Teen undergoes sex change op

2010-01-13 08:46

Madrid - A 16-year-old Spaniard has had a sex change operation, becoming the country's first minor to undergo a procedure that few countries in the world allow for people so young, the patient's doctor has announced.

The two-and-a-half hour surgery was performed in Barcelona three weeks ago and the patient is doing fine, reconstructive surgeon Ivan Manero, who did the surgery, told a news conference on Tuesday in Spain's second largest city.

Manero said the patient had been undergoing hormonal and psychiatric treatment for two years, after deciding he wanted to undergo surgery to have the body of a woman. The boy "said he felt like a woman from the age of four or five", Manero said. The patient's name has not been disclosed.

The surgery was authorised by a judge, as required by Spanish law for minors seeking such an operation.

Probably fewer than 50 sex change operations are carried out each year in Spain, said Monica Martin, founder of the Spanish Association of Transsexuals.

The association's position on minors is that they think very, very carefully before undergoing such surgery.

"We are not against it, but it is a life-changing decision," Martin told The Associated Press. "It is a good idea to wait until the person has achieved maturity, legal and otherwise."

The World Professional Association for Transgender Health, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, sets guidelines for when to offer sex changes that many Western countries follow.

Exception

According to their guidelines, surgeries should not be carried out prior to adulthood, or prior to a real-life experience of at least 2 years in the gender role of the sex with which the adolescent identifies. It says the threshold age should be 18.

In Spain, regional governments run their own healthcare systems and three of them - Catalonia in the northeast, the province that includes Madrid, and Andalucia in the south - pay for sex change operations.

In this case, the boy's family paid for the surgery in a private facility. No state-run hospital in Spain performs it on minors.

Spain is among just a handful of countries in the world that where the law specifically allows minors to undergo sex change operations, said Jameson Green, a manager at the Centre of Excellence for Transgender Health, at the University of California in San Francisco. Australia and the Netherlands are others, he said.

There have also been a few sex change operations carried out on minors in Germany. But these countries are the exception.

In Thailand, for instance, transsexuals and transgender men are a common sight, appearing on soap operas and working at all levels of Bangkok society. But the rules on sex change surgery stipulate that patients must be over 18, undergo a mental evaluation before the surgery and continued follow-up visits with a psychiatrist afterward. Candidates cross-dress for a year.

In the United States, there is no federal law - and few if any state laws - explicitly banning transsexual surgery for minors.

There, the standards are that such surgery should not take place before age 16, and cases like the Spanish one are rare but not unheard of, Green said.

"Generally, I think what people are concerned about is that young people don't have the capacity to know who they are. And I think we are learning - and this is one of the reasons that you are seeing this happening in Spain - that actually in some cases indeed young people do know who they are."


- AP
Read more on:    spain
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
5 crucial questions to ask before you take that job 2014-10-30 08:00

You choose your employer just as much as they choose you. Here are 5 of the most important things you should find out about a company before you sign up.

/News
 

LOL! Best outdoor girl fails

It’s not only guys who have FAIL moments! Here are some of the funniest outdoor fails where girls are the victims!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

90-year-old's incredible travels
10 facts about swimming you didn't know
Halloween night run
Exciting new zipline for Cape Town!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R2100 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Hot offer: Up to 50% off irons

Save up to 50% on all Philips irons. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be some tension that is caused through social conflicts -- personal interests versus obligations. You may feel an...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.