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Society should respect intersex people and their identification

Illustration by: Azalie Miller | Staff Illustrator

Intersex people exist, and it’s time society respects them for who they are—not what everyone wishes them to be.

To all of those who may be unfamiliar with intersex, it is a condition that affects about 1 in 2,000 people with ambiguous chromosomes or genitalia which do not allow a distinctively male or female identification. The right of identification, for these children, is in their hands—not the doctors or their parents. Their right to life and liberty has been commandeered without consent and the result is often a stark one. I say no to stolen rights.

Doctors and parents have no right to dictate the fate of an intersex child. They do not have the ability or the right to assign a child to an identity they have yet to discover and validate. It is a cruel and damaging act if the parents decide what gender fits their children best rather than the children themselves.

Intersex surgeries should not happen until the children are old enough to define and determine their own identity and decide whether surgery is in their best interest.

There have been many unsuccessful and irreversible surgeries performed on intersex children that have left them feeling more confused and unsure of their identity than they would in their natural bodies. In an ABC News interview with parents and intersex adults, the speakers discuss the irreparable damage doctors have caused them by choosing a gender that will never suit their true identity.

Most of the surgeries performed just a few weeks after birth fix nothing and lead to destructive consequences. These results affect the child’s sense of identity and dismember the possibility of physically enabling such children from feeling right within themselves. According to a Nov. 16, 2011 Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism study, large numbers of intersex adults were dissatisfied with the results of the surgery they were forced to undergo during infancy or childhood.

With advances in contemporary technology and modern progressivism, it is understood that being intersex is not something that needs to be molded to the views of those with a limited scope of normality. It’s just one of many genetic variations that exist within the distinct and diverse human genome.

Intersex surgeries should only be performed when a person of intersex experience willingly consents to operation. The United Nations has taken action over this matter and recently discussed the human rights violation of forced “genital normalizing” surgeries.

The UN supports outlawing surgeries on intersex children and infants whose judgment concerning their identity is not entirely clear due to their age. Genital surgeries performed at birth deprive intersex children of the chance of feeling complete.

Intersex does not have to be an unpleasant spot in between the female or male biological characterizations. In fact, intersex could become a sex identification of its own and, in that way, obtain the respect and recognition that the condition has been deprived of for millennia.

It is true that intersex is an unusual occurrence in the human body, but that does not take away from the fact that many Americans are born with this condition. Being intersex does not make a difference in what people have to offer as individuals.

Intersex surgeries on innocent infants who are oblivious of their condition should be outlawed. Only surgeries with signed consent from the person receiving the medical procedure should be the exception.