Intersex rights

May 26, 2013

Intersex people are people born with physiological differences that may be seen as being both male and female at once, not wholly male or female or as neither male nor female.

Intersex people are subjected to discrimination in employment, in housing, in the provision of medical services, and the provision of government services.

There are no laws preventing discrimination against intersex people.

Intersex children may be subjected to non-consensual surgery so that their bodies conform to dominant ideas of what constitutes a ‘male’ or ‘female’ body. Non-consensual genital surgery is particularly controversial and where there is little debate against prohibitions on female circumcision, similar procedures on intersex people happen with little community comment.

The Socialist Alliance rejects pathologising definitions of intersex such as “disorders of sexual development”. The difficulty for Intersex is not differences in anatomy but rather how those differences are perceived by the community.

Social prejudice against non conforming bodies such as intersex, are the issues that needs attention. Intersex people should not be compelled to change their bodies, their behavior, or themselves to meet mainstream social expectations.

The Socialist Alliance stands for:
  1. All non-consensual surgery on children, where the child is denied the informed and cognizant right to consent or reject) ceasing immediately save for those cases where surgery is life preserving.
  2. Children being able to declare their sex, even if that is none, when they are fully informed and able to understand those concepts.
  3. Any individual having their passport marked with X rather than sex or gender if they so desire.
  4. An affirmative action policy in public housing, work opportunities, education, and the provision of medical and government services.
  5. Education campaigns to be conducted in schools and wider society to debunk the myth of sex and gender binaries, informing individuals about sex and gender diversity, and opposing bigotry because of perceived sex and gender differences.
  6. Intersex athletes like Caster Semenya not being publicly outed. That there are no compulsory sex testing procedures in sport.
  7. Legislation that provides protection against discrimination and vilification and promotes equal opportunities for intersex people.
  8. Access to appropriate medication and surgery when and if required based on the needs of the individual and not on the expectations of diagnostic protocols. This includes the abandonment of the diagnosis of “gender dysphoria” for those intersex who reject their birth assignment.
  9. All people, particularly legislators and medical professionals, acknowledging that sex and gender is more than men and women , male and female.