Intersex rights in the United States

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Intersex rights in the United States
USA orthographic.svg
Protection of physical integrity and bodily autonomy No
Protection from discrimination In healthcare
Access to same rights as other men and women No
Changing M/F sex classifications Varies
Third gender or sex classifications Varies
MarriageYes

Intersex people in the United States have some of the same rights as other people, but with significant gaps, particularly in protection from non-consensual cosmetic medical interventions and violence, and protection from discrimination. Actions by intersex civil society organizations aim to eliminate harmful practices, promote social acceptance, and equality. In recent years, intersex activists have also secured some forms of legal recognition.

Intersex Innate variations in sex characteristics such that individuals differ from norms for male or female bodies

Intersex people are individuals 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.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.

Contents

History

Early accounts of intersex people in North America include those of English immigrant Thomas(ine) Hall, in 17th-century colonial Virginia and 19th-century Connecticut intersex man Levi Suydam, pronounced male and so eligible to vote. Early common law, like canon law, [1] held that hermaphrodites were to be treated as male or female depending on the prevailing sex. [2] [3]

Thomas Hall, born Thomasine Hall, was an English servant in colonial Virginia whose wearing of female attire and, on subsequent investigation, a liaison with a maid provoked public controversy in 1629. Hall was subjected to a physical inspection, and the case reached the Quarter Court at Jamestown, which ruled that Hall was both a man and a woman and must dress in male and female clothing simultaneously.

Colony of Virginia English/British possession in North America (1607–1776)

The Colony of Virginia, chartered in 1606 and settled in 1607, was the first enduring English colony in North America, following failed proprietary attempts at settlement on Newfoundland by Sir Humphrey Gilbert in 1583, and the subsequent further south Roanoke Island by Sir Walter Raleigh in the late 1580s.

Connecticut U.S. state in the United States

Connecticut is the southernmost state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. As of the 2010 Census, it has the highest per-capita income, Human Development Index (0.962), and median household income in the United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, New York to the west, and Long Island Sound to the south. Its capital is Hartford and its most populous city is Bridgeport. It is part of New England, although portions of it are often grouped with New York and New Jersey as the tri-state area. The state is named for the Connecticut River which approximately bisects the state. The word "Connecticut" is derived from various anglicized spellings of an Algonquian word for "long tidal river".

In September 2017, an intersex and non-binary student, Scout Schultz was shot dead at the Georgia Institute of Technology. In November 2017, Betsy Driver became the first intersex person openly elected to public office in the United States. Driver was elected as a council person in the New Jersey city of Flemington. Driver is the second publicly intersex person elected to office, following Tony Briffa in Australia. [4]

Scout Schultz was born in Rockville, Maryland, in 1995. On September 16, 2017, as a 21-year-old student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Schultz was shot once in the heart and killed by Tyler Beck, an officer of the Georgia Tech Police Department. Schultz was carrying a type of multitool which includes a small knife. The incident was followed by protests and civil unrest, which led to multiple arrests. As of September 2018, the shooting was still being investigated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Betsy Driver is the mayor of Flemington, New Jersey, and an advocate for intersex human rights and awareness. She is the first openly intersex person to be elected to office in the United States.

Tony Briffa is an Australian-Maltese who has Partial Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome. Briffa is an independent councillor, and former mayor and deputy mayor in the City of Hobsons Bay, Victoria. Briffa is considered the world's first openly intersex mayor and public office-bearer.

Intersex medical interventions

Since the mid-twentieth century, U.S. physicians have considered intersex status in infants a "psychosocial emergency" and performed "normalizing" or "reconstructive" genital surgery without considering non-surgical alternatives (e.g., counseling). [5] When deciding whether to assign the intersex infant "male" or "female," the factors typically considered are potential for fertility and sexual penetration. [5] These surgeries still continue in the U.S. today despite being medically unnecessary (that is, chiefly cosmetic) and potentially injurious to the patient's sexual pleasure. [5] [6]

Fertility is the natural capability to produce offspring. As a measure, fertility rate is the number of offspring born per mating pair, individual or population. Fertility differs from fecundity, which is defined as the potential for reproduction. A lack of fertility is infertility while a lack of fecundity would be called sterility.

