[Sex assignment in intersex children: a brief analysis of "ambiguous genitalia" cases]

Cad Saude Publica. 2014 Oct;30(10):2177-86. doi: 10.1590/0102-311x00168613.
[Article in Portuguese]


This article takes an ethical approach to briefly analyze current therapeutic guidelines in Brazil for cases diagnosed as "ambiguous genitalia" (one of the "disorders of sexual development", DSD) in intersex children. Except when there is clear risk to the infant's life, there is no medical or institutional consensus on the definition of intersex, DSD, or recommended treatment. Parents or guardians of these minors have the legal right to provide consent for genital surgical interventions. The irreversibility of some procedures calls attention to reports by some intersex adults who underwent such interventions during their childhood or adolescence and now fail to acknowledge the physical or psychosocial benefits that were originally claimed to justify them.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Decision Making
  • Disorders of Sex Development / psychology*
  • Disorders of Sex Development / surgery*
  • Female
  • Gender Identity*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Psychosexual Development*
  • Sex Reassignment Surgery / psychology*