Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Ambiguities

Over at St. Louis Magazine's Editor's Room blog, there's an interview with a Webster U. sociologist. She's talking about sexuality, and the topic of babies born with ambiguous genitalia comes up in this way:

Q: The serious question is more extreme, though: whether to perform surgery on an intersexed newborn to give it more typical sexual characteristics.

A: Recent stats say 1 in every 2,000 children is born intersexed. I think that's low. The American Pediatric Association still recommends that surgery happen within 48 hours, but last I heard, the American Medical Association was moving to restrict those surgeries, delay them until a young person can consent.

Reading this, I was reminded of a long debate I got into last summer in the comments section of St. Louis Catholic, a very conservative blog that I almost always disagree with but used to check just to stoke the fires of my rage. We started with the topic of whether God were male and somehow eventually got into the issue of people born with ambiguous genitalia.

Writing as much as I did, I clearly had way too much time on my hands, but I actually found it a meaningful exercise to work out my thoughts in that forum. And my interlocutor turned out to be a pretty decent human being. Before the conversation gets earnest and serious, though, I do get told by another commenter to "stop smoking up the original Christian faith" and to go worship my mother God someplace else.

If you're interested in reading the exchange, my comments start here.

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