Sexual penetration Sexual activity that involves inserting a persons body part into another person

Sexual penetration is the insertion of a body part or other object into a body orifice, such as the vagina, anus or mouth, as part of human sexual activity or animal sexual behavior.

The intersex movement

The U.S. intersex movement developed in the 1990s and 2000s, through the establishment of the Intersex Society of North America (ISNA) and the AIS Support Group USA (now called AISDSD) [7] in the 1990s, and Advocates for Informed Choice (now interACT), Bodies Like Ours, [8] Intersex Initiative, [8] and Organisation Intersex International, [8] (now the Intersex Campaign for Equality) in the following decade.

The Intersex Society of North America (ISNA) was a non-profit advocacy group founded in 1993 by Cheryl Chase to end shame, secrecy, and unwanted genital surgeries. Other notable members included Morgan Holmes, Max Beck, Howard Devore, Esther Morris Leidolf and Alice Dreger. The organization closed in June 2008, and has been succeeded by a number of health, civil and human rights organizations.

Androgen insensitivity syndrome sex differentiation condition

Androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS) is an intersex condition that results in the partial or complete inability of the cell to respond to androgens. The unresponsiveness of the cell to the presence of androgenic hormones can impair or prevent the masculinization of male genitalia in the developing fetus, as well as the development of male secondary sexual characteristics at puberty, but does not significantly impair female genital or sexual development. As such, the insensitivity to androgens is clinically significant only when it occurs in genetic males. Clinical phenotypes in these individuals range from a typical male habitus with mild spermatogenic defect or reduced secondary terminal hair, to a full female habitus, despite the presence of a Y-chromosome.

Organisation Intersex International global advocacy and support group for people with intersex traits

The Organisation Intersex International (OII) is a global advocacy and support group for people with intersex traits. According to Milton Diamond, it is the world's largest organization of intersex persons. A decentralised network, OII was founded in 2003 by Curtis Hinkle. Upon Hinkle's retirement, American intersex activist Hida Viloria served as Chairperson/President elect from April 2011 through November 2017, when s/he resigned in order to focus on OII's American affiliate, OII-USA's transition into the independent American non-profit, the Intersex Campaign for Equality.

The Intersex Society of North America (ISNA) was a non-profit advocacy group founded in 1993 by Cheryl Chase to end shame, secrecy, and unwanted genital surgeries. [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] Amongst other activities, it published the journal Hermaphrodites with Attitude .

Cheryl Chase (activist) American activist

Bo Laurent, better known by her pseudonym Cheryl Chase, is an American intersex activist and the founder of the Intersex Society of North America. She began using the names Bo Laurent and Cheryl Chase simultaneously in the 1990s and changed her name legally from Bonnie Sullivan to Bo Laurent in 1995.

Hermaphrodites with Attitude was a newsletter edited by Cheryl Chase and published by the Intersex Society of North America (ISNA) between 1994 and 2005. The full archives are available online. In 2008, ISNA transferred its remaining funds, assets, and copyrights to Accord Alliance and then closed.

