LEGAL advocate for intersex people Anne Tamar-Mattis of Advocates for Informed Choice – AIC has further contributed to public education about intersex people in a recent, at-length and in-depth interview with San Francisco Bay Area radio station KPFA.
The program – now available as a downloadable MP3 file – was broadcast on the Against the Grain program on Monday, March 5, 2012.
Remember all that stuff you learned in sex ed about gender, about the traits that dictate gender identity? Anne Tamar-Mattis says a lot of what we learned is, in fact, misinformation. She describes what happens to young children born with so-called intersex conditions; one option frequently pursued is irreversible genital surgery.
The program references “intersex conditions”. While not being ideal terminology it is vastly superior to stigmatizing words such as “disorder” or “illness”. Dr Tamar-Mattis has become one of a growing number of academics and advocates who now refer to intersex using less pathologizing and stigmatizing language.
We note that intersex is a range of congenital, biological variations in sex that are common in humanity as well as the rest of the natural world. Intersex is essentially a rights issue, not a medical oddity.
The prevalence of intersex in human beings is some 1.9% to 4% while many other species are partly, wholly, serially or sequentially hermaphrodite or intersex. There are no hermaphrodites amongst humanity.
We wish to thank Dr Tamar-Mattis for her ongoing advocacy on behalf of intersex people and note her use of less contentious language.
- The Intersex Network – Intersex and Medicine: The Fourteen Days of Intersex
- The Intersex Network – Please stop using the language of disease to describe intersex if you wonder why medicine wants to “cure” intersex
- The Intersex Network – The disease model of intersex – a “condition” or a “medical condition”?