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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.

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. Such treatments may involve sterilization. Adults, including elite women athletes, have also been subjects of such treatment. Increasingly these issues are recognized as human rights abuses, with statements from UN agencies, a national parliament, and ethics institutions. Intersex organizations have also issued joint statements over several years as part of an International Intersex Forum.

Research 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.

Intersex people have all sorts of gender identities: like all individuals, some intersex individuals may be raised as a certain sex (male or female) but then identify with another gender identity later in life, while most do not; some may not identify themselves as either exclusively female or exclusively male.


Lists about intersex issues

People and organizations

Society and media

See also

Medicine and biology

Human rights events

Related issues

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Intersex" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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