Classification: News

11 February 1998


Urology Times revisits intersex controversy

"Into the sea of controversy surrounding the treatment of intersex children
has swept a new tidal wave of opinion," notes Urology Times writer Anne
Sheck. This is the third Urology Times article to examine the debate in
a year.

At first glance, the title's mention of a "conservative turn" in professional
thinking about intersex treatment might be thought to refer to the continued
rigid insistence upon early genital surgery by the American Academy of
Pediatrics and the rejection by many clinicians of the voices of inter-

sex activists.

Instead, the title refers to a wave of support for a halt to early cosmetic
surgery -- one surgeon expressed his hope that we are seeing the beginning
of a return to a more conservative surgical approach.

Dr. William Reiner, a child psychiatrist and former urological surgeon
at Hopkins, concurs with such

recommendations of ISNA and of (Diamond and Sigmundson 1997) that some
highly virilized CAH

infants be raised male.Scheck says Dr. Reiner told her he agrees "in
essence" with ISNA's position,

which advocates that children be allowed to participate directly in

decisions. He added a caveat that extensive psychological testing ought
to be done to affirm the sex role before surgery is considered.

Still, Scheck learned that the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American
Urological Association, and the National Association of Perinatal Medicine

see no reason to reconsider their stances.

Scheck, Anne. 1998. Intersexuality takes a conservative

turn. Urology Times, February, 1,32-3.

Diamond, Milton, and H. Keith Sigmundson. 1997.

Management of Intersexuality: Guidelines for

dealing with persons with ambiguous genitalia.

Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine