What happens when someone is born intersex?
Awareness of intersex conditions is growing. In the past, when a baby was born intersex, doctors and the family would decide on a gender and raise the baby as that gender — either male or female. It was common for surgery to be done on the baby’s genitals and also for the child to be given male or female hormones as they went through puberty. But of course sometimes the gender they picked didn’t match the gender identity the young person grew up to have.
So today, more and more people believe unnecessary surgery and other medical interventions should be postponed until intersex people are old enough to decide for themselves what gender they identify with and what, if any, treatments they want.
If you have a child who’s intersex, open conversation about gender is especially important throughout your child’s life — whether or not your child has gender-assignment surgery. It can help your child develop a healthy gender identity and body image.