New Youth Castration Law Divides Thailand
Boys seeking sex changes will now have to wait untl they're 18
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2008 9:45 AM CDT
Thailand has one of the world's largest and most visible transgendered communities.   ((c) adactio)
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(Newser) – Until recently in Thailand, boys who wanted to change gender could have their testicles removed for just $150, no questions asked. But as Bloomberg reports, a new law pushed by gay rights activists will force Thais to wait until they turn 18 before undergoing a sex-change operation. Many doctors, though, are opposed to the legislation, insisting that castration qualifies as essential surgery.

Thailand has one of the world's largest and most visible transgendered communities: recently, one secondary school built new lavatories after discovering that 200 students were between genders. Gay activists worry that social pressures might push young boys to undergo castration, a decision they might regret later. But one doctor counters that if a boy has "a woman's heart in a man's body and doesn't want to keep his testicles, the change should be allowed."