News Source: The Nation
Publication/Broadcast Date: October 10th, 2016
“Kenyan MP James Bett urged intersex people to come out so that a census can be conducted to inform the budgetary allocation that the Treasury would have to make.”
Topics: Healthcare and Legislation
LGBTQI+ Identities: Intersex
Journalistic Issues: Journalistic approach is objective, but unjust weighting of sources/info, Language/terminology is inaccurate/misused but with no apparent malice, LGBTQI+A voices missing entirely (zero), Negative myths/stereotypes are left unchallenged, and Research/context is insufficient or questionable
While the author’s seemingly objective approach to covering intersex issues is admirable, his ignorance of the actual issues and misuse of terminology do more to confuse than inform the reader.
The author characterizes intersex people as “victims” who “suffer” from a “rare gender disorder,” a “gender identity disorder that makes it difficult to determine whether they are male or female at birth, though their gender becomes apparent as they grow.”
The author quotes “expert opinion” as saying, “the victims have both female and male sexual organs at birth, both poorly formed.” He quotes an MP as saying, “an intersex person requires at least four chromosome tests to determine their gender” and implies that “corrective surgery” is required.
The author’s victimizing language, muddling of gender and biological sex, and reliance on false information from “expert” sources show that he hasn’t done his homework. The absence of any intersex voices in the piece may shed some light on these oversights. Avoid the rush to publish, reach out to relevant sources, and research the issue in-depth before confusing your audience with misrepresentations and falsehoods.