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Law and Gender

University of Michigan Law School

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Children

2000

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Full-Text Articles in Law

An Emerging Ethical And Medical Dilemma: Should Physicians Perform Sex Assignment Surgery On Infants With Ambiguous Genitalia?, Hazel Glenn Beh, Milton Diamond Jan 2000

An Emerging Ethical And Medical Dilemma: Should Physicians Perform Sex Assignment Surgery On Infants With Ambiguous Genitalia?, Hazel Glenn Beh, Milton Diamond

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This article discusses the development of a surgical approach to treating intersex infants and others with genital anomalies that began in the late 1950s and 1960s and became standard in the 1970s. Although professional literature has recently questioned the surgical approach to the treatment of infants, controversy surrounding treatment persists and the medical community now is divided. How sex reassignment surgery for intersex infants became a routine recommendation of practitioners and how parents were persuaded to consent to such radical surgeries provide a cautionary tale that is relevant to both medicine and law.