The basic human right of freedom, the ability to choose for oneself, is somehow forgotten in cases of intersex children. Their freedom is compromised when, at birth, they are assigned a sex (male or female). Little to no thought is given to the effect that a gender assignment will have on an intersex child. The children’s ambiguous genitals are manipulated cosmetically to conform to society’s two-sex system, despite the fact that the surgery causes scarring, pain, and insensitivity, denying them the possibility of full sexual pleasure later in life.
In the cases of Angela Moreno and Cheryl Chase, both individuals were born intersex and underwent “correctional” surgery at a young age to become female. They were lied to by parents and doctors about the truth of their birth, and both regret the fact that they were not free to remain hermaphroditic. Similarly, David also did not have the freedom to choose who he wanted to be – he was forced to live the first 14 years of his life as Brenda against his will. And, in a recent Huffington Post article, the adoptive parents of a young boy who was born intersex are filing a lawsuit against the state of South Carolina over the lack of regulation in cases of gender reassignment. The little boy’s gender was reassigned to female (without any judicial or ethical consultation) at birth, but he now identifies as a boy.
Clearly, these children have been denied their freedom. Every person deserves the freedom to control what happens to his or her own body. This freedom especially includes the right to choose their sex, as this is a decision that the child will have to live with for the rest of his or her life.
Colapinto, John. As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised As A Girl.
Fausto-Sterling, Anne. Sexing the Body. “Should There Only Be Two Sexes?” New York: Basic Books, 2000.