Re: BOOK: Gender Shock

Kathryn Aegis (
Sat, 11 Apr 1998 09:47:30 +0000

Intersexuals are defined chromosomally as neither 'male' nor
'female', some are further defined as 'true hermaphrodites'. Further
medical info can be found at the Intersex Society of North America's
excellent web site:

Erin was trying to find out if the number of intersex individuals
being born had indeed increased, at least in the US--it's impossible
to say without reviewing every single person's medical records, which
are, of course, confidential. A Medline search going back into the
early 1980's reveals many surgeons crowing about having found 'true
hermaphrodites', and how they fixed them (grrr....). In a few
cases, surgery was required to avert a life-threatening condition,
but many of these kids were being operated on without the parent's
knowledge or consent. The criteria: surgical ease of changing the
'anamolous' genitals to those of a male or female, to hell with the
kid's identity.

Only one followup study has ever been conducted, and it just began a
couple of years ago at Johns Hopkins. Already, even before compiling
and publishing results, the researcher says that several of the kids
changed gender identity away from the one they were assigned upon
reaching puberty. To him, this provides evidence that sex identity
lies more in the brain and should not be forced at a young age.


Kathryn Aegis