Changing attitudes to sex assignment in intersex (Creighton and Liao)

Classification: Recent Publications

Creighton, Sarah M. and L.-M. Liao (2004). "Changing attitudes to sex assignment in intersex." BJU International 93: 659-64.

"In particular, a greater commitment to case-by- case exploration of assignment to a tentative sex of rearing and at delaying irreversible genital surgery ought to be given more consideration, with rationalized psychological backup, professional and/or lay, that is appropriate to the circumstances of patient and family."

"If this sounds experimental, sex assignment by genital surgery also represents an experiment involving invasive, risky and irreversible intervention. We are unsure how the absence of rigorous evaluation of the intended outcome could ever have been justified in interventions with such grave consequences, but overconfidence in the past has left the current generation of clinicians and patients floundering with uncertainties. Research in recent years and expected changes in reproductive technology and tissue engineering make clinical management more uncertain than ever. The clinician’s choice is stark; to share the diverse opinions with patients and parents and assist them to develop their own responses, or pretend to certainty and intervene before they learn what questions to ask."