Intersex: stories and statistics from Australia

Tiffany Jones, Bonnie Hart, Morgan Carpenter, Gavi Ansara, William Leonard, Jayne Lucke

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

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Sex is complex. Humans are simultaneously more similar in their sex development, and more diverse, than is commonly appreciated or understood. Females and males are not made of wildly different ingredients. The potential to have intersex variations-to be born with atypical sex characteristics-exists for all humans in the first few weeks on their prenatal development. 1.7% of people actually go on to be born intersex. However, most of us know little about intersex variations. This is only partly due to their occasional invisibility. Intersex people have historically faced deep social stigma-the assumption that they were simply bizarre aberrations from the human form. Futhermore, intersex infants have been widely subjected to systematic institutional mistreatment, particulary within medical settings. Finally, some people with intersex variations have tried simply to integrate themselves unnoticed into the socially accepted categories of male and female. Drawing on stories and statistics from the first national study of intersex the book argues for a distinct 'Intersex Studies' framework to address intersex issues and identify-foregrounding people with intersex variations' own goals, perspectives and experiences. Collected in 2015 and arranged in thematic chapters, the data presented here on 272 individuals gives a penetrating account of historically and socially obscured experience.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherOpen Book Publishers
Number of pages253
ISBN (Electronic)9781783742103, 9781783742110, 9781783742127
ISBN (Print)9781783742080, 9781783742097
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2016. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • intersex
  • health and well-being
  • educational supports
  • health inequalities


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