Noted researcher calls for surgery moratorium

The time has come to instate a general moratorium on genital surgeries and sex reassignments performed on intersex children — those who are born with ambiguous genitalia — without their consent.

That’s what sex researcher Milton Diamond told members of the Elk Grove Village, IL-based American Academy of Pediatrics at its annual meeting in San Francisco this past October.

A researcher at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, Diamond told the physicians at the meeting that no studies have shown that "normalizing surgery" does more harm than good.

Lack of data a concern

He maintains that while the surgeries have been performed for more than 40 years, they remain experimental, and without data, it is impossible for parents to give informed consent on their children’s behalf.

There also should be a concerted effort to undo the effects of past physician deception, Diamond says. Deception undermines relations of trust and confidence between patient and provider and conveys the clear message that intersexuality is "unspeakably shameful in the minds of parents and physicians," he adds.