As we celebrate the 12th Annual Intersex Awareness Day, be informed, be considerate and know the facts.
1. Intersex is a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t fit the typical definitions of female or male. Intersex conditions are now more generally referred to as Disorders of Sex Development (DSDs).
2. Some people live with DSDs or intersex anatomy without anyone, including themselves ever knowing.
3. Some cases of DSD are suspected at birth because of obvious signs of atypical or ambiguous genital appearance. In such cases tests may be carried out which determine whether the baby is raised as a boy or a girl.
4. 1 in 100 people are born with bodies that differ from standard male or female.
5. Approx 1-2 in every 1000 people receive surgery to ‘normalise’ genital appearance.
6. An Intersex person is not a “hermaphrodite”. A hermaphrodite implies that a person is both fully male and fully female. This is a physiologic impossibility. The term may be considered offensive.
7. Most DSD conditions do not affect a person’s physical health. When health implications do occur they tend to relate to infertility and hormone levels.
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