Monday, 27 June 2011

Docs surgically change baby girls to look like boys in India

From the Hindustan Times
Girls are being 'converted' into boys in Indore - by the hundreds every year - at ages where they cannot give their consent for this life-changing operation.

This shocking, unprecedented trend, catering to the fetish for a son, is unfolding at conservative Indore's well-known clinics and hospitals on children who are 1-5 years old. The process being used to 'produce' a male child from a female is known as genitoplasty. Each surgery costs Rs 1.5 lakh.

Moreover, these children are pumped with hormonal treatment as part of the sex change procedure that may be irreversible.

The low cost of surgery and the relatively easy and unobtrusive way of getting it done in this city attracts parents from Delhi and Mumbai to get their child surgically 'corrected'.

About 7-8% cases come from the metros, say doctors.

While genitoplasty is relatively common - it is used to correct genital abnormality in fully-grown patients - the procedure is allegedly being misused rampantly to promise parents a male child even though they have a female child.
When there is an Intersex condition involving hormonal anomalies in the womb, about 1 in 3 such children would be mis-assigned - defined as "unable to live with their surgically altered body". But as they're Intersex, "defective", "mis-shapen", then that's considered acceptable. Who cares what the result is, as long as society isn't troubled by the existence of someone "in between"?

When no such condition exists, it's more like 9 in 10 who can't live with it. But that's not the cause of the outrage, for few know those figures. It's because these girls are not mis-shapen, defective, Intersex, but normal. Unlike us, they count as being full humans.

Surgery without consent, absent genuine medical need, is wrong. It's wrong on girls, it's wrong on boys, and it's wrong on those few intersex people who identify as neither and are quite happy that way, thanks very much.

Just wait a few years - and they'll tell you what sex they are!

1 comment:

Mercedes said...

I've not had a chance to dig further, but what I've read so far was unclear with regard to whether this was specifically for intersex infants (which is still obviously serious) or cisgender infants as well. (sorry -- I still dislike "normal")

I'm surprised that there isn't more response, but it may be a slow start-up story. Hopefully, this can finally be the event that addresses the issues surrounding surgical assignation of gender to infants.