Waiting instead of operating

By Sarah RaparoliLex KlerenMisch Pautsch Switch to German for original article

Banning premature interventions on children with variations in sex characteristics is also an issue in Luxembourg. In an interview with the Lëtzebuerger Journal, various interviewees expressed very different points of view.

"Will it be a girl or a boy?" "A bit of both." A question that many parents-to-be would rarely answer this way. Yet it is estimated that 1.7 per cent of children worldwide are born between the sexes. They have biological characteristics that do not conform to either medical or social norms of female or male and so, they are intersex. According to Amnesty International, intersex is an "umbrella term for persons whose genital, chromosomal, gonadal [gonads are the organs of the human body where reproductive gametes and sex hormones are produced, ed.] or hormonal configuration does not conform to the usual standards of so-called male and female sexual and/or reproductive anatomy" (p. 6, ed.). A person can be born with both female hormones and male sexual characteristics, or have ovaries and testes at the same time.

For some, this seems to not be clear enough, because premature non-essential operations would continue to be performed. This refers to non-essential medical interventions, as Dr Erik Schneider from the Intersex & Transgender Luxembourg (ITGL) association emphasises. Doctors – often together with the parents, who are not always able to fully assess the situation – would decide immediately after birth or a few years later to adjust the child's gender according to medical standards.

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Waiting instead of operating


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