Also known as sex change or gender reassignment surgery, sex reassignment surgery is a procedure that changes genital organs from one gender to another. In both cases, technical considerations favor successful conversion to a female rather than a male. Newborns with ambiguous organs will almost always be assigned to the female gender unless the penis is at least an inch long. Whatever their chromosomes, they are much more likely to be socially well adjusted as females, even if they cannot have children. Reliable statistics are extremely difficult to obtain. Many sexual reassignment procedures are conducted in private facilities that are not subject to reporting requirements.
Bradley Manning, the U. Army private who was sentenced Aug. Converting male anatomy to female anatomy requires removing the penis, reshaping genital tissue to appear more female and constructing a vagina. An incision is made into the scrotum, and the flap of skin is pulled back.
They delivered a small dose of estrogen and a testosterone blocker and set in motion changes that Harper, who was designated male at birth and raised as a boy, had imagined since childhood. Harper's timing was deliberate—the year-old nationally ranked runner wanted one more race before disrupting her hormones because she knew she'd never run as fast again. The testosterone that courses through a man's body after puberty triggers and maintains a slew of physical changes: Men, whose levels of the hormone are usually some 10 to 15 times those of women, typically have larger muscles, denser bones, and higher fractions of lean body mass than women. That hormone-fueled transformation confers certain athletic advantages, and men on average run faster, lift more weight, and throw harder and farther than women. Sporting events are therefore usually split into male and female categories to ensure fair competition. But this division of the sexes, which has existed for as long as women have competed as athletes, forces an important question: Who, at least from an athletic standpoint, is female? Many people believe transgender women such as Harper have athletic advantages over non-transgender women—sometimes called cisgender women—because of their previous exposure to male levels of testosterone. But Harper, a medical physicist at a large medical center in Portland, Oregon, has been challenging that assumption with data.
Sex reassignment surgery for male-to-female involves reshaping the male genitals into a form with the appearance of, and, as far as possible, the function of female genitalia. Before any surgery, patients usually undergo hormone replacement therapy HRT , and, depending on the age at which HRT begins, facial hair removal. There are associated surgeries patients may elect to, including vaginoplasty , facial feminization surgery , breast augmentation , and various other procedures.