Gender Ambiguity and the Third Sex

Neither male, nor female, “intersexed individuals” are slowly becoming more accepted for who they are, rather than just being labelled a freak.

Colette Bernhardt investigates for the UK Independent:

The prevalence of corrective surgery is in part responsible for our general ignorance about intersexuality, which is far more widespread than most of us realise; the number of live births displaying “genital dimorphism” is estimated at approximately one in every 2,000. That means there could be as many as 30,000 intersexed people currently living in Britain, a figure that becomes even greater when taking into account all those who only discover their condition at puberty, or when they try to have children. As the renowned professor of neurology and intersex expert Dr Milton Diamond puts it: “Nature loves variety. Unfortunately, society hates it.”

“Our constant pursuit of perfection has left many children infertile, with their gender identity stolen,” argues Dr Jay Hayes-Light, a specialist in child mental health and the director of the campaigning organisation the UK Intersex Association (UKIA), which formed in 2000. “There’s this fear that if we have women with large clitorises and men with small penises, it’ll be the end of civilisation as we know it. In fact, the individuals who end up most damaged are those who are surgically altered, without their permission, to suit someone else’s agenda.”

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