New publication “Intersex: Stories and Statistics from Australia”

Intersex Australia, 3 February 2016

The 2015 survey of people born with atypical sex characteristics has now been published. Here is a quick summary of some key points:

  • “52% of the participants were allocated a female sex at birth, 41% male, 2% X, 2% unsure and 4% another option. Whilst most identified as female or male now, a smaller portion now identified as male compared to the portion assigned male at birth; and a greater portion now used X or another option”
  • intersex is the only widespread term for atypical sex characteristics; “disorders of sex development” is markedly unpopular, used by 3% of respondents rising to 21% situationally, when accessing medical services.
  • experience of medicalisation is often negative, with poor information, many poor outcomes, and “strong evidence suggesting a pattern of institutionalised shaming and coercive treatment”.
  • rates of suicidality far exceed the average for Australia.
  • education experiences are impacted by bullying and medical treatment that is coincident with puberty, with high rates of early school leaving.
  • there are high rates of poverty: the majority of participants (63%) earned an income under AU$41K per year, 41% earn less than AU$20k per year. (The minimum wage during the survey period was AU$34,158.)
  • 48% of respondents were heterosexual, 10% asexual; a third of people use multiple labels to define their sexuality. A minority of participants identify as transgender.
  • peer and social support is really important.

The book is available as a free PDF download, with options to purchase e-book, hardback and paperback versions, here

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