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Online Intersex Communities: Virtual Neighborhoods of Support and Activism By Brian ...

Chapter 1:  Introduction
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Online Intersex Communities:
Apparently she needed to have a lot of tests done. To say that we were stunned is an understatement. The pediatrician tried to explain about ambiguous genitalia. He also said that she would probably be brought up female since it is harder, “to make a pole than a hole.”
…After about three days of various tests, including a chromosome test which came back as male (XY) we were informed that it would be better to raise our baby as a female. So at that point we informed people that we had a baby girl. At three months old our baby was back in the hospital having her testes removed because according to the doctors they could become cancerous. Also she needed to have surgery done on her genitals. All through this we were still in shock. We didn’t know of anyone else who had gone through this. Our pediatrician had only seen one other case of ambiguous genitalia and that was years ago.
So we felt alone and isolated dealing with it all. We have told only a few people about her genetic makeup. Our biggest fear was that people would look at her and treat her differently. Would they look at her as a boy pretending to be a girl? Some people can be so cruel and as a mother I want to protect my daughter. I am not sure that what I am doing is right, all I know is that I love my daughter with all my heart and I am trying to do what is best for her.

Many doctors, such as the one that treated Gayle’s child, once took what Fausto-Sterling has characterized as a phallocentric approach to decisions regarding intersexuality. Motivated by cultural norms, not medical reasons, doctors often converted boys to female because their penises were not considered viable enough to let the boys do what men should be able to do—urinate easily standing up or penetrate a vagina in a pleasurable way for the male and his partner (57).