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Intersex (The Third Gender)

Diversity project
by

Ashton Rose

on 10 January 2014

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Transcript of Intersex (The Third Gender)

The '
Third Gender
'

Intersex Culture
"By contrast, as in the women’s rights movement, the civil rights movement, and the LGBT rights movements, the goal of intersex advocacy groups is to have people understand intersex conditions as human rights issues. ISNA maintains as its fundamental principle the principle also fundamental to the women’s health movement and the LBGT rights movements: that one’s genitals are primarily for one’s own use, not for the comfort of others."
Support
There are now many organizations around for those who are intersex to try and resist the discrimination they are enduring such as:

The Intersex Society of North America- Developed to end shame and offer support. (They also help with those who receive unwanted reproductive surgeries)
Bodies Like Ours- A support group for those who identify and allies, they work with others to create advocacy campagins
GLSEN- Works to make schools safer for LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans*, Intersex, Questioning, Queer) `
History
Before the nineteenth century those born intersex went unnoticed mostly because of the lack of knowledge about the human body.
Current Event
The article featured in Advocate journal stressed the issue of reconstruction a intersex childs reproductive organs and whether or not it is right.
"Cosmetic genital surgery or sex reassignment surgery on intersex babies is just wrong — case closed."
Current Status
Intersex or the 'third gender'
There are many confusions on what it means to be intersex in our society, and some people don't even know what it means at all.

The correct definition of Intersex is: "
a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male"

-Intersex Society North of America
this is their story...
By 1950 doctors increasingly began focusing their attention on childhood intersex which arose a problem.
By the 1920s doctors notion of gender was separated from biological sex; "
thus surgical approaches increased bit by bit"
-ISNA
"Also in the 1950s, Johns Hopkins University created a team and became the first medical center to offer an organized multi-disciplinary approach to intersex, one that sought to essentially eliminate intersex in early childhood. The approach developed there came to be known as the “optimum gender of rearing” model. The basic idea was that each child’s potential for a “normal” gender identity should be maximized by making each child’s body, upbringing, and mind align as much as possible. Because of the belief that it was harder to surgically engineer a boy than a girl, most children with intersex were made as feminine as possible, utilizing surgery, endocrinology, and psychology"
-
http://www.isna.org/
Following the increase of doctor interest patients were deceived and minimal psychological support. Doctors made the decisions for the patients. But an increase in finding and experimenting with patients grew.
"It wasn’t until the 1960s that medical professionals began aggressively looking for cases of intersex."
-ISNA
One of the biggest cases in the Intersex history was in 1965. An identical twin born
David Reimer
, although not born intersex, while his doctor was performing his circumcision accidentally burning him (resulting in castration. The doctor then suggest they change the sex of David and raise him as a girl. As an adult he did re-assume his male role but sadly committed suicide soon after.
History
"But some people didn’t like this system: people who—like David Reimer—felt mistreated at best, and medically assaulted at worst, by their medical treatment. Nevertheless, most stayed silent, believing they were alone in their experiences."
Things changed in 1993, when a feminist named Anne Fausto-Sterling published certain articles in the New York Times exposing the existence of intersex people. In response Cheryl Chase wrote a letter and announced the creation of the Intersex Society of North America.
As of 1995 the Intersex Rights Movement officially was set into motion. The ISNA urged openness and reform, performing protests and many public speeches.
2001 the Intersex Movement in full motion people began exposing the problematic history of intersex treatment, as well as argued gender identity was more than just a matter of nurture
As of 2011 religious and certain scientists argued that intersex rights should not be paired with LGBT Rights since some believe "Sexuality is a choice" whereas genetic biology is not.
“Intersex people differ from trans people as their status is not gender related but instead relates to their biological makeup (genetic, hormonal and physical features)"
-New Yorker
in 2013 the third Internation Intersex Forum was held. Held by intersex persons from all over the world they planned advocacy ideas, ways to eliminate discrimination and for the first time discuss birth registrations
Works Cited Page
Greenhouse, Emily . "A NEW ERA FOR INTERSEX RIGHTS." . N.p., 30 Dec 2013. Web. 9 Jan 2014. <http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2013/12/a-new-era-for-intersex-rights.html>.
The prevalence of intersex depends on which definition is used. According to the ISNA definition above, 1 percent of live births exhibit some degree of sexual ambiguity. Between 0.1% and 0.2% of live births are ambiguous enough to become the subject of specialist medical attention, including surgery to assign them to a given sex category (i.e., male or female). According to Fausto-Sterling's definition of intersex, on the other hand, 1.7 percent of human births are intersex.
-Fausto-Sterling
Intersex Awareness Day observed between October 26 and November 8, to end shame and remember those who have been discriminated against in the past.
Women within this society are often more accepted since it is easier to surgically correct women then men, back when doctors didnt have grasp on intersex-ism most would 'correct' the child as a woman.
The prevalence of intersex depends on which definition is used. According to the ISNA definition above, 1 percent of live births exhibit some degree of sexual ambiguity. Between 0.1% and 0.2% of live births are ambiguous enough to become the subject of specialist medical attention, including surgery to assign them to a given sex category (i.e., male or female). According to Fausto-Sterling's definition of intersex, on the other hand, 1.7 percent of human births are intersex.
-Fausto-Sterling
"What's the History behind the Intersex Rights Movement?" Intersex Society of North America. ISNA, n.d. Web. 08 Jan. 2014.
"Sex, Intersex, and the Making of "Normal"" History News Network. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Jan. 2014.
"A New Era for Intersex Rights." The New Yorker. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Jan. 2014.
As of right now there is no law preventing the firing of an intersex individual and discrimination at work is also not protected.
The publisher argues that reconstructing the childs organs at birth is inhumane and do not give them a chance to choose who they want to be. She states
"Changing intersex babies’ genitals without their consent is wrong, regardless of whether medical experts dub them deficient or “abnormal.
”'
She wants genital reconstruction to be completely outlawed on children and solely be up to them when they come of age.


Doctors argue that without giving children surgeries at birth it is confusing them on the idea of sex and identity. It would be unfair to subject a child to the confusion of not understanding their 'abnormalities'.
They state children will not have the ability to make that decisions until it is possibly too late.
"Op-ed: Why We Must Protect Intersex Babies." Advocate.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Jan. 2014. <http://www.advocate.com/commentary/2013/09/27/op-ed-why-we-must-protect-intersex-babies>. (Article)
Often grouped with the Gay Rights Movement (LGBTQQIA)
Intersex people usually have scattered amounts of religious beliefs of course depending on the person and the place they live and their values.
Full transcript