Intersex activism between the late 1990s and mid 2000s led from demonstrating outside a national pediatric conference, to speaking inside clinical conferences, and the first human rights investigation into medical "normalization", by the Human Rights Commission of the City and County of San Francisco. [14] However, coercive intersex medical interventions persist. [15]

ISNA closed in June 2008 after supporting the creation of a new clinical term for intersex conditions, Disorders of Sex Development (DSD), albeit ambivalently as a means of opening "many more doors" and engaging with clinicians, [16] and also supporting the establishment of a new organization, the Accord Alliance, set up to promote comprehensive and integrated approaches to healthcare. [17] New organizations such as Intersex Campaign for Equality and interACT were since established with civil and human rights goals.

interACT has worked with MTV on the program Faking It , notable for providing the first intersex main character in a television show, [18] and television's first intersex character played by an intersex actor. [19] In 2017, interACT worked with model Hanne Gaby Odiele to tackle social taboos. [20] [21]

Physical integrity and bodily autonomy

Legal prohibition of non-consensual medical interventions
Regulatory suspension of non-consensual medical interventions Protection of intersex children from harmful practices.svg
  Legal prohibition of non-consensual medical interventions
  Regulatory suspension of non-consensual medical interventions

Demonstration and American Academy of Pediatrics statement

In October 1996, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a press statement stating that:

  • The Academy is deeply concerned about the emotional, cognitive, and body image development of intersexuals, and believes that successful early genital surgery minimizes these issues.
  • Research on children with ambiguous genitalia has shown that a person's sexual body image is largely a function of socialization, and children whose genetic sexes are not clearly reflected in external genitalia can be raised successfully as members of either sexes if the process begins before 2 1/2 years.
  • Management and understanding of intersex conditions has significantly improved, particularly over the last several decades ... [22]

The statement was issued in response to the first public demonstration by intersex people and allies, outside the annual conference of the Academy, in Boston on October 26, 1996. Morgan Holmes has written that the demonstration happened after activists Max Beck and Holmes were excluded from the conference. She states that the pair went to deliver an address, "on long-term outcomes and to challenging their still-prevailing opinion that cosmetic surgery to "fix" intersexed genitals was the best course of action", but were "met, officially, with hostility and were escorted out of the conference by security guards". [23] The demonstration, by Beck and Holmes, with allies from Transexual Menace, is now marked as Intersex Awareness Day. [24] [25] [26]

San Francisco Human Rights Commission report, 2005

A 2005 human rights investigation into the medical "normalization" of intersex people, by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission is thought "likely to be the first human rights report into the treatment of intersex people, certainly in the English language." [27] [28] [29]

  1. Infant genital surgeries and sex hormone treatments that are not performed for the treatment of physical illness, such as improving urinary tract or metabolic functioning, and have not been shown to alleviate pain or illness (hereafter referred to as "normalizing" interventions) are unnecessary and are not medical or social emergencies.
  2. "Normalizing" interventions done without the patient's informed consent are inherent human rights abuses.
  3. "Normalizing" interventions deprive intersex people of the opportunity to express their own identity and to experience their own intact physiology.
  4. It is unethical to disregard a child's intrinsic human rights to privacy, dignity, autonomy, and physical integrity by altering genitals through irreversible surgeries for purely psychosocial and aesthetic rationales. It is wrong to deprive a person of the right to determine their sexual experience and identity. ...
  5. It is ethically wrong to treat people differently or unfairly because they are perceived by others to be "monsters" or "oddities."
    Human Rights Commission of the City and County of San Francisco [28]

Clinical shift to Disorders of Sex Development

In 2005, Cheryl Chase, Alice Dreger and others called for the replacement of the word "hermaphrodite" with "Disorders of Sex Development" (DSD). [30] Later the same year, a clinical "Intersex Consensus Meeting" of US and European pediatric endocrine societies adopted "DSD" as a replacement for both intersex and hermaphrodite in medical settings. [31]

The new language of Disorders of Sex Development was always contentious as was seen as pathologizing. Scholars and activists, such as Georgiann Davis, [32] and Morgan Holmes, [33] Esther Morris Leidolf, [34] and clinical psychologists like Tiger Devore [35] regarded this shift as a retrenchment of medical authority over intersex bodies. [36] [37] In May 2016, interACT published a statement opposing pathologizing language to describe people born with intersex traits, recognizing "increasing general understanding and acceptance of the term "intersex"". [38]

