Surgeons in the city of Indore are reported to be 'converting' hundreds of girls a year, who are subsequently pumped full of hormone drugs. A report in the respected Hindustan Times newspaper said the 'shocking, unprecedented trend, catering to the fetish for a son, is unfolding at conservative Indore's well-known clinics and hospitals on children who are one to five years old. Doctors in the city of Indore, in India, are said to have carried out hundreds of procedures to turn girls into boys 'The process being used to 'produce' a male child from a female is known as genitoplasty.
Sex determination tests during pregnancy are illegal in India to try to prevent the common practice of women choosing to abort female foetuses. In some states such as Punjab the ratio of women to men has dropped as low as seven to ten. News of rampant abuse of the surgery - normally used to correct genital abnormality in fully-grown patients - led to a furious backlash on Twitter and other social networking sites on Sunday. The author and feminist Taslima Nasreen led the outrage, tweeting: Not only do people kill unborn girls, they turn girls into boys by genitoplasty.
Writer Taslima Nasreen said doctors who carried out the procedure should be jailed for life Parents have allegedly pressed for the surgeries despite being told by doctors that the 'converted' male would be infertile. The procedure involves doctors 'building' a penis using tissue from female organs, with the child then being fed hormonal medicine. Seven genitoplasty experts in Indore boasted each of them had turned to girls into 'boys' so far, with only one being older than 14, the legal age of consent to such an operation.
Doctors claimed the operations were performed on children whose internal organs do not match their external genitalia - most commonly, girls born with some internal male organs. India has no system to monitor that claim.
This surgery can stop the child from having sex-determination disorder and psychological problems,' said Dr Milind Joshi, a paediatric surgeon who performs the procedure at a city hospital. A parent whose child underwent such a surgery at the age of two told the Hindustan Times on the condition of anonymity: These are reconstruction surgeries where sex of the child is determined based on its internal organs and not just on the basis of external genitalia.
Calling it a highly sensitive issue, Dr Joshi said people should be sensitised about these surgeries. Asked about consent of the child, he said, 'In India, consent is sought from parents till the child is There has to be some guideline or law on how a child who is barely old enough to talk can undergo a life-changing surgery at the parents' will,' said IMA secretary, Indore branch, Dr Anil Bhadori.
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