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Articles on Intersex

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Although the medical establishment is now recognizing that sex is not binary, society as a whole has been slow to embrace the concept. Vera Livchak/Moment via Getty Images

Not everyone is male or female – the growing controversy over sex designation

Millions of people do not fit neatly into male or female sex designations at birth, and wrong identification can set them up for a lifetime of physical and mental harm.
Caster Semenya is legally female, was from birth raised as female and identifies as a female. Jon Connell on flickr

Ten ethical flaws in the Caster Semenya decision on intersex in sport

Athlete Caster Semenya will need to take hormone-lowering agents, or have surgery, if she wishes to continue her career in her chosen events. But the decision to ban her is flawed on many grounds.
A sign denouncing transphobia is held up in front of the U.S. Supreme Court at a protest in June 2016. (Shutterstock)

Trump’s efforts to redefine gender and sex

Donald Trump is seeking to amend laws that prevent discrimination against Americans based on their sex. It’s all just another attempt to fire up the Republican base for the mid-term elections.
There are now many gender categorizations, from the traditional ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ to ‘gender fluid’ and ‘undifferentiatied.’ Health researchers can work with these to gain a more accurate understanding of disease susceptibilities. (Shutterstock)

Sex and gender both shape your health, in different ways

Bigender, gender fluid, cisgender? Emerging gender categorizations are important – for your health.
Does it make sense to target female athletes with high testosterone levels? Caster Semenya competes in the women’s 800-meter semifinal during the London Olympics. Gary Hershorn/Reuters

So what if some female Olympians have high testosterone?

Some women naturally produce high levels of testosterone. Why is this innate condition treated differently from other conditions that potentially enhance athletic performance?
Many babies are born with a genetic variant that leads to ambiguous sexual development. .gsr./Flickr

Boy, girl or …? Dilemmas when sex development goes awry

Many babies are born with a genetic variant that can result in the child being neither a typical boy or girl. There has been considerable debate about whether the child should be treated.
The idea of ‘family balancing’ is based on the belief that children come in two genders that have essentially different traits. Jason Pratt/Flickr

Choosing children’s sex is an exercise in sexism

The risk of harm in sex selection stems from the fact that parents don’t desire any child, they want a child of a particular sex, who is to remain within the limits of binary gender roles.

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