You might see the medical profession regarding Klinefelter’s syndrome as an intersex condition, but I don’t. I’m referred to in medical literature as “a person…..” A PERSON, first and foremost I’m a person….. a person suffering from….. a disease, It’s called collectively as there are a great many disorders in this area, A disorder of Sex Differentiation. This is something I have, not something I am. I am a man with a sex differentiation disorder.
Now then, not really surprisingly, EVERYBODY on the planet has “differentiation” of their sex. Everybody is on that sex continuum, and yes it is the medical profession that determines where people fit on that continuum, which to me seems kinda logical really as it’s the medical profession that treats those with such severe “differentiation” that they won’t be able to happily exist in society without their assistance. And it’s not just a matter of appearance, there are other serious health issues to consider as well, like cancer, osteoporosis, and auto-immune diseases three debilitating illnesses that if they weren’t treated for prevention or cure, would kill us. This isn’t just a “lovey dovey” description of the shape and function of genitals, this is life and death!
Then there’s the influence of society on the medical profession. Yes it does happen. Everything that happens is not the medical profession dictating to parents, often it’s the parents dictating to the medical profession, the parents who are in regular, normally sex differentiated society. They don’t want their little darlings growing up being ridiculed by all the rest of society. Who would? If a child is born with cleft palate and the medical profession says “we’ll wait until the child is older to decide if s/he really wants to eat and speak properly” I can assure you the parents would not accept that decision. They would go absolutely nuts!
XXY boys have a penis when born, and testes and scrotum, and if their penis is deemed “too small” they’re given low level testosterone therapy, they’re not castrated and turned into girls! The conditions of sex differentiation that exist that bring about sex assignment surgeries are when sex is unknown, where just looking isn’t an absolute indicator.
XXY boys do not fit into that category.
This is where I have sympathy for Transsexual people, I know what genital surgery feels like when adult. If it were in any way possible for my surgeries to be performed when I was a baby, I’m sure I’d have opted for it then, if I could. But of course my differentiation disorder didn’t develop until after the onset of puberty, and there was no need to do repair surgery before adulthood. So I have nothing in common in that regard with persons born with ambiguous genitalia, even though we’re loosely joined with a medical descriptive of the disorders we suffer from.
I find it fascinating that some intersex activists argue against the use of measuring equipment to gauge the size of a clitoris or penis to determine where the infant is on the differentiation scale, yet at the same time see some XXY men use their smallness of penis as their main justification for claiming intersex. It’s seems like a contradiction. How well virilised an infant is, is the standard to determine where the child fits on the sex differentiation continuum. That’s the way it is in the womb, we all start off the same, then were virilised if there’s the right genes and testosterone is present too. Whatever the chromosomes children who are not virilised are female, and those that are partially might be considered ambiguous.
The medical profession is simply trying to determine where a person ought to be on the sex continuum, and they get a lot of criticism because they care.