A group of women talk of their experiences with a rare condition - intersexuality. They are women who have the male XY chromosome. One was forcibly raised as a boy. One only found out about her condition accidentally when she was a teenager. And one was kept in the dark about it deliberately by doctors. About one baby in 20,000 infants is born intersex. Often these infants can be clearly seen to belong to one sex, but a small percentage of them are born with ambiguous genitalia and in the past, doctors made a unilateral decision about which sex they thought the child belonged to. Sometimes they even performed surgery without properly consulting or informing the parents. That practice has been banned in the Netherlands but although medical personnel and lay people are more open to variations in sexuality these days, people with an intersex condition still find the subject very difficult to bring up. This program was produced by Dheera Sujan of Radio Netherlands and airs as part of our international documentary exchange series, Crossing Boundaries.
Intersex was produced and presented by Dheera Sujan of Radio Netherlands. It originally aired as part of the international exchange series, Crossing Boundries. Special thanks to Dr Peggy Cohen Kettenis, Petra Klein, and to Miriam, Anna Marie, and Elise for sharing their stories.
The Organization Intersex InternationalIt is the largest intersex organisation in the world with board members representing almost all known intersex variations.
Intersex Society of North America
Advocating an end to secrecy, shame, and unnecessary surgeries.
This organization provides support and coping tools for transgender and intersex victims of sexual abuse.
AIS/ Intersex Links
More links to AIS sites.
The Intersex Spectrum
Information on different intersex conditions from PBS's science program, NOVA.
Intersex and Identity: The Contested Self
by: Sharon E. Preves 2003
This recent work examines life histories of adults treated for intersexuality as children and argues that medical intervention leads to conflict and intensifies the stigma intersex people feel.
Sugar and Spice and Puppy Dog Tails: Growing up Intersexed. An Intimate Memoir
by: Katherine Connella 2000
Actress Katherine shares the story of growing up as a boy.
Intersex in the Age of Ethics
by: Alice Domurat Dreger (Editor) 1999
Each chapter of this book presents the story of an intersex individual's medical case. As a part of the Ethics in Clinical Medicine Series, this volume explores the ethical issues surrounding treatment of intersexuality.