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What is Intersex?

Not all people come into the world as boys or girls. Little is known about intersex people and some sketchy information is circulating. Moreover, such information is not scarce.

Intersexual individuals have bodily sex characteristics that cannot be classified as merely masculine or feminine. These are defined as variations of inborn bodily sex characteristics and include, for example, genitals, hormone production or chromosome sequencing, body contours, hair distribution or muscle ratio.

Intersex may become visible at or after birth.

What is the number of intersex people?

There are no official statistics on the ratio of intersex people to the total population. Scientific estimates range from 0.02 percent to 1.7 percent, depending on how many types of intersex are considered. This means that approximately every 60th child born is likely to be intersex.

In any case, there are more intersex people than it seems. Because many people do not reveal that they are intersex in order to protect themselves from discrimination. Often times, even individuals themselves do not know that they are intersex.

Is intersex a third gender?

No. Intersex people have very different bodily gender characteristics like other people. Gender identities also vary from person to person: they may describe themselves as feminine, masculine, non-binary, and / or intersex.

Is intersexuality a disease?

No, however, rare strains of intersex may be associated with certain health risks. Apart from that, intersex people are as sick or healthy as other people.

However, there are medical diagnoses for different types of intersex. These are grouped together under the heading “Disorders of Sex Development” (DSD, ie gender development disorders). Many intersex people reject defining their sexuality as “syndrome” or “disorder”. Because of these definitions, there is an impression that their bodies are defective and should be treated.

Intersexual organizations still and frequently today complain that these individuals are still and frequently complain about having surgery or receiving medication in infancy or childhood in order to make intersex people sexually “clear”. Such interventions are often without health obligation and with prior notification. It is carried out without a consent. These irreversible interventions require additional treatment for life and significantly limit the quality of life of intersex people. International human rights organizations characterize this as a violation of the rights to physical immunity and sexual self-determination.

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