Gender is clearly regulated in our everyday life: A person is either a woman or a man
Our everyday life is divided into the idea of man and woman, of male and female. Whether you go to the toilet or apply for a passport, whether you create a Facebook profile or apply for a job. Gender plays a major role in everyday life and seems to be taken for granted. Everyone knows whether he or she is a woman or a man!?
Gender is associated with many different characteristics
The answer is: No. And also no, unfortunately. Because every day children are born with both male and female characteristics. Because gender can be defined by many things. Among them..:
- The chromosomes, of which XX is considered to be female and XY male
- The hormones, of which estrogen and progesterone are classified as female and testosterone as male
- The genitals, where the vulva and vagina are considered female and the penis male
- The gonads, where the ovaries are categorised as female and the testicles as male
What do doctors do if the characteristics of your baby are male and female?
After the birth the sex of your baby will be determined. So what happens if a baby has both female and male characteristics, i.e. is intersexual? Since 2019, the term "divers" has been used in the birth certificate or passport. But this is still relatively new. And still has to be confirmed by a doctor.
In the past, parents or doctors often proceeded in such a way that they independently made a decision about which sex the child should have. This was often followed directly by an operation in which the genitals that did not match the assigned sex were removed. This often had far-reaching consequences:
- What if the child realizes in its development that it does not feel like a boy or girl at all?
- What if the child feels somehow "wrong" and does not know that he or she actually had several characteristics, i.e. was intersexual?
- What if the consequences are illness, for example depression?
- What if important nerves were damaged during the operation?
No doctor should decide what is "right" for your child, because intersexuality is not a disease
Still many people do not know what intersexuality means and sometimes think it is a disease. But this is not true. Intersexual people fight to be accepted for what they are:
People with male and female characteristics.
Because a person can live with this without having to commit to one gender. That is why doctors today often wait until the child is old enough and can decide for himself what he wants to be: woman, man or quite normally diverse.
Info: Beside intersexual people there is also the term transsexual person. Here the sex is biologically clearly defined, but they feel like the opposite sex. Here the sex can be changed by surgery and the administration of hormones if desired. For more information we can recommend the film "Girl" (2018). (Movie "Girl").
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