Updated: FEBRUARY 25, 2019
The term Coercively Assigned Female at Birth describes people who were assigned the female gender at birth by medical professionals without consent. This classification is typically given after an assessment of the genitals. The term is also commonly used to describe anyone whose genitals were surgically altered to appear more feminine after birth as with many intersex individuals.
The term Coercively Assigned Female at Birth is similar to Female Assigned at Birth. However, this term places more emphasis on the gender classification coming from an external force rather than the individual's feelings of personal identity.
Coercively Assigned Female at Birth is often shortened to the acronym CAFAB.
More About Coercively Assigned Female at Birth (CAFAB)
The term Coercively Assigned Female at Birth is most commonly heard in the transgender and intersex communities. However, not everyone agrees that members of both these communities have the right to use it.
Some female-to-male members of the transgender community classify themselves with this term because they feel they were forced to accept a gender role thrust upon them by an external force.
However, many people believe that the term should strictly apply to members of the intersex community whose genitals were surgically altered to appear as female genitalia. These individuals are taken home and raised as girls and are often unaware that their gender was chosen for them. It's not uncommon for this history to stay secret until the individual struggles with infertility or does not feel like a girl.
As the case of intersex individuals concerns a greater coercion than that of FTM transgender people, many people feel that using the same term invalidates the struggles of the intersex community. These people insist that unlike a medical practitioner performing surgery to choose a child's gender, a doctor cannot possibly foresee any negative ramifications of ascribing gender to a seemingly "normal" baby girl.