Health and medical ethics

For an introduction to these issues, see our page on bodily integrity

Gina Wilson

Fourth day of intersex: Medicine

On the Fourth Day of Intersex we draw your attention to intersex and its uneasy relationship with medicine. What is intersex? Intersex people are people who, as individuals, have congenital genetic, hormonal and physical features that may be thought to be typical of both male and female at once. That is, we may be thought…
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Gina Wilson

Third day of intersex: Infant genital surgeries

On the Third Day of Intersex we draw your attention to Intersex Genital Mutilation (IGM). What is intersex? Intersex people are people who, as individuals, have congenital genetic, hormonal and physical features that may be thought to be typical of both male and female at once. That is, we may be thought of as being…
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Morgan Holmes, “Critical Intersex” (recommended reading)

Morgan Holmes, “Critical Intersex” (recommended reading)

Critical Intersex by Morgan Holmes is not cheap, but it’s a recommended read. From the publishers’ description: To date, intersex studies has not received the scholarly attention it deserves as research in this area has been centred around certain key questions, scholars and geographical regions. Exploring previously neglected territories, this book broadens the scope of…
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World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) pathologizes intersex people in its Standards of Care, version 7

Re: The World Professional Association for Transgender Health: Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People, 7th version, wpath.org In an act of breathtaking hypocrisy the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH) has released pathologizing guidelines for the treatment of intersex children and adults who reject their birth assignments. WPATH…
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Y. Gavriel Ansara & Peter Hegarty: “Cisgenderism in psychology: pathologising and misgendering children from 1999 to 2008”

Intersex activist, psychologist and academic Y. Gavriel Ansara has co-written a ground-breaking work on cisgenderism and its adverse effects on nonconforming children. The abstract contains a useful definition of “cisgenderism”: We assessed whether recent psychological literature on children reflects or contrasts with the zeitgeist of American Psychological Association’s recent non-discrimination statement on ‘transgender’ and ‘gender…
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Hospital - stock photo courtesy of Freepik

Intersex and the DSM

UPDATE: OII Australia and OII Aotearoa have released a submission on the DSM-5, which can be read here [PDF] in June 2012. This submission supersedes the following position statement. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is currently rewriting the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual (DSM). This will be its fifth full revision, the DSM-V. See: http://www.dsm5.org/Pages/Default.aspx The…
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Anne Tamar-Mattis: “Leave intersex out of the DSM-V”

Anne Tamar-Mattis: “Leave intersex out of the DSM-V”

Anne Tamar-Mattis writes in support of leaving intersex out of psychiatrists’ bible the DSM-V – the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Please note that OII Australia rejects language such as “disorders” and “DSD” as pathologising and harming to intersex people. More information Read the full article

The Yogyakarta Principles

The Yogyakarta Principles and intersex people

The 2006 Yogyakarta Principles on the application of international human rights law in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity are an important development, primarily furthering the rights of LGBT people, but with a crucial principle of particular interest to intersex people. Principle 1: The Right to the Universal Enjoyment of Human Rights All human…
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Response to Lee and Houk on the role of support and advocacy groups in relation to CAH

The rapid progression of intersex medicalization since the mid-1950s has directly influenced the development of intersex support and advocacy groups. These have a significant presence on the internet and many, such as OII also have a physical presence in countries that have set up affiliate organizations. Organisation Intersex International (OII) and other advocacy and support…
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Sydney Morning Herald: “‘Anti-lesbian’ treatment”

Sydney Morning Herald: “‘Anti-lesbian’ treatment”

The original article that the two Australian-published versions of this story is from the LA Times newspaper and was written by LA Times journalist Shari Roan. The article was titled Medical treatment carries possible side effect of limiting homosexuality and it was published on Sunday 15th August 2010. The original article quotes Alice Dreger, Ken…
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Jo Proctor

Jo Proctor: “Neo-eugenics and its war against human biological diversity”

Neo-eugenics or ‘new eugenics’ is the term given to modern medicine’s rapidly evolving biotechnological ability to identify and terminate a raft of congenital variations at increasingly early stages of fetal development. On June 30th, OII published an abstract originating from Lille University in France. The paper, published in the Journal of Pediatric Urology – http://www.jpurol.com/article/S1477-5131%2810%2900200-7/abstract…
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CARES Foundation: “Surgery consideration for girls with classical CAH”

CARES Foundation: “Surgery consideration for girls with classical CAH”

We encourage parents and society to appreciate intersex people, rather than treat us as problems to be fixed. We note that CARES denies the existence of male-identified CAH people, and plentiful statistics that show a low birth-rate, low marriage rate and high rates of “same sex attraction” among CAH “females.” So you have just been…
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