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October 1997

Sex Reassignment at Birth

Author Affiliations

BAA 8415 A Department of Pediatrics Medical College of Georgia Augusta, GA 30912

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1997;151(10):1062-1063. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1997.02170470096023

I found the article by Diamond and Sigmundson1 and the accompanying editorial by Reiner2 quite interesting and also quite disturbing. The article outlined the case of an XY child raised as a female after losing his penis in a surgical accident at 8 months of age. As a teenager, the child ultimately rejected the female gender, became a male, and later married. The point was made that the most important organ that determines sexual preference is the brain, not the genitalia.

About 15 years ago as a pediatrician in private practice, I had a difficult case of a newborn in which the parents, subspecialists, and I had to decide whether to raise the newborn as male or female. It was a terribly difficult decision for all involved and one that I have thought about a lot during the years. I believed then, as I do now, that the