The Instigator
leslienicole2017
Con (against)
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The Contender
KatieMac5
Pro (for)
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Gender Distinction, to create a new gender or not?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/14/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 355 times Debate No: 52476
Debate Rounds (5)
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leslienicole2017

Con

Gender Distinction, simply put is Intersex. Intersex is whenever a person has the genetic makeup of one gender but the phenotype of another. Most people think that this condition is 1 in a million, when in reality it isn't. Intersex occurs more often than thought and many people debate creating a new gender for these individuals.

The downfall of creating this new gender however, is discrimination. According to www.csmonitor.com , This issue was even brought up by campaigners for rights of intersex. They raised concern that putting intersex on records and documents could lead to discrimination against intersex individuals in the classroom setting. In fact, the Intersex Society of North America even brought up the issue. In 1987 Wilma Wood was fired from her job after her employer found out that the was intersex and had undergone surgery. The court in Pennsylvania found that the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act protects women because they are women and men because they are men against discrimination in the workplace, however it does not protect intersex individuals. Creating a new gender should not be allowed, due to the inevitable discrimination against these people.
KatieMac5

Pro

Although your argument is valid, people have been discriminated against since the beginning of time, whether it be because the color of their skin or who they love, discrimination is something that must be expected and well prepared for; especially with such a sensitive topic. According to 2012 European Commission, surgeries have been performed on intersex babies and infants in European countries without adequately informs consent by the patients. The reports also found that many intersex-born people are angry that these surgeries were performed without their consent.
Debate Round No. 1
leslienicole2017

Con

You make a good point, people do have surgeries whenever they are young to make them either sex. Though these individuals were mere infants when the surgery was preformed they had no say, so people shouldn't be upset with the people who had the surgery but rather the parents.

Another reason the making of a new gender shouldn't be allowed is because of documentation disadvantages. Documents for school and other things only offer selection for male or female. If we were to create a new gender would that mean all new documents? What about bathrooms & sports? Australia has made positive changes in their laws for intersex, but still require the infants to be labeled as male or female, which could cause problems in the future if the decision was wrong.
KatieMac5

Pro

Yes, Australia has taken a progressive stance in concern to intersex children; they were following in the footsteps of Germany who enacted a law in November of 2013 that allowed babies born with both sexes to be registered as neither male nor female. One of the major reasons for Germany"s choices, as stated by thegaurdian.com, was because the stress caused on parents who were forced to decide if their intersex child should be labeled as male of female was insurmountable. This decision is crucial, because of the medical operations that go with choosing one of the given genders can lead to potential medical complications in the future. With that said, parents often make hasty decisions that end up going against what the child would prefer as they grow up into adults. It is for these reasons that the U.S. should adopt similar practices for intersex children.
Debate Round No. 2
leslienicole2017

Con

Yes, deciding whether or not your child is male or female could be challenging and stressful.

With these procedures that children go through, because their parents call for it can be dangerous. About 5 times per day in the United States surgeons at major hospitals preform genetic surgery, says oii.org . All though the procedures are controversial, as well as the topic. Could these surgery's prevent the previous points of discrimination & documentation disadvantages?
KatieMac5

Pro

According to apa.org 1 in every 1,500 children are born intersex per year and according to cdc.gov 3,999,386 children were born in 2013. Thus, those who have passed basic algebra can see that roughly 2,666 babies were born with the potential of being intersex in 2013. Are you willing to risk surgeries with potentially harmful results to 2,666 babies, just to avoid the few minutes it would take to add an intersex check box on official documents?
Debate Round No. 3
leslienicole2017

Con

Yes, you have a valid point. Simply putting another check box would resolve documentation issues and bring down the surgeries. But, what about other things? Like bathrooms, and sports? According to www.iwm.at , during last year's Athletic World Champion Berlin an athlete Caster Semenya preformed in the 800m run. She was facing allegations that she was not really a woman, rather she was intersex. She had a male appearance and the fact that she had developed from a junior athlete to a world-class middle distance runner in less than a year raised suspicions about her sexual identity. These allegations against Semenya triggered prominent denials from South American officials. What does this mean for other athletes who are inter-sexed, would they be able to play sports without inquisition? Would they be able to participate in everyday recreational activities??
KatieMac5

Pro

These allegations were in fact made but in accordance to the same article on www.iwn.at, the practice of Gender Verification Testing (GVT) is unethical. The article states that GVT's constitute a serious incursion on the athlete"s dignity, autonomy, and privacy; an incursion that cannot be justified by the appeal to fairness. The article also states a GVT is virtually nonexistent compared to its potential harms, in particular the exposure of individual athletes to a largely interphobic public. Therefore the true question is not if the athletes can participate but if it is ethical that we publicly expose their very private, very personal information.
Debate Round No. 4
leslienicole2017

Con

Your argument is correct, the GVT's are unethical with privacy and things.

But did you know that in the 1950's Johns Hopkins University put together a team and became the first medical center to offer an organized multi-disciplinary approach to intersex individuals. It's goal was to eliminate intersex early in childhood. It was not done bt surgery but rather influencing the things children associated themselves with so that when they were to get older the decision of gender wouldn't be as challenging. This is good because it doesn't harm the children where surgery would. With the system that Johns Hopkins University has come up with, it gives the people a choice. If they want to be male, they can. Same for female. If people are inevitably going to be choosing whether or not they are male or female why make a new gender choice?
KatieMac5

Pro

A study may have taken place, but it in itself could easily be arguable as unethical because, as you said, it persuaded the children to choose either male or female. This study was done to eliminate the outliers of the genders, as well as change in society, so people would feel more comfortable with the routine of what they know, males and females. Eventually, the experiment forcefully made the children choose which gender they wanted to be rather than allowing them the option to be what they really are, intersex. As isna.org says, surgeries done to make the genitals look "more normal" should not be performed until a child is mature enough to make an informed decision for herself or himself. Before the patient makes a decision, she or he should be introduced to patients who have and have not had the surgery. Once she or he is fully informed, she or he should be provided access to a patient-centered surgeon. This statement explains that the children should have the choice of either intersex, male, or female rather than being tricked into choosing just male or female. Is it morally fair that people don"t get a choice when it comes to who they are and who they want to be, just because they are born a little different than the "normal" person?
Debate Round No. 5
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