Dr. Ian A. Aaronson, MD is a pediatric urologist and retired professor at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). Aaronson has had a long time interest in the treatment of children born with intersex traits.
In 2006, Aaronson performed feminizing surgery on MC, a 16 month old baby in the custody of the state of South Carolina who had been born with a relatively rare intersex disorder called ovotesticular DSD. After adoption, MC soon expressed gender dissatisfaction, and soon adopted a male identity.
MC's adoptive parents filed federal and state lawsuits against the South Carolina Department of Social Services, Greenville Hospital System, Medical University of South Carolina and individual employees involved in the surgery.
Aaronson was aware of the controversy surrounding the procedure. “Carrying out a feminizing genitoplasty on an infant who might eventually identify herself as a boy would be catastrophic,” he wrote in a medical journal in 2001. He acknowledged the arguments that surgery on infants should be postponed, but concluded, “most parents are disturbed by the appearance of the genitalia and request that something be done as soon as possible so that their baby ‘looks normal.’”
10 May 2004 Doctors "should stand in shame" at the lack of follow-up studies on the cosmetic genital surgeries on intersex children they have been performing for decades, proclaimed Dr. Ian Aaronson of the Medical University of South Carolina. These strong words came during a presentation titled "Gender Reassignment: Yea or Nay?" at the American Urological Association conference in San Francisco.
In fact, in 2004 the subject of the most famous case of sexual reassignment during infancy, David Reimer, committed suicide at the age of 39 on 5 May 2004, a fact that should not have escaped Aaronson. It had been known for several years that the famous "John/Joan" experiment performed at Johns Hopkins University by psychologist John Money, had failed, with "Brenda" resuming a male identity and taking the name of David Reimer.
- Aaronsen, Ian (July 2001): The Investigation and Management of the Infant withAmbiguous Genitalia: A Surgeon’s Perspective, in: Curr Probl Pediatr. 38: 168-94, PMID, DOI. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
- (10 May 2004).
Ian Aaronson at Urology Conference: "Doctors Should Stand In Shame", Ian Aaronson at Urology Conference: "Doctors Should Stand In Shame", Intersex Initiative. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
Ian Aaronson M.D. Retrieved 10 July 2020.