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Argentine Court Permits Sex Change Operation for 17-yearold

by Gopalan on September 26, 2007 at 4:38 PM
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Argentine Court Permits Sex Change Operation for 17-yearold

A court in the central Argentine province of Cordoba has agreed to permit sex change operation on a 17-year-old.

The decision ends a long-running legal process for Nati, a male but who suffers from the transsexual disorder known as Harry Benjamin Syndrome.

Harry Benjamin Syndrome (HBS) is a congenital intersex condition that develops before birth, involving the differentiation between male and female. It is believed that every 1 in 500 is born with this condition. The boys born under this condition have female genitalia even thought their brains are male. So far it's impossible to diagnose this condition at the moment of birth causing the babies to be raised in the wrong gender role.

We now know that the brain is the primary part of the body that can define one's sex, therefore one's true sex is determined by the structure of the brain, and not simply by the genitalia. Gender identity is hard-wired in the brain and in the central nervous system.

The Argentine judge insisted that Nati receive counselling after the operation, which will take place in the next few days.

Nati knew from an early age that she had been born with the wrong body.

The decision by the court in Cordoba, the first of its kind in Argentina, means that that can now be put right.

After the operation Nati will also be able to officially change her name and apply for new documentation.

I'm very happy, she said, that my real identity has been recognised.

Her parents and friends have supported the 17-year-old during a long and often tortuous legal process that saw some decisions go against her.

The president of the Argentine homosexual community, Cesar Cigliutti, was one of those supporters.

"Not only the operation has been authorised but also the necessary changes to her birth certificate," he said.

"What's important and unusual about this case is that Natalie is a minor - she is not yet 18 years old - and this has become an emblematic case for people who have a gender identity different to their biological one."

Source: Medindia

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