FAQs / Key Data

Browse key articles and Frequently Asked Questions or read our curated FAQs listing.

What is intersex?


This page presents a range of working, Australian and international definitions of intersex. Intersex people are born with physical sex characteristics that don’t fit medical and social norms for female or male bodies.

On the historic passing of the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Act 2013

OII Australia is relieved and excited at the passing of the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Bill 2013, without a vote at 8:30pm, AEST. For the first time in Australia, and for the first time internationally, intersex people are recognised fully and authentically in anti-discrimination legislation. Intersex people are born…
Read more →

Third sex, redux

After fielding a few phone calls it is clear that many people can’t grasp our position in opposing the creation of a third sex while supporting X sex descriptors on birth certificates and passports. To be clear, intersex is not an arbitrary third sex category, but rather a spectrum of possibilities, and nor is it…
Read more →

We welcome new federal guidelines on sex and gender recognition

In 2003, the first Australian passport with an ‘X’ sex marker was issued to Alex MacFarlane, on the basis that Alex’s birth certificate, issued by the State of Victoria, showed no sex marker. Access was limited to people in the same circumstance, and only Victoria issues such certificates to intersex adults on request. In 2011,…
Read more →

Information for parents

Information for parents

Sex characteristics are more varied than most people are aware. To help you welcome your newborn, this information addresses common questions and concerns regarding variations in sex characteristics. This information will help you make decisions that promote the health and wellbeing of your child and your entire family.