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Growing Up Intersexed

Steve Scher
02/10/2009 at 9:00 a.m.

Is it a boy or a girl? That's a question people expect most parents to know even before a birth. That makes things awkward for parents whose children have an intersex condition. Out of every 2000 births, one child is intersexed. "Intersex," or Disorders of Sex Development, is a general term for congenital mixed sex anatomy. Usually this means that a person has some parts associated with males and some associated with females. Some parts can even appear ambiguous. How do doctors and parents deal with intersexed babies? What is it like to grow up intersexed? What does the condition tell us about our own ideas of gender?


Katrina Karkazis is a professor at the Center for Biomedical Ethics at Stanford University. Her new book is called "Fixing Sex: Intersex, Medical Authority, and Lived Experience."

Jane Goto is a first responder for the Intersex Society of North America and the Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome Support Group. Jane has Complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome.

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