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Intersex, in humans and other animals, is a variation in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, or genitals that do not allow an individual to be distinctly identified as male or female. Such variation may involve genital ambiguity, and combinations of chromosomal genotype and sexual phenotype other than XY-male and XX-female.[1][2]

Intersex infants and children, such as those with ambiguous outer genitalia, may be surgically and/or hormonally altered to fit into a perceived more socially acceptable sex category. However, this is considered controversial, with no firm evidence of good outcomes.[3] Such treatments may involve sterilization. Adults, including elite female athletes, have also been subjects of such treatment.[4][5] Increasingly these issues are recognized as human rights abuses, with statements from UN agencies,[6][7] the Australian parliament,[8] and ethics institutions.[9] Intersex organizations have also issued joint statements over several years as part of an International Intersex Forum. In April 2015, Malta became the first country to outlaw non-consensual medical interventions to modify sex anatomy, including that of intersex people.[10][11]

Research[12] in the late 20th century indicates a growing medical consensus that diverse intersex bodies are normal—if relatively rare—forms of human biology. Milton Diamond, one of the most outspoken experts on matters affecting intersex people, stresses the importance of care in the selection of language related to such people.

Like all individuals, intersex people have various gender identities. Most identify as either a woman or man, while some may identify as neither exclusively a woman nor exclusively a man. Some intersex individuals may be raised as a woman or man but then identify with another gender identity later in life.[1][2][13][14]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Man & Woman Boy & Girl. Differentiation and dimorphism of gender identity from conception to maturity The Johns Hopkins University Press (USA)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex Harvard University Press (USA)
  3. Submission 88 to the Australian Senate inquiry on the involuntary or coerced sterilisation of people with disabilities in Australia, Australasian Paediatric Endocrine Group (APEG), 27 June 2013
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  12. Pediatric gender assignment : a critical reappraisal ; [proceedings from a conference ... in Dallas in the spring of 1999 which was entitled "pediatric gender assignment - a critical reappraisal"] Kluwer Acad. / Plenum Publ. (New York, NY [u.a.])
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