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In about one out of every 1500 hospital deliveries infants are born with ambiguous genitalia Faced with such situations physicians have worked towards creating a standard approach for treating these infants Dr John Money has been the leading theorist in this field Between 1955 and 1972 Money and his associates developed procedures for dealing with both the intersexed infant and the parents These procedures included quickly assigning and surgically creating a gender for each baby Over the years however debate has surfaced regarding the validity of Moneys theories One scholar who voices opposition is Suzanne Kessler a psychology professor at Purchase College SUNY In an article written in 1990 she presents and analyzes Moneys methods and their consequences Kessler disagrees with the means by which he chooses a gender and his justifications for doing so Since the publication of Kesslers article scientific evidence has emerged which disputes Moneys theories In a July 2000 article Dr Chanika Phornphutkul of the Brown University Department of Pediatrics spotlights flaws in Moneys methods On-going research indicates that some of Moneys assumptions have proven fallacious and some of his techniques questionable Nonetheless the 2000 American Academy of Pediatrics has been hesitant to retract its endorsement of Moneys methods Through evaluation of Kesslers ideas and Phornphutkuls essays I believe that the Board should suspend Moneys procedure and call for the drafting of new rules regarding infants with ambiguous genitalia Dr Phornphutkuls article outlines the three underlying principles that govern Moneys theories First gender assignment should be made promptly after birth as hesitation could result in the stigmatization of the infant Second the assignment should parallel the prognosis for future sexual function and fertility as closely as possible Third Money emphasized that an infants gender is highly malleable during the first eighteen months of its life Because no gender identity has begun he proposed that proper treatment hormones could effectively construct the gender of choice In her article The Medical
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