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Intersex refers to any biological ambiguity of an animal's[note 1] sex from "chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals".[1][2] According to Anne Fausto-Sterling, 1.7% of all human births involve intersex babies.[3] A response to Sterling's finding is that most clinicians do not recognize as intersex, and that in those "conditions in which chromosomal sex is inconsistent with phenotypic sex, or in which the phenotype is not classifiable as either male or female", the prevalence of intersex is about 0.018%.[4] However, this could be a way to present the data as if intersex people are a minuscule percentage of the population and to dismiss their need for legal rights and protections.[5] The 0.018% figure excludes, for instance, people with Klinefelter syndromeWikipedia or Turner syndrome.Wikipedia

One can distinguish intersex people from transgender people, in that intersex individuals have natural physical sex ambiguity; whereas the ambiguity that may be present in a transgender person's body is usually artificial (so long as as neurology is excluded). Like transgender people, intersex people sometimes come to feel that they were assigned the wrong gender at birth, and seek to change that assignment; this is generally distinguished from transgenderism, though it is sometimes used to support the supposition that each individual has an intrinsic gender-identity that cannot be wrongfully imposed.

Some people characterize non-intersex humans as "perisex".[6] Others refer to such individuals as "sexually dyadic".[7]

Intersex is not hermaphroditism[edit]

Individuals with an ambiguous sex were previously labeled as hermaphrodites;Wikipedia however, this has since dropped out of use due to not correctly describing said individuals.[8] Unlike intersex, hermaphroditism is a normal biological condition for an organism having fully functional reproductive organs of both sexes.[9] The ability to produce both gametes (and thus the possibility of self-fertilization) is unknown in humans, though at least hypothetically possible.[10]

Intersex medical operations[edit]

Medical operations are commonly done to intersex individuals, mainly for cosmetic purposes. Intersex operations have a history of doing more harm than good,[11][12][13] inflicting victims patients with lifelong issues because their sex ambiguity was too egregious.

Birth defect?[edit]

Short answer: No. Long answer: Not really. A birth defect is a structural change that can affect nearly any part of the body, and they may affect how the body looks, works, or both.[14] While intersex falls under this definition, many intersex people dislike being seen as birth defects, as being classified and treated as such has led to the forced surgeries mentioned above, side effects which include but aren't limited to: loss of sexual feeling and function, scarring, and sterilization.[15]

And in extreme cases, intersex individuals are murdered over being perceived as defective.[16]

Legal protection[edit]

To date, intersex people are not protected under law in most countries across the world. LGBTQI currently is not very widespread.

  Explicit protection on grounds of sex characteristics
  Explicit protection on grounds of intersex status
  Explicit protection on grounds of intersex within attribute of sex


Intersex pride flag, created by Organisation Intersex International Australia in 2013.


  1. In non-human mammals, there is for example the freemartin.Wikipedia


  1. UN Committee against Torture; UN Committee on the Rights of the Child; UN Committee on the Rights of People with Disabilities; UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; Juan Méndez, Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment; Dainius Pῡras, Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health; Dubravka Šimonoviæ, Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences; Marta Santos Pais, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Violence against Children et al. (October 24, 2016). "Intersex Awareness Day – Wednesday 26 October. End violence and harmful medical practices on intersex children and adults, UN and regional experts urge". Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. 
  2. See the Wikipedia article on Intersex.
  3. Fausto-Sterling, Anne (2008). Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality. Hachette UK. ISBN 9780786724338. Retrieved 26 May 2020. 
  7. The Kiva (Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society, Arizona State Museum) 40: 84. 1974. Retrieved 26 May 2020. "Archaeologically the establishment stage can be identified by the creation of an architectural unit capable of sheltering and housing a sexually dyadic pair." 
  8. Dreger, Alice D.; Chase, Cheryl; Sousa, Aron; Gruppuso, Phillip A.; Frader, Joel (18 August 2005). ""Changing the Nomenclature/Taxonomy for Intersex: A Scientific and Clinical Rationale."". Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism. Retrieved 27 July 2016. 
  10. See the Wikipedia article on True hermaphroditism. (Section: "Documented cases of fertility".)
  11. World Health Organization (2015). Sexual health, human rights and the law. Geneva: World Health Organization. ISBN 9789241564984. 
  12. Eliminating forced, coercive and otherwise involuntary sterilization, An interagency statement, World Health Organization, May 2014.
  13. United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (May 4, 2015). Discrimination and violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. 
  14. What are Birth Defects?
  15. I Want To Be Like Nature Made Me
  16. Killed at Birth: the Slaughtering of Intersex Babies