Surgical Reassignment Essay

1291 Words 6 Pages
Disorders of sexual development (DSD) have been a topic of great interest as of late. Intersex, at its most basic definition, is when one does not ‘fit’ into the binary gender structure most commonly subscribed to in Western civilization; or, rather, having a variation of sexual characteristics or a combination other than the more common female to XX and male to XY. Research shows that 1.7% of the population has a DSD, considering the current population of the U.S., that would be approximately 5,525,900 intersex people living in the U.S., today. (Fausto-Sterling, 2000) The writer has found gender and sex to be very much on a continuum or a spectrum. With modern technological advances, it is now known, without a doubt, that the dimorphic system …show more content…
Until recently, and for the last 150+ years, corrective surgery has been performed on intersex individuals, usually during infancy, to give the intersex person’s genitalia an appearance closer to the “norm”, incidentally, occurring unbeknownst to the parents. During research, the writer has found many incidences of intersex individuals who are displeased or discontent with the gender assigned to them. However, the writer has never found an individual coming forth to praise early-on corrective surgery. This is where the first question of ethics comes in. The latter trend is surely effected by the practice of non-disclosure that was prevalent, in the field of medicine, until quite recently. Here lies the second question of ethics. Is ignorance bliss? The writer feels compelled to argue these questions of ethics further bringing to light both opponents and proponents of corrective surgery, specifically, a specialist in the study of chromosomal abnormalities and from the field of pediatric …show more content…
For example, for those individuals who have AIS, removal of the interior testes is wise as testicular cancer or testicular malignancy is a risk. Still, there is the question of at what period in the lifespan this should be done and to as to who should make this decision. Here is a quote from the ISNA “Although removal of testes is advisable, because of the risk of cancer, ISNA advocates that surgery be offered later, when the girl can choose for herself. Testicular cancer is rare before puberty.” (isna.org,

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