Sunday, May 20, 2012

One in 2000 (Intersex Children)

A lot of social scientists argue over the nature/nurture aspects of gender identity, but there is also a whole other level of complexity. Around 1 in 2000 children is born without clearly defined sexual organs (according to this film), a condition now known as intersex.

According to the Intersex Society of North America, the overall prevalence of children whose sexual anatomy differs from standard male and female is 1 in 100 (a few of the conditions are listed below, there are many more less common ones at their site).
  • Not XX and not XY is one in 1,666 births
  • Klinefelter (XXY) births are one in 1,000 births
  • Total number of people whose bodies differ from standard male or female is one in 100 births
  • Total number of people receiving surgery to “normalize” genital appearance is one or two in 1,000 births

This film, One in 2000, looks at the reality of these people's lives.

One in 2000 


Every parent-to-be hopes for a "perfect" baby, but what does that actually mean? Every newborn is different, but some of those differences are scarier to parents than others. Each year an estimated one in two thousand babies are born with anatomy that doesn't clearly mark them as either male or female -- with what is known as an intersex condition. It's a situation that's hard to talk about; it challenges our preconceptions about how things are "supposed" to be.

This provocative documentary demystifies the issue of sexual difference. At a time when five babies a day in the United States are having "gender reassignment" surgery, it argues that there is little evidence that such surgery is beneficial to the child. The program profiles several people born with ambiguous sexual anatomy, who have managed to deal with some very difficult family and social issues, but today are living "ordinary" and productive lives. It also includes a young mother who is matter-of-factly creating the conditions for her intersex baby to do the same.

Interweaving their stories with educational films from the 1950's, ONE IN 2000 invites us to take a serious second look at how the media have dealt with sexual "normality." It will be an invaluable tool for educating and sensitizing parents, young people -- and many in the medical community as well.

Film Credits

Director and Producer: Ajae Clearway

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