Parents desperate for a son are reportedly having sex-change operations carried out on their infant daughters.
It has been reported that hundreds of girls – some as young as one – are having the procedure every year in Indore, as wealthy parents from Delhi and Mumbai pay around £2,000 for their daughters to have 'genitoplasty' surgery.
Despite being warned the operations would render the child infertile, many parents are still insisting the procedure - which involves constructing a penis from the tissue of the female organs - is carried out.
Around seven expert surgeons are believed to have each turned between 200 and 300 girls into 'boys'.
Critics of the procedure have spoken of their horror of the unmonitored practice. Writing on Twitter, author Taslima Nasreen wrote: 'Shocking! Not only do people kill unborn girls, they turn girls into boys by genitoplasty.'
There have been calls for new regulations to be put in place after legal advisors said it was not actually against the law to carry out the surgery.
Dr Anil Bhadoria of the Indian Medical Association said: 'There has to be some guideline or law on how a child who is barely old enough to talk can undergo a life-changing surgery at the parents' will.'
Yet one parent whose child had the operation aged just two said: 'I think he would not be confused over his gender when he grows up and can live a normal life as he would not have any memories of the surgery.'
What do you think? Should this practice be outlawed immediately?
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