Coercively Assigned Male at Birth

Updated: FEBRUARY 25, 2019

Coercively Assigned Male at Birth is a term used to describe people who were assigned the male gender at birth by medical professionals. This designation typically comes based on an evaluation of the genitals. It may also describe an individual whose genitals were surgically altered to appear more masculine at birth.

The term is similar to Male Assigned at Birth, but more emphasis is placed on the gender classification coming from an external force rather than the individual's identity.

Coercively Assigned Male at Birth is often shortened to the acronym CAMAB.

More About Coercively Assigned Male at Birth

The term Coercively Assigned Male at Birth is most commonly used in the transgender and intersex communities. However, there is some controversy surrounding when it should apply.

Some members of the transgender community believe the term should apply to male-to-female transgender individuals. This argument states that such individuals were coerced into accepting a gender role that they did not identify with and had no control over.

However, another stance is that the term should only apply to intersex individuals whose genitals are surgically altered to more closely resemble typical male genitalia. After the operation, these children are raised as boys and often unaware that the surgery was ever performed. Often, these individuals are not told of their history unless the individuals do not identify with the chosen gender or medical tests reveal the news.

As this scenario represents a much greater coercion, many people feel that to describe the situation of MTF trans people in the same way is problematic. After all, a medical practitioner cannot be expected to know whether an individual will be cisgender or transsexual when presented with a seemingly "normal" baby.


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