb 14, 2014 11:00 am

HomerJay wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Voltage wrote:Great points folks, If I had a child that was born with ambiguous genitalia, I would definitely have the child go through surgery to make it a male or female. I feel like this would be the best option for the child because in the future, he or she would probably be confuse or feel different about them selves if they weren’t like everyone else. And I think that it would have a negative impact on their self-esteem. I would raise my child just like I would if they didn’t have this condition because I would want them to feel normal and have a normal childhood.

what do u guys think?

That this is the same argument used by homophobes in favor of curing homosexuality.
'Cause homosexuals are confused and would fit better into society if they were like everyone else.

Note: I'm not saying or implying you're a homophobe, just pointing out that changing someone to be the same as everyone else isn't necisarrily a good argument/position.

It really isn't the same argument at all, the only reason I think you have introduced this canard is to try to slur another member.

It's an awful piece of emotional blackmail.

Absolutely disgusting but not uncommon technique here..

This both a deliberate straw-man and empty dismissal.
I specifically stated I do not consider nor seek to accuse Voltage of being homophobic. I merely used it as an example to point out the flaw in thinking being the same as everyone else is a always a good thing.

The only one presenting a personal slur here is you, since I spefically stated that was not the point of my analogy.
Last edited by Thomas Eshuis on Feb 14, 2014 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Intersex

#35  Postby Rachel Bronwyn » Feb 14, 2014 11:06 am

You can't surgically give a person the ability to reproduce. Intersex people are either fertile or they're not, just like the rest of the population, and by imposing unnecessary surgery on them you likely harm their fertility. You can't make it possible for them to reproduce via non-consensual gender assignment surgery as infants.
what a terrible image
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Re: Intersex

#36  Postby Scot Dutchy » Feb 14, 2014 11:15 am

Boy, Girl, Other: Intersex Advocates Call for Surgery Ban


A new law in Germany allows parents to leave their child's gender blank on birth certificates. Intersex activists are pleased, but want to go further. Often themselves scarred by invasive operations performed at birth, some want to prohibit sex reassignment surgeries on children.

Expectant parents look forward to that moment when they sit in the doctor's office and look at the ultrasound picture. Will it be a boy or a girl? And yet sometimes the answer is not immediately clear, even after the child is born.
Approximately one out of every 4,500 babies is born intersex, with genital anomalies. The external sex organs may not correspond with the internal sex organs, or with the child's chromosomal sex. A baby with the male Y chromosome may appear as a girl, or a baby with two X chromosomes may appear as a boy. Combinations of testicles and ovaries, or a clitoris and penis are possible.
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Thank goodness some countries are sensible.
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Re: Intersex

#37  Postby Scot Dutchy » Feb 14, 2014 11:19 am

UN Condemns “Normalization” Surgery for Intersexuality

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture (SRT) just released a statement condemning the medical profession’s nonconsensual treatment of intersexuality. Although intersexuality—which surfaces as “ambiguous” external genitalia, sexual organs and/or as sex chromosomes that deviate from normative expectations—rarely poses a health threat, the medical profession continues to perform irreversible surgeries on babies and young children to “normalize” genitalia under the guise that these procedures will save one from enduring a life full of shame living in their “abnormal” body.

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Even the UN condemns it.
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Re: Intersex

#38  Postby Scot Dutchy » Feb 14, 2014 11:21 am

Even in America.

State of SC sued for deciding gender of, operating on, intersex baby


It’s a fascinating case. The state of South Carolina is being sued by the adoptive parents of a now- 8-year-old child who was born intersex. At the age of 16 months, the child was parentless, and the state decided to remove the child’s male sex organs and, in essence, make him female. The parents are suing for making that decision for the child, they say, too soon.

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Still think surgery is a good option?
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Re: Intersex

#39  Postby Rachel Bronwyn » Feb 14, 2014 11:27 am

There you go - that child had ambiguous genitalia, was "made female" for what was thought to be to their benefit and, in doing so, sterilised.
what a terrible image
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Re: Intersex

#40  Postby Veida » Feb 14, 2014 11:39 am

And the sad part is that this case isn't unique - it is a fairly common story for these children.
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