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Me My Sex and I

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Grade Level: SrH-Adult
Producer: BBC
Closed Captioned: Yes
Running Time: 50 mins
Country of Origin: Great Britain
Study Guide: No

Copyright Date: 2010
Available in French: Yes

This compelling documentary unlocks the stories of people born ‘intersex’ – neither entirely male nor female – and asks whether our traditional understanding of gender is correct.

Women can look entirely female but have male chromosomes and internal testes. Some babies are born with ambiguous genitalia – neither clearly male nor female. ‘Intersex’ conditions like these have been shrouded in shame and secrecy for decades.

Traditionally in Europe and the US, ambiguous babies have been ‘treated’ through surgery. Gender assignment is often performed shortly after birth; doctors decide which gender the child is closest to, and then operate by removing or replacing parts of the genitals to fit the chosen gender.
But this type of treatment is now being questioned. Many adults who have been through gender assignment accuse doctors of abusing them by performing life-altering surgery over which they had no choice. They also challenge the belief that gender is binary, believing ‘male’ and ‘female’ merely represent particular points of a biological continuum that contains many degrees of ‘intersex’. While there is much scientific evidence to support this, western society has been less ready to accept that maleness and femaleness are tenuous and imprecise biological concepts.
This compelling scientific yet sensitive and emotional documentary reveals how we all develop in the womb – and if just one link is out of place, the result is a Disorder of Sexual Development (DSD or ‘intersex’) condition. As a result, DSDs are not rare. In the West one in every 500 is born with a DSD condition of some sort – and many of them do not even know it.
The programme features insights from people living with DSDs, and the medical teams at the forefront of DSD treatment, including clinical psychologist Howard Devore, who himself was born ‘intersex’.
It is a deeply-held assumption that every person is either male or female. Me, My Sex & I asks whether this belief is correct.