Event Title

American Hospital Protocols for the Management of Intersex Infants with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia

Location

Old Dominion University, Learning Commons at Perry Library, Room 1311

Start Date

8-4-2017 3:00 PM

End Date

8-4-2017 3:20 PM

Description

Congenital adrenal hyperplasia is a genetic mutation which causes 21-hydroxylase to overproduce androgens, typically in individuals with two X chromosomes. This can result in the formation of ambiguous genitalia, as typical vaginal development is replaced by the formation of genitalia which takes the appearance of a structure larger than a vagina, but smaller than a penis. As congenital adrenal hyperplasia accounts for about 90% of all cases of intersexuality, which occurs in about 1% of the general population, it is not as rare of a condition as many researchers make it out to be. Hospital protocols in the past allowed for doctors to secretly perform surgeries on intersex infants, without parental consent, in order to give a newborn “normalized” genitalia. In twenty-first century United States, doctors often tell parents that ambiguous genitalia is an emergent condition which must be operated on; while they get consent, it is not necessarily informed consent. Studies show that intersex adults have poor mental health outcomes, and often suffer from gender dysphoria as doctors may have assigned the wrong gender, or their medical records were hidden from them. Research has been conducted by comparing several journal articles which study patient outcomes of genital reconstruction surgeries, and other methods that doctors use to “fix” and infant’s ambiguous genitalia. Since the results of all of these studies show poor outcomes, there have been many proposals made to improve patient health. The most prevalent proposal is allowing children to make their own decision in terms of their gender identity, as well as encouraging the idea of gender fluidity and not conforming to the rigid binary.

Presentation Type

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Apr 8th, 3:00 PM Apr 8th, 3:20 PM

American Hospital Protocols for the Management of Intersex Infants with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia

Old Dominion University, Learning Commons at Perry Library, Room 1311

Congenital adrenal hyperplasia is a genetic mutation which causes 21-hydroxylase to overproduce androgens, typically in individuals with two X chromosomes. This can result in the formation of ambiguous genitalia, as typical vaginal development is replaced by the formation of genitalia which takes the appearance of a structure larger than a vagina, but smaller than a penis. As congenital adrenal hyperplasia accounts for about 90% of all cases of intersexuality, which occurs in about 1% of the general population, it is not as rare of a condition as many researchers make it out to be. Hospital protocols in the past allowed for doctors to secretly perform surgeries on intersex infants, without parental consent, in order to give a newborn “normalized” genitalia. In twenty-first century United States, doctors often tell parents that ambiguous genitalia is an emergent condition which must be operated on; while they get consent, it is not necessarily informed consent. Studies show that intersex adults have poor mental health outcomes, and often suffer from gender dysphoria as doctors may have assigned the wrong gender, or their medical records were hidden from them. Research has been conducted by comparing several journal articles which study patient outcomes of genital reconstruction surgeries, and other methods that doctors use to “fix” and infant’s ambiguous genitalia. Since the results of all of these studies show poor outcomes, there have been many proposals made to improve patient health. The most prevalent proposal is allowing children to make their own decision in terms of their gender identity, as well as encouraging the idea of gender fluidity and not conforming to the rigid binary.