Stanford Medicine article on non-consensual intersex surgery and medical treatment

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OII-USA Spokesperson for Human Rights, Hida Viloria, is quoted in an article on intersex in an online publication by Stanford Medicine.

Stanford Medicine: Gender X: The Battle over Boy or Girl

OII is against non-consensual surgery and related medical treatment on intersex newborn’s genitals, and demands that intersex children have the right to choose what medical treatment they wish, when they want it.

OII also rejects the term, Disorders of Sex Development (DSD ) as pathologizing and harmful to intersex people.

From the article:

Many, including the 3,000 members of the International Intersex Organization, are loathe to accept the very phrase “disorders of sex development,” which was adopted by mainstream clinicians after the American Academy of Pediatrics published its Consensus Statement on Management of Intersex Disorders in 2006. Activists say disorder implies pathology, and that people with atypical variations in sexual organs, hormones and genes are, by nature, freaks.

“People are surprised that I’m well-adjusted, that I’m confident and happy about who I am,” says Hida Viloria, who was born intersex 42 years ago and has never had surgery or hormone treatment. “I refuse to let bigotry influence my self-esteem.”

Since testifying before a hearing investigating “the medical ‘normalization’ of intersex people” convened by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission in 2004, Laurence Baskin, MD, chief of pediatric urology at UCSF, rarely speaks publicly about the complex decision to surgically assign a gender to an intersex child.

“I thought they were going to shoot me,” he says of his experience at the hearing.

Reading accounts of the lives of intersex people who have been through the kind of surgery Baskin specializes in might show why.