[The purpose of the this brief overview and opinion with links for further learning, is to provide an introduction to the still taboo topic of surgical gender norming of babies(IGM) for those who are not familiar with it.]
When your newborn infant is perfectly healthy, the social pressure to cut off healthy body parts is strong... However, imagine if you were one of the parents of the estimated 1 in 2000 babies born each year who do not have a clearly defined gender. Parents and doctors face a strong temptation for immediate surgery on the infant's genitalia to make the infant appear as if they were definitively male or female. Under the current medical protocol, full infant sex-change genital surgeries and many other surgical 'reconstructions' are still often standard procedure in such cases.
The parents and doctor feel so uncomfortable about the baby's genital appearance that they surgically alter the baby's genitalia until it cosmetically 'conforms' just so the parents and Doctor themselves can feel better. However the baby does not care what it's genitalia looks like and won't for many years -- e just wants to be taken care of. Only recently did the medical community do any follow-up studies to see how content the surgically-altered were. Overwhelmingly, they expressed dissatisfaction with having genital surgeries forced upon them -- with many cases of them being 'turned into' a different gender than they internally feel they are.
Should we irreversibly alter an infant's genitalia without knowing what they would want?
If parents are experiencing anxiety about the baby's genital appearance, this should be treated with counseling for the parents and not with surgery to the baby. The baby and not the parents is the patient, so a much better approach would be to raise the child as e is and then let them decide upon any possible surgical alteration when they reach an age where they can make a decision that is best for themselves.
Links to Articles:
They said her clitoris was too bighttp://www.ontheissuesmagazine.com/su98coventry.html
A mainstream news article calls for an end non-consensual surgical interventionhttp://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6994580/
"I would much rather keep my clitoris and have orgasms than have a box to check off."http://tinyurl.com/57zt8y
"All over this country[USA] there are people whose clitorises have been removed, either totally or partially."http://www.msmagazine.com/oct00/makingthecut.html
Learn about the academic fraud at the heart of Doctor's rationalizationshttp://www.reason.com/links/links052404.shtml
Human Rights for Intersexualshttp://www.luckymojo.com/tkintersex.html
Intersex Society of North Americahttp://www.isna.org/
Links to Video Clips:
Two people speak out on how gender norming sugery affected themhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Twe8p0R8tms
Sometimes surgeons can't restrain themselveshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyCMLh9xvts
Intersex Historical and Medical Overviewhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTHuzcm8KKs
Intersex protests ignored by doctorshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PUyyGI8r4w
The tragic case of David Reimer(who was not intersex, but his case was used to justify countless involuntary gender norming surgeries)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZNjX5j6dNQ