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Intersex People Deserve Reparations for Non-Consensual Surgeries


Intersex People Deserve Reparations for Non-Consensual Surgeries

Story by Courtney Skaggs (24 Jan 2023)

I was castrated at the age of six weeks old. I’m intersex and rather than give me the choice of having a non-essential surgery when I was of age to consent, the decision was made for me. Then, like clockwork, I had to go back to the same hospital every six to 12 months for 27 years. A chocolate peanut butter cup cookie from the hospital cafe was my only coping mechanism for repeatedly returning to the site of my trauma. I was feminized by force, and, sadly, my experience is not unique.

While the exact numbers are hard to pin down, almost 2% of the world’s population experiences variations in sex characteristics (VSC). These differences can manifest in our hormone production and regulation, internal and external sex organs, and chromosomes. People who experience VSCs sometimes identify with the term and community known as “intersex.”

Despite intersex people’s protests against medically unnecessary surgeries we cannot consent to (surgeries are often performed on underage children who are legally unable to consent to them), and despite such procedures being called human rights violations by many UN nations, many doctors have continued to rely on flawed medical practice and science to care for people with variations in their sex characteristics since the 1960s.


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