- What is intersex?
- How common is intersex?
- Intersex conditions
- What does ISNA recommend for children with intersex?
- Does ISNA think children with intersex should be raised without a gender, or in a third gender?
- What's wrong with the way intersex has traditionally been treated?
- What do doctors do now when they encounter a patient with intersex?
- Questions about Intersex Society of North America
- How come many people have never heard of intersex?
- Is a person who is intersex a hermaphrodite?
- Does having a Y chromosome make someone a man?
- Is intersex the same as "ambiguous genitalia"?
- Show me how intersex anatomy develops
- What is the current policy of the American Academy of Pediatrics on surgery?
- What's the difference between being transgender or transsexual and having an intersex condition?
- Why Doesn't ISNA Want to Eradicate Gender?
- How can you assign a gender (boy or girl) without surgery?
- What evidence is there that you can grow up psychologically healthy with intersex genitals (without "normalizing" surgeries)?
- Does ISNA advocate doing nothing when a child is born with intersex?
- What's ISNA's position on surgery?
- Are there medical risks associated with intersex conditions?
- How can I get my old medical records?
- What do intersex and the same-sex marriage debate have to do with each other?
- Who was David Reimer (also, sadly, known as "John/Joan")?
- What's the history behind the intersex rights movement?
Is intersex the same as "ambiguous genitalia"?
No, saying someone has an intersex condition isn’t the same as saying she or he was born with “ambiguous genitalia,” because some people with intersex conditions have genitalia that look pretty typically masculine or feminine. So, for example, girls born with XY chromosomes and complete androgen insensitivity syndrome have genitals that look pretty typically female. And some children born with XX chromosomes and congenital adrenal hyperplasia are born with genitals that look thoroughly male. Yet nearly all medical professionals agree that these kinds of conditions are intersex.
Why do we put the term “ambiguous genitalia” in quotation marks? We don’t particularly like the term since, as our Medical Advisory Board member Dr. William Reiner likes to point out, no child thinks his or her own genitals are “ambiguous.” They’re just their genitals. It’s the grown-ups who are feeling ambiguous.
To read more about what can count as “intersex,” go to our FAQ called What is intersex?.