Research by the Lurie Children's Hospital, Chicago, and the AISDSD Support Group published in 2017 found that 80% of affected Support Group respondents "strongly liked, liked or felt neutral about intersex" as a term, while caregivers were less supportive. [39] The hospital found that "disorders of sex development" terminology may negatively affect care, give offence, and result in lower attendance at medical clinics. [40] The research results for "disorders of sex development" mirrored earlier results from a survey of a congenital adrenal hyperplasia support group, the CARES Foundation. [39]

International advocacy

In 2013, Pidgeon Pagonis testified for interACT before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights about the medical interventions they were subjected to as an intersex child, [41] alongside Latin Americans Mauro Cabral, Natasha Jiménez and Paula Machado. [42] In 2014, Anne Tamar-Mattis was published on medical interventions as torture in healthcare settings, in a book by the Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law at American University Washington College of Law. [43]

In 2016, the United Nations Committee Against Torture asked the United States government to comment on reports of intersex medical interventions on infants and children, following submission of a report by interACT. [15] [44]

Surgeons General statement, 2017

In June 2017, Joycelyn Elders, David Satcher, and Richard Carmona, three former Surgeons General of the United States published a paper at the Palm Center, [45] [46] [47] citing a State Department statement [48] and developments in Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Chile, Argentina, and Malta, and calling for a rethink of early genital surgeries on children with intersex traits. The statement reflected on the history of such interventions, their rationales and outcomes, stating:

When an individual is born with atypical genitalia that pose no physical risk, treatment should focus not on surgical intervention but on psychosocial and educational support for the family and child. Cosmetic genitoplasty should be deferred until children are old enough to voice their own view about whether to undergo the surgery. Those whose oath or conscience says "do no harm" should heed the simple fact that, to date, research does not support the practice of cosmetic infant genitoplasty.

Human Rights Watch/interACT report on U.S. children, 2017

In July 2017, Human Rights Watch and interACT published a report on medically unnecessary surgeries on intersex children, "I Want to Be Like Nature Made Me", based on interviews with intersex persons, families and physicians. [49] [50] [51] The report states that:

Intersex people in the United States are subjected to medical practices that can inflict irreversible physical and psychological harm on them starting in infancy, harms that can last throughout their lives. Many of these procedures are done with the stated aim of making it easier for children to grow up "normal" and integrate more easily into society by helping them conform to a particular sex assignment. The results are often catastrophic, the supposed benefits are largely unproven, and there are generally no urgent health considerations at stake

The report found that intersex medical interventions persist as default advice from doctors to parents, despite some change in some regions of the U.S. and claims of improved surgical techniques, resulting in an uneven situation where care differs and a lack of standards of care, but paradigms for care are still based on socio-cultural factors including expectations of "normality" and evidence in support of surgeries remains lacking. "Nearly every parent" in the study reported pressure for their children to undergo surgery, and many reported misinformation. The report calls for a ban on "surgical procedures that seek to alter the gonads, genitals, or internal sex organs of children with atypical sex characteristics too young to participate in the decision, when those procedures both carry a meaningful risk of harm and can be safely deferred." [49] [51] [50]

The report was acknowledged as an important contribution to research by the American Academy of Pediatrics. [52]

Responses to developments

In a 2017 interview for Harper's Magazine, Laurence Baskin, chief of pediatric urology at University of California, San Francisco, told journalist Sarah Topol "that he would recommend early surgery not just for 5-alpha but for 95 percent of known D.S.D. conditions ... Baskin classifies such operations as corrective surgeries, no different from fixing a cleft palate or clubfoot. "We basically treat them because they have a congenital anomaly"." [53]

