- 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?
How come many people have never heard of intersex?
For decades, doctors have thought it necessary to treat intersex with a concealment-centered approach, one that features downplaying intersex as much as possible, even to the point of lying to patients about their conditions. A lot of people in our culture also had no interest in hearing that sex doesn’t come in two simple flavors.
But that has been changing since Cheryl Chase founded ISNA in 1993. For over a decade we at ISNA have been successfully working to de-stigmatize intersex and to let people know that folks with intersex are all around. ISNA representatives have appeared in dozens of local, national, and international television and radio programs, and in virtually all major newspapers and magazines. We estimate conservatively that we’ve reached 30 million people since 1993.
People who are intersex will tell you that the primary thing they’ve been harmed by is induced shame about their intersex. The best way to reduce shame (and thereby reduce harm to individuals and families coping with intersex) is to talk openly and honestly about intersex. If you’ve learned something new at our site today, tell someone else about it.
If you are a journalist looking to speak with an ISNA representative, please contact us and let us know your needs. By the way, we’d really appreciate it if you would look at all our FAQ’s to get your basic questions answered that way first. Thanks very much!