OUR PREFERED APPROACH
Intersex health and rights advocates discourage all forms of harmful cultural practices and unnecessary genital surgery without the intersex persons’ consent. When an intersex child is born new theories suggest that parents and family members should be educated about intersexuality. Using what they know about the intersex child’s specific condition and historical case studies a “best guess” should be made in order to assign a gender that the child will feel most comfortable in. Parents and the child should be taught that no test is 100 percent accurate and it is okay if the child changes what gender she/he will want to live as later in life.
As soon as the child is old enough to understand she/he should be educated about their bodies and also receive counseling in order to understand and become empowered in regards to their sexual and gender identity. Approaches that encourage open communication and education amongst the intersex child and their family is more effective and more empowering than performing unnecessary, irreversible surgery.
COMMON DSD OR INTERSEX CONDITIONS
Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS): People with AIS are genetically 46XY and are born with testes. Physical characteristics (phenotype) can vary from male to female and anywhere in between. People with complete AIS (CAIS) are physically unambiguously female, whereas people with partial AIS (PAIS) range from phenotypical males with ambiguous genitals to phenotypical women with little response to androgens. The condition is caused by the inability for fetuses with a male chromosomal pattern to respond either fully or partially to androgens (male hormones).
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia: People with CAH are genetically 46XX and have female internal reproductive structures (vagina, uterus and ovaries). However, as a result of the adrenal glands of the developing foetus producing excessive amounts of androgens, the foetus’ genitalia begin to develop in the male direction. The clitoris of a baby with CAH is enlarged and may resemble a small penis. The cleft between the labia or lips may be partly closed over, hiding the entrance to the vagina. The urinary passage and vagina may also both open into one entrance as a result.
Klinefelter’s Syndrome: People with Klinefelter Syndrome are born with a 47XXY set of chromosome patter. People with this condition are usually raised as males and often have breast development, low androgen production and small testes.
Tuners Syndrome: A condition where an infant is born with a 45XO sex chromosome pattern. Typical effects include gonadal streaks in lieu of ovaries, short stature, cardiovascular conditions and hormone deficiencies. Some physical manifestations of uterus Syndrome have what is referred to as a Mosaic Sex Chromosome pattern where some or all cells in the body possess duplicate sex chromosomes such as XO/XY.
Hypospadias: A condition where the urethral opening is not on the tip of the penis. (Usually along the penile shaft or in the perineum).
COMMON DSD OR INTERSEX EXTERNAL SIGNS
- Enlarged breast and hip development in biological males.
- Excessive virilism (body hair) in biological females.
- Lack or exceptionally irregular menstrual cycles in biological females.
- Lack of breast development and extreme leanness in biological females.
- Inability to get an erection in biological males.
- Undeveloped vaginal orifice and passage for biological females and males.
- Inability to conceive (sterile conditions) for both biological females and males.
- Ambiguous genitals and/or gonads in both biological females and males.
LAWS AND REGULATIONS THAT SIPD IS ADVOCATING FOR TO DIRECTLY ADDRESS THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF INTERSEX PEOPLE.
Currently the Constitution and laws of Uganda are silent on the legal protections and related human rights of intersex children and people. It is the duty of government to protect and support the protection of all its citizens especially children born with particular differentiations and who are not in position to make any choices. SIPD aims to advocate for the following legal enactments.
- Prevention of intersex Genital Mutilation.
- Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Based on Atypical Sex Differentiation or Gender Identity.
- Right to Access Relevant Information by Intersex People and Parents of Intersex Children.
- Alteration of Sex Description and Status on National Identity Documents.
For further information and support, please Contact us:
Support Initiative for people with Congenital Disorders Kampala – Uganda
Ntinda – Bukoto Road Kampala
Tel: +256 414 693 861