Intersexuality (was: BOOK: Gender Shock)

Erik Moeller (
Sat, 11 Apr 1998 19:58:55 +0200


>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 an earlier message you said:

>we are most likely cutting off a path of
>our own evolution at its source.

So you cannot be sure whether the number of intersexual babies has increased. But how can you say that it is "most likely" a path of our own evolution?

In which way would an intersexual be more fit to its (for lack of a better pronoun) environment than its male or female friends? Heterosexuality is a very important concept, both for reproduction and socialization. Zoophilia, homosexuality, pedophilia, all these are likely to have evolutionary origins, but I cannot see a possible use for intersexuality.

With the very low number of occurances, it appears to me that it is just a "bug", a random mutation. Now you tell me that the bug is actually a feature :-)

>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.

OK, so you believe that the kid's identity is impaired after "fixing" his sexuality. Are there any psychological studies supporting this view? I grant that it is difficult to do such studies if all attempts are blocked because of such "bugfixes".

Intersexuals are, as described by the ISNA, among other features, characterized by either a small penis or a large clitoris. Won't these attributes rather lead to isolation? So far you have not presented any evidence that the "fix" is not really a "fix".

With today's society, it is not at all unlikely that raised intersexuals would end up in modern freak shows or perverted pornos. I think that, in a society with other motives and more tolerance, it would be no problem to integrate intersexual individuals, but in the one we have, it might be one.

Erik Moeller