Gender is a social construct so it follows that sexual identity and sexual expression are also a social constructs. Then we get to parts. Sex parts. Parts that should matter only to the individual and the individual's sexually intimate partners. It is no one else's business.
What if you have both parts or most of one set and some of the other,Or if your parts are of one type but genetically the cellular parts are of the opposite type, or if you have a body which resulted from fraternal twins merging in the womb? Biology has a description for such an individual - Intersex. This word refers to anyone whose biological sex is between the expected categories of male and female, whether by genitals, hormones, chromosomes or other sex characteristics.
But there have been recent and ongoing attempts to re-label intersex people as a "Disorder of Sex Development." This denies science's understanding of biological diversity, and denies intersex people basic human rights.
A disorder means fix it.. For too many years intersex people have been subjected to unnecessary and nonconsensual surgeries to make them fit gender stereotypes which can't be applied to them.. Such practices rob intersex people of informed medical choice, bodily integrity, control over their bodies, fertility and sexual potential.
Intersex individuals are here to tell us that it is NOT a disorder. Those who wish to deny science and biological diversity are wrong.
We of the Lavender Greens absolutely agree. Each individual has the right to determine for themselves their sexual identity, sexual expression, and sex parts. One even has the right to reject the binary altogether. Lavender Greens Caucus State Point Person for NY Cynthya BrianKate uses both plural (they and them) and feminine (she and her) pronouns and identifies out and proud as intersex.
Read Cynthya BrianKate's review of the Scientific American article here, then take action.
Gini Lester, Co-chair, NLGC
Intersex Friends and Families Condemns Scientific American Article Which Recommends Unnecessary Surgery On Intersex Children
Friends and Families Board
Intersex Friends and Families (IFF) is outraged over Scientific American carrying an article which calls
intersex people a disorder and which recommends nonconsensual and unnecessary genital surgeries on intersex children.
We ask that all intersex people, our friends, families, lovers/spouses/partners and allies call on this magazine to treat intersex
people as human beings with equal rights to basic respect, informed choice in medical decisions and to not have surgery forced on
The article, “Beyond XX and XY” by Amanda Montanez, appears in the September 2017 issue. While the article claims to go
“Beyond XX and XY,” it still tries dividing intersex people into male or female. The article’s text says that biological sex
is not so simple an either/or and there is a range of sex characteristics, but the charts shown follow the old binary model, which
makes no sense after saying that not everybody is only male or female.
Worse, the article actually calls intersex people a disorder.
The phrase “Disorder of Sex Development” is actually used to describe intersex people. This is not only wrong and insulting,
it is both scientifically inaccurate and harmful. No minority should be referred to as a disease. Intersex people are
people. There is nothing wrong or bad about having a body which is not clearly male or female. And calling intersex people
a disorder gives a green light to doctors and other health-care providers to do nonconsensual and unnecessary surgeries on intersex
babies and children.
And this article recommends precisely that. In no less than three places it recommends removing intersex babies’
and childrens gonads, and performing cosmetic genital surgery on intersex children for no other reason than to force them to
fit society’s stereotypes of male or female. Under the description of "Mixed Gonadal Dysgenesis," the article’s authors recommend
"dysgenic gonad and testis can be removed and genitals modified to look female" in cases of children assigned female at birth.
A similar statement is made about gonadal removal regarding children with AIS (Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome)assigned male
at birth, "resistance to male hormones, ambiguous genitalia (Partial AIS) dysgenic gonads can be removed and genitals modified to
look male." And a third such claim is made during discussion of sex chromosome X-45 when they talk about "XX Testicular
Disorder of Sex Development.”
This article recommends forcing surgery on babies and children just to make them fit gender stereotypes,
and recommends the forced sterilization of a minority. This is the exact definition of the discredited pseudoscience of eugenics,
which includes attempts to keep minorities from being able to reproduce. Cutting out intersex children's’ gonads is exactly
Scientific American is supposed to represent science. Instead the authors of this article are pushing eugenics, and don’t
even try passing it off under science. They give no reason for recommending unnecessary and non-consensual surgery on babies
and children, they just say to do it. They do not cite or quote a single intersex person. Instead, their alleged expert
is a biased writer named Amy Wisniewski. Wisniewski has written a book called Disorders of Sex Development: a guidebook
for Physicians and Parents and she helped draft a 2006 document called the “Consensus Statement on Management of Disorders of
Sex Development,” documents whose very names call intersex people a disorder. This article is not only offensive and harmful
but isn’t even scientific, so IFF is asking why it is in Scientific American.
IFF is asking everyone who feels intersex people are
people to contact Scientific American at the contacts below. We ask that you demand Scientific American issue a retraction and
apology for the article described above. We ask that you demand they give equal time to intersex people and our allies in the
sciences. We ask that you demand Scientific American use real science to advance intersex peoples’ dignity and equality.
Intersex Friends and Families Board and OII NY, and New England branches.
Contact information for Scientific American:
General Contact Phone: (800) 333-1199
Communications and Press
Officer/Nature Research Contact: Sarah Hausman
212 726 9378
Lavender Greens respond to Scientific American article