Girls will be boys

Here’s an article in the Hindustan Times about a new trend in Indore, a big city in the middle of India, to perform genitoplasty on girls, to turn them physically into boys. It concerns hundreds of girls (aged 1-5) per year. Officially, the procedure only takes place when the girl has undescended testes and external female genitals including a vulva. However, there are strong indications that there is a widespread abuse of this procedure because the parents want a boy instead of a girl.

According to the article, there are very few cases known where boys get genitoplasty.

Here’s an article explaining about ambiguous genitalia, which is allegedly what those girls get the genitoplasty for. The prevalence of ambiguous genitalia is about 1% of live births, and only 1-2% of those are ambiguous enough to warrant medical attention. I get the impression from the articles that it’s more often that girls resemble boys physically than vice versa (and apologies for the sloppy use of the terminology for boys and girls, but it’s for simplicity’s sake), so it is very odd that the genitoplasty only happens with children who appear to be girls.

Well, not so odd when it is taken into account how desperately people want to have a boy instead of a girl in that region, but that doesn’t make this practice any less horrifying.

(Thank you @exhibitontiz)

One thought on “Girls will be boys

  1. On the plus side, the comments following the article universally decry the practice, even if not always eloquently. Perhaps a “digital divide” in India makes those who favor such a procedure less likely to post on the Internet?

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