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

Intersex and ageing

Intersex Australia,

This is the text of a speech given on intersex and ageing to a local NSW audience on Monday 2 February, 2015 by Morgan Carpenter. It follows the 2012 publication of an intersex-inclusive national strategy for LGBTI ageing and aged care. A massive subsequent shift in terminology from LGBT to LGBTI hasn’t been matched by an increase in understanding or action. This speech addresses some of these issues, and it begins after an acknowledgement of country.

Read more here