1. What does intersex means ?
A variety of conditions that lead to atypical development of physical sex characteristics are collectively referred to as intersex conditions. These conditions can involve abnormalities of the external genitals, internal reproductive organs, sex chromosomes, or sex-related hormones. Some examples include:
Intersex was originally a medical term that was later embraced by some intersex persons. Many experts and persons with intersex conditions have recently recommended adopting the term disorders of sex development (DSD). They feel that this term is more accurate and less stigmatizing than the term intersex.
2. How common are Intersex conditions?
There is no simple answer to this question. Intersex conditions are not always accurately diagnosed, experts sometimes disagree on exactly what qualifies as an intersex condition, and government agencies do not collect statistics about intersex individuals. Some experts estimate that as many as 1 in every 1,500 babies is born with genitals that cannot easily be classified as male or female.
3. Are Intersex conditions always apparent at birth ?
Not always. Some intersex conditions cause babies to be born with genitals that cannot easily be classified as male or female (called ambiguous genitals). These intersex conditions are usually recognized at birth. The first four conditions listed above—congenital adrenal hyperplasia, 5-alpha-reductase deficiency, partial androgen insensitivity syndrome, and penile agenesis—are in this category. Other intersex conditions, including the last four conditions listed above—complete androgen insensitivity, Klinefelter syndrome, Turner syndrome, and vaginal agenesis—usually do not result in ambiguous genitals and may not be recognized at birth. Babies born with these conditions are assigned to the sex consistent with their genitals, just like other babies. Their intersex conditions may only become apparent later in life, often around the time of puberty.
4. What are some examples for Intersex conditons?
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia, in which overproduction of hormones in the adrenal gland causes masculinization of the genitals in female infants.