Intersex: Medicalization of Natural Diversity

program date: 
Mon, 05/18/2009

"Is it a boy or a girl?"

It's the first question asked after the birth of a baby.  But sometimes the answer isn't obvious?  In about one out of every 1,500 births a child is born so noticeably atypical in terms of genitalia that a specialist is called in. Out of every thousand birth one to two children have traditionally been exposed to surgery to "normalize" the appearance of their genitals. Even more people are born with subtler forms of sex anatomy variations some of which won't show up until later in life.
 
Since the 1990s intersex activists have been fighting for an end to unnecessary surgeries, especially those performed at an early age when the person can’t make their own decisions.
 
Gender Blender co-host Jacob Anderson-Minshall talked with three intersex activists about their experiences and what it can teach us all about gender, sex and the medialization of natural diversity.  We also featured music from Lipstick Conspiracy.

 

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