In response to the 2017 Human Rights Watch report, Associated Press reported opposition to a ban by CARES Foundation, arguing that parents should be able to agree to surgeries to "reduce the size of the clitoris" without considering "moral and philosophical agendas". [54] Kyle Knight of Human Rights Watch responded that there's no evidence of a health risk, and "There are limits to what parents can do to their kids". [54] interACT states that they are "unaware of any jurisdiction in the U.S. that enforces its own FGM laws in cases where the girl undergoing clitoral cutting has an intersex trait". [55]

In November 2016, GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality passed a new policy position on patients with differences in sex development, recommending "delay of any surgical interventions and gender-related medical interventions for DSD that are not deemed medically necessary". [56] [57]

Associated Press reported in July 2017 that the American Medical Association Board of Trustees is considering a policy statement "urging doctors to defer intersex surgery on infants and young children" "except when life-threatening circumstances require emergency intervention". [54]

On August 28, California became the first U.S. State to condemn nonconsensual surgeries on intersex children, in Resolution SCR-110. [58] [59]

Claims for compensation

M.C. v. Aaronson

The case of M.C. v. Aaronson, advanced by interACT with the Southern Poverty Law Center was brought before the courts in 2013. [60] [61] [62] [63] The child in the case was born in December 2004 with ovotestes, initially determined as male, but subsequently assigned female and placed in the care of South Carolina Department of Social Services in February 2005. [64] Physicians responsible for M.C. initially concluded that surgery was not urgent or necessary and M.C. had potential to identify as male or female, but, in April 2006, M.C. was subjected to feminizing medical interventions. [64] He was adopted in December 2006. Aged 8 at the time the case was taken, he now identifies as male. The Southern Poverty Law Center states: "In M.C.'s condition, there is no way to tell whether the child will ultimately identify as a boy or a girl. Instead, the doctors decided to assign M.C. female and change his body to fit their stereotype of how a girl should look." [61] [65] The defendant in the case, Dr Ian Aaronson, had written in 2001 that "feminizing genitoplasty on an infant who might eventually identify herself as a boy would be catastrophic". [66] [64]

The defendants sought to dismiss the case and seek a defense of qualified immunity, but these were denied by the District Court for the District of South Carolina. In January 2015, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed this decision and dismissed the complaint, stating that, "it did not "mean to diminish the severe harm that M.C. claims to have suffered" but that a reasonable official in 2006 did not have fair warning from then-existing precedent that performing sex assignment surgery on sixteen-month-old M.C. violated a clearly established constitutional right." [67] The Court did not rule on whether or not the surgery violated M.C.'s constitutional rights. [68] State suits were subsequently filed. [67]

In July 2017, it was reported that the case had been settled out of court by the Medical University of South Carolina for $440,000. The University denied negligence, but agreed to a "compromise" settlement to avoid "costs of litigation." [69]

Protection from discrimination

Explicit protection from discrimination on grounds of sex characteristics
Explicit protection on grounds of intersex status
Explicit protection on grounds of intersex within attribute of sex Inclusion of sex characteristics in anti-discrimination law.svg
  Explicit protection from discrimination on grounds of sex characteristics
  Explicit protection on grounds of intersex status
  Explicit protection on grounds of intersex within attribute of sex

In May 2016, the United States Department of Health and Human Services issued a statement explaining Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act stating that the Act prohibits "discrimination on the basis of intersex traits or atypical sex characteristics" in publicly funded healthcare, as part of a prohibition of discrimination "on the basis of sex". [70] [71]

Intersex persons are also protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act. [72]

In 2017, interACT submitted an amicus curiae in the matter of Gavin Grimm (G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board) regarding protections in education for issues of gender identity under Title IX. The submission stated that the Gloucester County School Board held a "simplistic view of "physiological" sex [that] is demonstrably inaccurate as a matter of human biology. Moreover, it demeans many thousands of intersex youth by erasing their bodies and lives and placing them outside the recognition of the law". [73]

