Reassigning gender: the science of sex

The role of medicine and science in defining, creating and altering human gender has been brought under the microscope in a new book by health journalist Jane McCredie.

The book, Making Girls and Boys: Inside the Science of Sex, examines the complex issues and challenges faced by individuals born with varying degrees of anatomical sexual ambiguity and the decisions faced by their families. 

Ms McCredie said the book was originally inspired by a feature article she had written focusing on the case of a 12-year-old Victorian girl who had successfully sought court permission to receive hormone treatment to prevent female puberty – as she saw herself as a boy. 

“It is a GP issue to the extent that they are often the first point of call – though these cases are still relatively rare,” Ms McCredie said.

“The ones whose parents take them to the GP early are the lucky ones – they are the ones whose