Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Declaring With Clarity, When Gender Is Ambiguous

Declaring With Clarity, When Gender Is Ambiguous
(New York Times)
Q. Can children grow up mentally healthy if they have ambiguous genitalia?

A. I think that these sexual assignments often create more problems than they solve. The children grow up with unhealthy secrets. What the kids tell me is that while they didn’t know they were males, they always knew something was wrong because they were “too different” from all the other girls.

In my psychiatric practice, I’ve had families where the parents asked me to be with them when they told their children, “You were actually born a boy.” That turned out to be a critical moment because every child converted to being a boy within hours, except for two. With those two, they refused to ever discuss their sexual identity again. Still, none of them stayed female.

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