Identification documents

Third sex classifications

On Intersex Awareness Day (October 26) 2015, Lambda Legal filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the United States Department of State for denying non-binary intersex navy veteran, Dana Zzyym, Associate Director of Intersex Campaign for Equality, a passport. [74] On November 22, 2016, the District Court for the District of Colorado ruled in favor of Zzyym, stating that the State Department violated federal law. [75] The ruling stated that the court found "no evidence that the Department followed a rational decision-making process in deciding to implement its binary-only gender passport policy," and ordered the U.S. Passport Agency to reconsider its earlier decision. [76]

On September 26, 2016, California resident Sara Kelly Keenan became described as the second person in the United States to legally change her gender to non-binary. Keenan, who uses she/her pronouns, identifies as intersex "both as my medical reality and as my gender identification ... It never occurred to me that this was an option, because I thought the gender change laws were strictly for transgender people. I decided to try and use the same framework to have a third gender." [77] In December 2016, Keenan received a birth certificate with an 'Intersex' sex marker from New York City, the first birth certificate issued using this term in the United States. Keenan had applied for a "non-binary" birth certificate but the City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene required a biological term. [78]

Press coverage in December 2016 also disclosed that Ohio issued a birth certificate with a sex marker of 'hermaphrodite' in 2012. Ohio issues birth certificates based on "an historical record of the facts as they existed at the time of birth" and the individual was able to demonstrate a diagnosis of true hermaphrodite. [79] [80] Birth certificates are also known to have no sex specified.

Right to life

Robert Sparrow has stated that the genetic elimination of intersex traits might be permissible, despite "uncomfortable" implications for "other nonpathological human variations" that do not affect physical health. [81] In response, Georgiann Davis argues that such discrimination fails to recognize that many people with intersex traits led full and happy lives, and that the "intersex community is only "invisible" to those who choose to ignore it", while "the medical profession, not the intersex trait itself, is a major source of the social and psychological harm that perpetuates intersex stigmatization and the "hostile social environment" that individuals with intersex traits encounter". [82] Jason Behrmann and Vardit Ravitsky state that: "Parental choice against intersex may ... conceal biases against same-sex attractedness and gender nonconformity." [83]

Rights advocacy

Notable intersex rights organizations include interACT and Intersex Campaign for Equality. Former intersex rights organizations include the Intersex Society of North America.

Notable advocates include Eden Atwood, Max Beck, Cheryl Chase, Cary Gabriel Costello, Georgiann Davis, Tiger Devore, Alice Dreger, Betsy Driver, Pidgeon Pagonis, Anne Tamar-Mattis, Hida Viloria, Sean Saifa Wall, Kimberly Zieselman and Dana Zzyym.

Personal testimonies are detailed in the San Francisco Human Rights Commission report, and also in a 2015 issue of Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics, [84] and a Lambda Literary Award winning book, Intersex (For Lack of a Better Word), by Thea Hillman. [85] Movies include the short, award-winning film XXXY (2000). In 2017, Hatchette Book Group published a memoir, Born Both, by Hida Viloria. [86] [87]

See also

Related Research Articles

Sex assignment is the determination of an infant's sex at birth. In the majority of births, a relative, midwife, nurse or physician inspects the genitalia when the baby is delivered, and sex and gender are assigned, without the expectation of ambiguity. Assignment may also be done prior to birth through prenatal sex discernment.

History of intersex surgery

The history of intersex surgery is intertwined with the development of the specialities of pediatric surgery, pediatric urology, and pediatric endocrinology, with our increasingly refined understanding of sexual differentiation, with the development of political advocacy groups united by a human qualified analysis, and in the last decade by doubts as to efficacy, and controversy over when and even whether some procedures should be performed.

Pseudohermaphroditism is an old clinical term for an organism that is born with primary sex characteristics of one sex but develops the secondary sex characteristics that are different from what would be expected on the basis of the gonadal tissue. It can be contrasted with the term true hermaphroditism, which described a condition where testicular and ovarian tissue were present in the same individual. This language has fallen out of favor due to misconceptions and pejorative connotations associated with the terms, and also a shift to nomenclature based on genetics.

