Policy statements

Policy statements by OII Australia on health and human rights issues.

Intersex people and identification documents

'X marks the spot' in the Western Australian newspaper, Perth 11 January 2003. Read at Bodies Like Ours

From a Bill before the ACT Assembly, a Queensland review shortly to commence, and the case of Norrie, a trans person seeking recognition of a non-binary gender identity, there is much speculation in Australia regarding birth certificates and identification documents. Internationally, relevant legal changes have taken place in Germany and Argentina. This detailed briefing paper…
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Revised policy on identification documents

Identification documents

At our board meeting on 10 November we agreed a slight revision to our policy on personal identification documents, to support more opt in choices. While sex or gender markers are still required, we believe that adults and consenting minors should be free to choose, and children should be protected from harm. Ideally, we would…
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Why intersex is not a gender identity, and the implications for legislation

Introduction Numerous Australian reports have tended to presuppose that intersex people, like gay men, lesbians and transgender people, are included in legal frameworks to protect on the basis of “sexual orientation and gender identity”. This is not the case, and this article attempts to clarify why not. In brief, people born with intersex variations have…
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‘ISGD’ and the appropriation of intersex

OII Australia logotype

“I’ve been waiting for years for you to show up. It’s clear that transsexuals are not going to get our rights until intersexuals do.” (quoted by Suzanne Kessler, 1998) “Intersex is not one but many sites of contested being, [with] temporally sutured biomedical, political and social imperatives… ‘Intersex’ is a sign constantly under erasure, whose…
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On genital surgeries

On genital surgeries

Update In 2013, the Australian Senate Community Affairs Committee published a report on the “Involuntary or coerced sterilisation of intersex people in Australia”. That report, and the submissions to it, reveal much about current practice. Intersex refers to atypical internal and/or external anatomical sexual characteristics, where features usually regarded as male or female may be…
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OII statement on the use of dexamethasone during pregnancy

OII Australia logotype

This is a policy statement by the global board of OII, and is endorsed by OII Australia. We, the board members of the Organisation Intersex International, wish to express our support of Drs. Feder, Dreger and Lindemann, for their vigilance and efforts to ensure the safety of intersex infants and their mothers who are currently…
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Style guide: on intersex and terminology

Third International Intersex Forum, 2013

A style guide to describing intersex people, intersex bodies, and the issues facing the intersex community. The guide, designed primarily for journalists and writers, contains video, audio and photographic content to illustrate the diversity of intersex identities, bodies and characteristics…

More on intersex terminology

THERE are two fundamental issues that must be considered when considering terminology around intersex. Scientific nomenclature of intersex: INTERSEX is a scientific term that describes all differences of sex biology within the animal kingdom that are not hermaphroditic. Terminology such as “hermaphrodite”, “pseudo-hermaphrodite”, “disorders” and “conditions” have been used in some medical literature to describe…
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On health care

OUR societies have accepted a binary construct between male and female which does not reflect Nature and the enormous variety of possible sexes which overlap one another in various gradations on a spectrum with male at one end and female at the other. The arbitrary division of biological sex into only two categories makes all…
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On a third sex

THE creation of a new category to be designated intersex poses several problems. First of all, how do we define intersex? OII believes that there will be never a clear definition and at the same time, that it is not necessary to have a legal definition for intersex. We have no clear definitions for what…
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