- 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?
What's ISNA's position on surgery?
Many people who know of ISNA’s work mistakenly think we are “anti-surgery.” Not at all!
Like all sane people, we believe it is appropriate to have competent surgeons perform operations necessary to resolve a life-threatening metabolic crisis. For example, if a child is born without a urinary opening, the child needs surgery to create a urinary opening. If a child has active gonadal cancer, the cancer should be treated immediately.
What about other kinds of surgeries in cases of intersex? We believe that competent patients should be allowed to get the surgeries they want after they have been fully informed of the risks and benefits (and the evidence, or lack thereof, for both). They should be given access to expert, humane surgeons, as well as peer support before and after their procedures.
What we object to are elective surgeries done on people (usually children) without their informed consent. Such surgeries subject patients to unnecessary harm and risk.
For more on our recommendations, see our FAQ, What does ISNA recommend?