Sex Reassignment Surgery Essay Example

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Sex Reassignment Surgery

Do you think surgery is an essentially a destructive process for those people who want to be transgender?

Explanation of Readings

The work of Chase (2006) is an eye opener to the contemporary issue facing hermaphrodites. In her work, she aims at exploring the scientific culture of sex Reassignment surgery (SRS) for intersex babies. As such, Chase (2006) establishes the destructive nature of the practice and why people are campaigning against it. One of the main arguments that Chase (2006) puts forth is the fact that surgeries at an early stage go against an individual’s right to autonomy. This argument is backed by the fact that most of the adult intersexual are against physicians’ recommendation of SRS. This means carrying out the SRS procedures at an early stage denies the individual right of saying yes or no to the process. The second argument that Chase (2006) brings forth is the fact that the genitalia is only part of the reason why intersexuals are who they are. Apart from genitalia ambiguity, individual have genetic issues that cannot be solved by surgery. For instance, she gives the case of Turner’s syndrome which leads to the ovarian dysfunction thus making it difficult to have children. Additionally, Chase (2006) also highlights the troubles associated with Klinefelter syndrome which affects males when they have additional X chromosomes.

Kean & Bolton (2015) highlights the social construct of defining an individual as either boy or girl. In their discussion, this social construct is unfair to those who are genderqueer as it puts boundaries to their gender experience description. In this regards, genderqueer is used to describe individuals who are living between and outside the binary genders. This is different to transgender, which refers to persons who are more close to a binary gender that is contrary to their biological sex. With this differences, Kean & Bolton (2015) stipulate that individual within this group seek hormonal therapies and SRS so as to alter their bodies, whereas others prefer staying the same.

Reflection on Discussion Question

From my point of view, sex reassignment surgery is a destructive process for those who want to be transgender. The rationale for this stand is the fact that it is a brutal process and has no impact on the genetic or behavioral characteristics of a person. Literarily, SRS is a barbaric operation that mostly leads to imperfect results. In this regards, the male-to-female SRS entails the elimination of the male reproductive system coupled with hormone therapy to suppress the male physiology. Additionally, it involves the construction of the vagina utilizing phallus’ skin, implantation of breasts and shaving of the trachea. Specialists use laser treatment in the removal of hair in areas associated with masculinity. On the other hand, the female-to-male SRS consists of removal of breasts, ovaries, and womb coupled with hormonal therapy (Bettcher, 2015). As such, the process is destructive to those who want to be transgender as it alienates them from either their female or male attributes.

In addition to the brutality, the basis of the SRS is gender dysphoria (Danon & Kramer, 2017). In this regards, gender dysphoria refers to the state in which an individual feels that they should be of the opposite sex and were thus born in the wrong body. Gender dysphoria has no known foundation in physiology or genetics. Apart from this, there is no vast body of scientific evidence that backs up the clinical effectiveness of SRS. As such, SRS does not offer a long term solution for those who are transgender. This is because one may feel at one time comfortable being male and another time comfortable being female, thus ending up being trapped in a body that they do not like.


Bettcher, T. M. (2015). Intersexuality, Transgender, and Transsexuality. The Oxford Handbook of Feminist Theory, 407.

Chase, C. (2006). Hermaphrodites with Attitude: Mapping the Emergence of Intersex Political Activism. In Susan Stryker and Stephen Whittle (Eds.) The Transgender Studies Reader (pp. 300-314). NY: Routledge.

Danon, L. M., & Krämer, A. (2017). Between Concealing and Revealing Intersexed Bodies: Parental Strategies. Qualitative Health Research, 1049732317697100.

Kean, J. & Bolton, R. (2015). Explainer: what is genderqueer?.The Conversation. Retrieved 21 July 2017, from