Disorders of sex development medical condition involving the reproductive system

Disorders of sex development (DSD) are medical conditions involving the reproductive system. More specifically, these terms refer to "congenital conditions in which development of chromosomal, gonadal, or anatomical sex is atypical."

Advocates for Informed Choice, dba interACT or interACT Advocates for Intersex Youth, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization using innovative strategies to advocate for the legal and human rights of children with intersex traits. The organization was founded in 2006 and formally incorporated on April 12, 2010.

Hida Viloria is a Latinx American writer, author of Born Both: An Intersex Life, and intersex and non-binary rights activist of Colombian and Venezuelan descent. Viloria is Founding Director of the Intersex Campaign for Equality.

Intersex human rights

Intersex people are born with sex characteristics, such as chromosomes, gonads, or genitals, that, according to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, "do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies."

Legal recognition of intersex people

Intersex people are born with sex characteristics, such as chromosomes, gonads, or genitals that, according to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, "do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies".

Discrimination against intersex people

Intersex people are born with sex characteristics, such as chromosomes, gonads, or genitals that, according to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, "do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies". "Because their bodies are seen as different, intersex children and adults are often stigmatized and subjected to multiple human rights violations".

Timeline of intersex history

The following is a timeline of intersex history.

Intersex rights in New Zealand

Intersex rights in New Zealand are protections and rights afforded to intersex people. Protection from discrimination is implied by the Human Rights Act and the Bill of Rights Act, but remains untested. The New Zealand Human Rights Commission states that there has seemingly been a "lack of political will to address issues involved in current practices of genital normalisation on intersex children".

Intersex rights in Australia

Intersex rights in Australia are protections and rights afforded to intersex people through statutes, regulations, and international human rights treaties, including through the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) which makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person based upon that person's intersex status in contexts such as work, education, provision of services, and accommodation.

Intersex rights in Germany

Intersex people in Germany have no recognition of their rights to physical integrity and bodily autonomy, and no specific protections from discrimination on the basis of sex characteristics. In response to an inquiry by the German Ethics Council in 2012, the government passed legislation in 2013 designed to classify some intersex infants to a de facto third category. The legislation has been criticized by civil society and human rights organizations as misguided.

Intersex rights in the United Kingdom

Intersex people in the United Kingdom face significant gaps in legal protections, particularly in protection from non-consensual medical interventions, and protection from discrimination. Actions by intersex civil society organizations aim to eliminate unnecessary medical interventions and harmful practices, promote social acceptance, and equality in line with Council of Europe and United Nations demands. Intersex civil society organizations campaign for greater social acceptance, understanding of issues of bodily autonomy, and recognition of the human rights of intersex people.

Intersex rights in Uganda

Intersex people in Uganda face a dangerous environment, with significant gaps in protection from mutilation and non-consensual cosmetic medical interventions and protection from discrimination.

Intersex human rights reports

Intersex people are born with sex characteristics, such as chromosomes, gonads, 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 rights in Argentina

Intersex people in Argentina have no recognition of their rights to physical integrity and bodily autonomy, and no specific protections from discrimination on the basis of sex characteristics. Cases also exist of children being denied access to birth certificates without their parents consenting to medical interventions. The National Institute Against Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism and civil society organizations such as Justicia Intersex have called for the prohibition of unnecessary medical interventions and access to redress.

Intersex rights in Switzerland

Intersex people in Switzerland have no recognition of rights to physical integrity and bodily autonomy, and no specific protections from discrimination on the basis of sex characteristics. In 2012, the Swiss National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics published a report on the medical management of differences of sex development or intersex variations.

References

Citations

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Bibliography

External video
Nuvola apps kaboodle.svg " What It’s Like To Be Intersex", Lizz Warner, BuzzFeed