Gender Ambiguity In Childhood

1687 Words7 Pages
The topic of gender ambiguity at birth is discussed in regards to the parents making executive decisions concerning their child’s sexuality. If the parents make the wrong choice then development will be very confusing for the child; who will feel confusion growing up because they feel part of a gender that they do not physically identify with. Both he idealistic and practical ways that this decision can be made, and the later developmental results of that decision are overviewed. The resources available to families in Birmingham, Alabama are reviewed and a plan for combatting these setbacks is outlined.
Keywords: Ambiguous genitalia, development
Literature Review Trauma can enter a child’s life at any point. Most often, one will consider only
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There have been several narrative based studies that collect the experiences of each group. One set of researchers focused on the parents and found that there was an overwhelmingly negative reaction to learning their child’s diagnosis (Sanders, Carter & Goodacre, 2007). Parents often feel burdened by the decision and are not aware that delaying the corrective surgery is even an option. The parents often expressed confusion and uncertainty about how to address or refer to their child. They were hesitant to speak in absolutes regarding their child’s gender, which is particularly hard because everyone’s first question for a couple about their new child is if they had a boy or a girl (Sanders, Carter & Goodacre, 2007). A few of the interviewed couples reported that people were extremely intrusive in their questioning; to the point that they felt gossiped about (Sanders, Carter & Goodacre, 2012). Almost all of the parents expressed more concern for their child’s future social acceptance than they did for their current medical…show more content…
One longitudinal study spanning 27 years looked at a single patient who was a boy until the age of four, then underwent corrective surgery to become a girl and then chose to reverse the decision as a teenager (Dittmann, 1998). In the years before finally choosing to become a man, the patient exhibited strong masculine tendencies. She refused to wear a dress and always felt attracted to female friends, but never felt that she was a lesbian because she did not feel as if she was meant to be a woman (Dittmann, 1998). She became curious about her past surgeries and learned the truth about her past. With this in mind, she officially began the very long process of changing her gender. Surprisingly, this subject had a fair amount of support throughout his life from his parents, citing that he could always tell they felt guilty for his condition (Dittmann, 1998). The patient, upon last contact, was very happy with his life and felt comfortable being a man. Another narrative study followed the experiences of three subjects who had all been born with ambiguous genitalia. All three noted that they were teased in school, which the researcher suggests is because of the difference between the way they looked and the way that they acted (Diamond, 1997). All three had also been raised female when they were actually male; and two reported great relief when
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