Free «Intersexuality» Essay

Intersexuality

In life, individual's sexual and core gender identity form the basis at which people interact and socialize in the society. Therefore, individuals such as boys who tend to emulate, act, and inhibit female characteristics and behavior or vice versa are normally disregarded in the society. This has prompted many of the affected parents to make intersex surgical decision in regards to their children. However, this has translated into the violation on the human rights of these children. The paper discusses the case of Hailey, a young biological boy born as “Harry” who expressed from the young age that “he” is actually “she.” Based on this, Hailey’s parents have made a difficult choice o how to best raise their child.

Intersexuality and transgender are two collective terms used to describe an individual’s biological sex and sex orientation respectively. The assumption that all the associated components of sex should fit the gender has relegated our belief that each and every individual should not only have a core gender identity, but rather should develop out of sexual contest to eventually become a heterosexual woman or man. These concepts have resulted in man’s disregard of the causes of intersex such as congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) which has constituted the most cases of this sexual disorder.

Significantly, the variation between sex and gender identity has resulted into unusual secondary sexual characteristics during adolescence and infertility in adult stage which have averted our perception towards the affected people. While the society tends to look upon these individuals, the intersexed normally conceptualize their gender and sexual identity as they attempt to create life out of it.

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Hailey’s Core Gender Identity

From the lecture research, Hailey’s core gender identity is male. According to the research, the mere claim that Hailey does not develop or express secondary sexually characteristics associated with male does not render him a female. This is due to the fact that male characteristics and expressions are normally enhanced by functioning Y sex chromosomes which regulate the production of androgen, the male specific hormone. Generally, men or young boys such as Hailey should have both functioning XY chromosomes for complete androgen production and recognition of the body. Failure for the functionality of X chromosomes would result into androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS) which will make a young boy to show female characteristics.

As based on the lecture research, AIS normally affects the development of the reproductive and genital organs such as testes. When the embryonic testes develop, they initiate the production of androgen for the completion of male genital development. However, due to androgen insensitivity syndrome, the body is unable to use the androgen hormones produced by testes that, in turn, results into the evelopment of external genital along the female. Since another hormones are produced by fetal testes, this female genital development is hindered rendering the person with only female characteristics as it is evident in the case of Hailey. Therefore, in Hailey’s case, the typical female gender identity he inhibits basically comes from the environment or parental hormones while invariably Hailey develops core gender identity as male.

The Concept of Gender Blending is Regards to Hailey's Case

According to the lecture research, the concept of gender blending is normally applicable to those who consistently express, right from their childhood, the intention to become the representative of the opposite gender. This is normally agitated by individual’s need for passionate feeling for the true self which their current gender identity does not emulate. As noted by the lecture research, gender blending is normally contributed by individual’s unsatisfaction of his or her gender identity. Therefore, people with transgender or intersex normally engage in gender blending in changing their sexual preference. This was evident in the national sensational story of Christine Jorgensen, a U.S. citizen who went for surgical transformation to change her sex and gender identity. Hailey has shown the same interest; consequently, the concept is equally applicable to his case.

How Social Invisibility Affect Hailey's and Parent's Concern

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The social invisibility of successful women for gender correction as discussed in lecture research raises concerns on Hailey's social well-being and existence after the transsexual surgery. According to the research, there are extremely rare cases of transsexual incidence which are reported by the media. While transsexual occurs in about 1 of every 250 to 500 children born as boys, the future of these androgen sex assignment victims are not well reported. This denotes the process as ineffective in addressing Hailey's social concerns.

On the other hand, the social invisibility as pointed in the lecture research is only denoted as resulting into sad social outcomes for both Hailey and his parents. This is based on media reports that do not highlight unsuccessful transsexual changes, but rather concentrate on well-known sex changes incidents or sexually discriminated victims. Koyama (2010) adds that the media normally focus on the life struggle of these successful women but not on their afterward life. This raises social marginalization concern of Hailey and his parents. According to the research, the lack of social exposure would not only render victims such as Hailey into social marginalization but further affects their operations. Based on the past experience, such incidences have never been heard again due to social failure, harassment, and attack directed to these people.

How the Construction of two Genders Influences Hailey's Parents Based on the lecture research, the construction of two genders can influence Hailey's parents as far as adopting the transsexual surgery is concerne. This is due to its importance in enhancing child's sexual orientation.  To Hailey's parents, sexual orientation would best describe his emotional, romantic or sexual attraction. This would then help Hailey in forming a personal and social sense of identity, behavior, and belonging as well as in participating in community activities.  For instance, the partial androgen insensitivity syndrome (PAIS) as that of Hailey when assigned gender category at the early stage, would allow him develop and grow up as a heterosexual.

Sex as a Social Construction

Hailey's experience from childhood supports sex as a social construction, an assertion made in the lecture research. According to the research, social construction is based on sex orientation that develops within individuals even before the beginning of psychological process.  This results in gender and sex identity based on external genitals appearance rather than chromosal component which form the basis of social interaction and construction. Raskoff (2009) notes that the failure by Hailey's parents to understand the ambiguity associated with their child would result in assigning the child to the sex which does not conform to his social construction. Based on Hailey's experience, sex has been seen as social construction due to the fact that he tends to emulate female characteristics from male gender in enhancing his social interaction.

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As pointed out in the lecture research, sexual orientation affects the kind of choices which people make in life. This is based on the fact that individual’s social interaction is associated with the link between a person’s sexual orientation and his/her biological components. The research notes that individuals with partial androgen insensitivity syndrome are usually assigned sexual orientation based on their genital appearance. This in turn affects their construction of social norms. Additionally, the lack of genital surgery in enhancing sexual orientation would impact negatively the individual’s identity development which directly effects his or her social construction. Therefore, sex is essential for social construction.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the fact that nature provides transgender or intersex shows that male and female gender identities are only culturally based in forming individual's sexual and social identity. Therefore, it is essential to fully understand and advocate for equal rights for this generation’s species such as Hailey. Our actions should not negatively inflict on their social and sexual identity which is necessary in promoting their social construction and interaction.  Moreover, parents should allow their children to make informative decision on their sexual orientation and gender identity.

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