Germany now registering ‘genderless’ babies with both male and female characteristics
by Jonathan Benson
November 7, 2013
(NaturalNews) They are sometimes referred to as “intersex” people — individuals with chromosomes, genitalia or even just characteristics that resemble both the male and female sex — and for the first time ever, they now have their own gender category on birth certificates in Europe. According to BBC News, Germany has officially become the first nation in the world to allow parents to register their newborn babies as genderless, or “indeterminate sex,” when it is determined that they bear both male and female attributes.
Traditionally, parents who birthed children with intersex characteristics had to immediately decide their child’s sex at the hospital, a high-pressure situation with potentially catastrophic ramifications. Depending upon which sex the parents chose, doctors had the option to immediately begin hormone therapy and even surgery to help the children develop more towards the parents’ chosen sex, which as you might imagine is not always an easy or obvious decision.
In one example case cited by reports, an intersex child born with ambiguous genitalia underwent modifying surgery after being born, only to later lose all sense of his defined sexuality. Now as a grown adult, this individual recently told reporters, “I am neither a man nor a woman. I will remain the patchwork created by doctors, bruised and scarred.”
Such gut-wrenching emotional damage and heartache can be avoided, say intersex advocates, if parents are allowed to simply register their intersex babies in a completely separate category from just the male and female classifications. The logic behind this maintains that parents will be less pressured to try to modify their intersex children physically, thus allowing them to develop on their own into whatever sex their bodies ultimately choose.
“Babies are still being operated on routinely,” says Sarah Graham, an intersex woman and counselor who advocates around the world for more recognition of intersex people. “Often these operations are not necessary for the child’s development. Sometimes they take away fertility and sexual responsiveness.”