On 26 November 2018, the Committee on Internal Affairs and Community (Internal Affairs Committee) held a public hearing on the draft law “Amendments to the information to be entered in the register of births”. The legal experts present were Dr Petra Follmar-Otto, Dr Anna Katharina Mangold and Prof. Dr Konstanze Plett, the doctors Prof. Dr Susanne Krege, Prof. Dr Anne Richter-Unruh and Dr Christian Spaemann, as well as Lucie Veith for the Federal Association “Intersexuelle Menschen e.V.” Other relevant disciplines, such as psychology and education, were not represented. You can view the video [in German] under this link.
On the eve of International Intersex Awareness Day, the TV channel ZDF marked the occasion with a reference to the topic in the TV series “Lena Lorenz”. The day is observed every year on 26 October. The episode “Eindeutig uneindeutig” [“Clearly ambiguous”] in the series “Lena Lorenz” (90 min) is about the birth of an interchild with partial androgen insensitivity (PAIS) and the questions this raises. The episode vividly depicts the pressure families can be put under to quickly assign children born with ambiguous genitals to the female or male sex. The enlightened physician, who is familiar with the new medical guidelines, and the level-headed, caring midwife, Lena Lorenz, turn out to be a stroke of luck for the child and the parents and prove to be genuine role models.
“Normalising” surgical interventions without a clear medical reason (indication) are condemned and have been declared obsolete. However, the advice of both professionals is only hesitantly accepted by the family. In the end, it is the young brother of around 6 years of age who stands up for his sibling and brings his parents to their senses by showing them what is really important: accepting one another and loving one another just the way each person is.
In this episode, the falsely assumed duality of the sexes is called into question. Different points of view and conflicts are raised, for instance in statements like “Everyone always wants to be individual and special, and when it gets real, everyone has a problem with it”.
The film can still be viewed here in the ZDF media library up until 3 January 2019.
On Tuesday, 16 October 2018, an expert day on the protection of intersex-born children took place at the Federal Ministry of Justice in Berlin with lived-experience experts and specialists. The subject was the discussion of legal provisions for the protection of children with variations in sex development against gender-normalising medical interventions.
The current coalition agreement (of the CDU, CSU and SPD) from 12 March 2018 contains the following wording and objective on the subject: “We will make it legally clear that gender-normalising medical interventions on children are only permitted in urgent, life-threatening cases” (p. 21, lines 797–799). Further information can be found at: https://www.bmjv.de/DE/Startseite/Startseite_node.html
The symposium “Intersex Controversies” on 22 November 2017 was the second symposium hosted by the HOOU Intersex-Kontrovers project. The response was tremendous and the ballroom in Erika-Haus at the UKE in Hamburg was fully booked. Prof. Peer Briken, Director of the Institute for Sex Research and Forensic Psychiatry at the UKE, opened the event.The initiator, Dr Katinka Schweizer, was delighted that so many people accepted the invitation. She introduced the host project along with all the guests, and moderated throughout the afternoon. Continue reading “Positive response and constructive debate at the HOOU: Successful intersex symposium at UKE”
In this contribution you can watch interviews with a range of professional experts. Dr. Ute Lampalzer has interviewed experts who have been dealing with intersex, the body and gender in their work over a long period of time.
We would like to thank the interviewees for their time and openness and for their consent to publication.
The following interviews can already be seen here:
Dr. Michael Groneberg, philosopher
Prof. Dr. phil. Konstanze Plett, jurist
Dr. med. Wilhelm Preuss, psychiatrist and sex researcher
Fabian Vogler, sculptor
Dr. phil. Katinka Schweizer, psychologist