News Release: American Academy of Pediatrics Position on Intersexuality
In 1996, the American Academy of Pediatrics annual convention was picketed by a group of intersex people. The AAP refused to talk with the picketers (and did not reply to a letter from ISNA), but they did distribute this press release to journalists who had come to cover the demonstration.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, a voice for children for over 60 years, is aware of the concerns and sensitive to the needs of intersexuals.
Intersexuals are individuals who are born with anatomical characteristics of both males and females.
The Academy is deeply concerned about the emotional, cognitive, and body image development of intersexuals, and believes that successful early genital surgery minimizes these issues.
Research on children with ambiguous genitalia has shown that a person’s sexual body image is largely a function of socialization, and children whose genetic sexes are not clearly reflected in external genitalia can be raised successfully as members of either sexes if the process begins before 2 1/2 years.
Management and understanding of intersex conditions has significantly improved, particularly over the last several decades.
From the viewpoint of emotional development, 6 weeks to 15 months seems the optimal period for genital surgery.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 51,000 pediatricians dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children and young adults.
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