What is intersex?

Intersex is an umbrella term that has been in use for the last 60 years. It includes over 40 variations of sex characteristics where the sexual anatomy or the chromosomes are not the standard male or female.

  • Previously the term hermaphrodite was in common use and there is still a lot of controversy about the preferred terminology. Some professionals prefer the term Disorders of Sex Development (DSD).
  • The incidence of intersex is estimated to be approximately 1.7% of the global population
  • Variations where there are chromosomal differences from the usual 46XX or 46XY: Klinefelter’s Syndrome 47XXY, Turner’s Syndrome 45X0.
  • Variations where there are hormonal differences: Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH), Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS).

Human Rights Commission Report - A human rights investigation into the medical "normalisation" of intersex people.

The Clinical Guidelines for the Management of Disorders of Sex Development in Childhood and Handbook for Parents  have been produced by a consortium consisting mainly of:  (1) clinical specialists with experience helping patients with Disorders of Sex Development (DSDs); (2) adults with DSDs; and (3) family members (especially parents) of children with DSDs.

bench hands

Imagine one end of the bench represents being 100% male, the other 100% female and you can't sit either end, you may be intersex. If so you are not alone, 2000 other New Zealanders are sharing the middle with you.

 See the visual media available.

Intersex Youth Aotearoa

IYA logo Red 2015


IYA Poster full size IYA-Poster400wide







Download the poster (PDF)

used at Intersex awareness conferences.