I have recently been thinking more about gender given the continuous push of the Proclamation on the Family that has been occurring. In the Proclamation it states: “Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.” I interpret this to mean that our gender is fixed since the creation of our premortal spirits and will not change postmortally. This makes inherent sense to me. However, I get confused when I learn there are many instances where children are born neither male or female but with parts of both sexes.

Wikipedia writes:

“According to the Intersex Society of North America, perhaps 1 percent of live births exhibit some degree of sexual ambiguity, and that between 0.1% and 0.2% of live births are ambiguous enough to become the subject of specialist medical attention, including surgery to disguise their sexual ambiguity. Subtracting the conditions he sees not as legitimately intersex, Dr. Leonard Sax provides the figure 0.018 percent, or 50,000 “true intersex” people in the United States.”

If these numbers are correct, then there are 50,000 persons in the US whose gender is not fixed – at least not genetically nor physically. This does not include those people who feel like they are female when they are physically male and vice versa and opt for a sex change operation.

If we believe that our spirits resemble our bodies, then how do we account for this? I have no explanation except that perhaps it is like many other genetic or developmental abnormalities that cause our physical appearances to be different from what our spirit looks like (e.g., blindness, born with a deformed limb, mental retardation, etc.). However, gender is such a fundamental part of who we are and what the basic tenets of the Gospel are about, that it seems completely against the Gospel that some people would be born with either the wrong gender or an ambiguous gender. This also makes me realize that maybe some of those people who are transgendered (e.g., think they are really male, but have female bodies) may not be as crazy as I have previously thought – it really isn’t much different from the ambiguous gender people. Who am I to say their physical gender does not match their spiritual gender. Therefore, the fixity of gender is still puzzling to me given these cases. Perhaps it is just the spiritual part that is fixed, while the physical gender for 99% of us is correct and matches our Spiritual gender, but there is that subset for whom their physical gender may not correctly match their spiritual gender…