Intersex Awareness 2019
October 26 is Intersex Awareness Day and is intended to bring light to human rights issues faced by the intersex community. It is intended to end the shame and secrecy around this issue.
So let’s honor this date with some information. Intersex individuals are born with some combination of reproductive anatomy or they have a-typical sex chromosomes, making birth sex ambiguous.
The estimates on how many people are born intersex vary, but it is believed that 1 in 2,000 babies are born with ambiguous genitalia each ear.
Prior to 2000, the doctors were taught to make a determination regarding the sex of the child based on length of penis. A child was considered male if the penis was longer than an inch, if shorter the child was deemed female.
Doctors typically recommended surgery to make the genitals appear more traditionally male/female and parents were told to raise their child accordingly.
However, there is a growing recognition that these surgeries, which are done for strictly cosmetic reasons and are not medically necessary in any way, are often traumatic and may not align with the gender identity of the child.
For those interested, California is one of the first states to condemn this practice and a bill has been introduced to ban this practice but has been delayed until next year.