Intersex

Written by on August 17, 2017

FetLife BDSM Glossary Term: Intersex

A congenital anomaly of the reproductive and sexual system. Intersex people are born with external genitalia, internal reproductive organs, and/or endocrine system that are different from most other people. There is no single “intersex body;” it encompasses a wide variety of conditions that do not have anything in common except that they are deemed “abnormal” by society. What makes intersex people similar is their experiences of medicalization, not biology. Intersex is not an identity. While some intersex people do reclaim it as part of their identity, it is not a freely chosen category of gender–it can only be reclaimed. Most intersex people identify as men or women, just like everybody else.

Kinkly Glossary Term: Intersex

Kinkly Entry

Intersex is a term used to describe those individuals that are born with ambiguous reproductive features that do not easily fit within male/female categories. There may be a discrepancy between the individual’s external genitalia and their internal reproductive organs or a combination of chromosomal genotype-phenotype mismatches.

Planned Parenthood Term: Intersex

Planned Parenthood Glossary

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. Sometimes a female or male gender is assigned to an intersex person at birth through surgery, if external genitals are not obviously male or female. Intersex babies are always assigned a legal gender, but sometimes when they grow up, they don’t identify with the gender selected for them.

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UC Davis Entry

People who naturally (that is, without any medical intervention) develop primary or secondary sex characteristics that do not fit neatly into society’s definitions of male or female. Many visibly Intersex people are mutilated in infancy and early childhood by doctors to make the individual’s sex characteristics conform to society’s idea of what normal bodies should look like. Intersex people are relatively common, although the society’s denial of their existence has allowed very little room for intersex issues to be discussed publicly. Hermaphrodite is an outdated and inaccurate term that has been used to describe intersex people in the past.

We Are Family Charleston Term: Intersex

We Are Family Entry

People who naturally (that is, without any medical interventions) develop primary and/or secondary sex characteristics that do not fit neatly into society’s definitions of male or female. Many visibly intersex babies/children are surgically altered by doctors to make their sex characteristics conform to societal binary norm expectations. Intersex people are relatively common, although society’s denial of their existence has allowed very little room for intersex issues to be discussed publicly. Has replaced “hermaphrodite,” which is inaccurate, outdated, problematic, and generally offensive, since it means “having both sexes” and this is not necessarily true, as there are at least 16 different ways to be intersex.

Wikipedia Term: Intersex

Wikipedia Entry

Intersex people are born with any of several variations in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals that, according to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, “do not fit the typical definitions for male or female bodies”. Such variations may involve genital ambiguity and combinations of chromosomal genotype and sexual phenotype other than XY-male and XX-female.

Intersex people were previously referred to as hermaphrodites, “congenital eunuchs”, or even congenitally “frigid”. Such terms have fallen out of favour; in particular, the term “hermaphrodite” is considered to be misleading, stigmatizing, and scientifically specious. Medical description of intersex traits as disorders of sex development has been controversial since the label was introduced in 2006.

Synonyms:
Hermaphrodite (Archaic),Congenital Eunuch (Archaic),Congenitally Frigid (Archaic)
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