Inequity of Intersex Individuals

In her article, “Should There Be Only Two Sexes,” Fausto-Sterling writes on how many intersexed infants undergo “genital surgery” in order to conform to the dual sexes our society deems “natural”- male or female.  These surgeries are done without consent of the individual all for the sake of fitting in to society. Even worse, parents and doctors lie to these individuals about the true reason for surgery and refuse to educate them on their situation.  Fausto-Sterling quotes the unanimous assertion of intersex adults, who “advocate a more literal version of truth telling,” and that “…lying never works and it can destroy the relationship between patient and parents and patient and physician.”

Is it fair to force intersex individuals to undergo surgery, especially if it’s before they reach the age they can legally make their own medical decisions?  Should intersex individuals feel pressured by doctors-and society in general-to undergo surgery so they can be less of an ‘outsider’?  I don’t believe that there is anything wrong with intersexed anatomy, and they should be free to express themselves in the sex/gender that feels most comfortable to them, only undergoing surgery if they so choose.

Fausto-Sterling, Anne. “Should There Be Only Two Sexes?” Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality. New York, NY: Basic, 2000. N. pag. Print.


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