Sunday, April 18News For London

What is intersex? Things you might not know about intersex people

Can you spot intersex people based on their appearance?

Video by Hai Anh Vu

From the ancient Greek mythology, the term “Hermaphrodite” become a common used medical definition that refers to people whose bodies have both male and female characteristics. 

Nowadays, the term is no longer used and instead, another term has been put into common use. That term is Intersex. 

But having such variation in characteristics is not a medical problem and it’s more common than what you think. The United Nations estimated that 1.7% of the population are born with intersex trait, comparable to the number of people born with red hair. Current statistics suggest that approximately 358,105 UK people with intersex variations.

Under current British law, parents of intersex children are required to assign an infant a sex in order to register a birth certificate. Thus, some intersex adults want this practice to end because of the relevancy of medical condition and lack of consent of intersex individual. Effectively, they are being assigned a sex that they may not identify with.

While some of us have the privilege to choose our own identity, whether gender identity, or even sexual preference. It seems that intersex individuals do not share such rights. Although there are a lot of mis conceptions around the meaning of intersex, a number of intersex activists and organizations around the world are fighting to raise awareness and protect human rights of intersex people. In the UK, groups including: Intersex UK, UK Intersex Association and Intersex International as well as rapidly expanding network of individual activist are united in their commitment to ending violation of intersex people human rights.