Forced sex change operations in India


by Rumbold
29th June, 2011 at 8:44 am    

Discrimination against girls in India is well known and documented. Campaigners have long highlighted the skewed sex ratio, the abortion of female foetuses and the murder of baby girls. Now let another method to reduce the number of girls has been revealed: forced sex change operations:

The row emerged after newspapers disclosed children from throughout India were being operated on by doctors in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.

Doctors confronted in the investigation claimed that girls with genital abnormalities were being sent to the city’s clinics to be “surgically corrected” and that only children born with both male and female sexual characteristics were eligible for the procedure. But campaigners said the parents and doctors were misindentifying the children’s conditions to turn girls into boys.

The surgery, known as genitoplasty, fashions a penis from female organs, with the child being injected with male hormones to create a boy. Dr V P Goswami, the president of the Indian Academy of Paediatrics in Indore, described the disclosures as shocking and warned parents that the procedure would leave their child impotent and infertile in adulthood.

No doubt this is just the tip of the iceberg either. It is unlikely that Indore is the only place where this happens. Nor is legislation likely to be effective to stop this. What is needed is proper enforcement of the laws and a change in a mentality that views girls as something shameful compared to boys.

Update: There has been some doubt cast on this story by an Indian newspaper, which is a rival of the newspaper where it was first published.


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Filed in: 'Honour'-based violence,India,Sex equality






33 Comments below   |  

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  1. sunny hundal

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  1. Boyo — on 29th June, 2011 at 9:04 am  

    I’m not convinced – “claims” become “disclosures”… only wealthy families could afford this, and then why not abort as seems proven by the evidence? This sounds like an NGO-driven scare story to me, although I don’t doubt the underlying problem.

  2. Rumbold — on 29th June, 2011 at 10:41 am  

    Boyo:

    The cost of such operations in India is decreasing, and families are willing to spend that sort of money. It might be that some of them are wealthy families, who didn’t get an ultrasound, and didn’t want to/were scared of murdering the child once born.

  3. Imran — on 29th June, 2011 at 4:43 pm  

    There are many bad things going on in India about gender at the moment. Sunny has refused to refer to the obituary of a woman who has written two books on the matter, Mala Sen. Quite why I don’t know.

    Perhaps he could tell us? I really would like a response to this Sunny and not your usual blank when things are difficult or inconvenient.

    All you have to do is give the Guardian link. If you can’t, I will. Let us see. You quote so many South Asian non entities, why the refusal of an Indian woman who really did change this country?

  4. Optimist — on 29th June, 2011 at 5:38 pm  

    I have been returning to India every couple of years for the last fifteen years and I had never heard of this before.

    But I have feeling that it must be true. Probably, for obvious reasons, the families concerned keep it very quiet and its not generally known to the public.

    I also suspect that at present the numbers are quite small. But I hope that the govt. will put an end to it before this odious practice grows.

  5. Don — on 29th June, 2011 at 6:23 pm  

    That sounds dreadful, to prefer a putative but non-functioning boy over a healthy girl. But The Telegraph is notorious for abysmal science reporting. Perhaps it happens, but as to the extent I don’t trust the source.

  6. jamal — on 30th June, 2011 at 10:48 am  

    Is this story for real?

    if it is that is one of the most disgusting stories i have heard in a long time. To surgically put a plastic penis on a healthy girl child just because you want a boy!!

    This is outrageous, i am going mad just thinking about it what planet are the surgeons and parents of the kids on?

  7. Dumbbold — on 9th July, 2011 at 2:03 pm  

    What’s weird is that views opposing Christianity aren’t allowed here – are they? or ‘Anti-white’ views

    Wonder what’s up with that, hmm?

  8. douglas clark — on 9th July, 2011 at 4:18 pm  

    Dumbbold,

    Fuck off. I hate identity theft and this is as near as it comes.

  9. Rumbold — on 9th July, 2011 at 8:50 pm  

    I do not mind Douglas- if it makes her/him happy.

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