Sunday, 20 July 2014

The tragic feminisation of Baby M

In my new novel, The Centauress, I deal with the dilemmas faced by the 1 in 2000 children born every year with indeterminate gender - 'intersex'.  The policy recently has been to intervene surgically - creating either a boy or a girl (usually the latter) where there is confusion.  A new article in The Atlantic, just out today, reveals the dangers of this procedure - focusing on the tragic case of baby M who was ''feminised' while in foster care, but later became quite definitely a boy.  Unfortunately his (albeit imperfect) genitalia had been removed.

In my novel, the intersex consultant, Dr Song Li, is more enlightened and recommends waiting until the child's gender becomes clear.  It is possible to live as a 'third sex', though there are issues for children such as bullying at school and the problem of relationships.

The article in The Atlantic asks 'Should we fix intersex children?' and sets out the problems posed for the medical profession as well as the social issues faced by the children and their parents.

"When Mark and Pam Crawford took their family to Great Wolf Lodge, a water adventure park, for a week’s vacation, their seven-year-old made a request.

“Since we don’t know anybody,” S asked her parents, “can I be a boy?”

The Crawfords, who adopted S at the age of two, had seen signs for years that she did not think of herself as female.

S didn’t want braided hair; S wanted a haircut “like dad’s.” At Halloween, S wanted to be a superhero, but not Wonder Woman. S wanted to use the men’s bathroom and liked to be referred to as a boy. S already tended to be perceived as a boy by strangers, after requesting a buzz cut about a month before the family’s vacation.

The Department of Social Services had told the Crawfords their child was born with an intersex condition, meaning the baby’s gender was unclear. S's genitals had been surgically reconstructed to look more female.

So at Great Wolf Lodge, S’s parents thought, “Okay.” Maybe, the resort, where no one knew S, would be a safe place to try out being a boy. . . 
Read More ......  

The Centauress is available from Amazon Europe  - 

And from Amazon USA - 


1 comment:

  1. I read this article and was completely appalled by the tragedy of these poor little kids.

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