Eli5 what are Intersex people.


Idk if this was posted or not before so sorry, but This was in a hot post and I didn’t understand any of it nor were the comments helpful. And yes I googled it

In: 2

An intersex person has attributes associated with both sexes, or attributes that are in the middle between the two sexes. For example, a penis is a typical male physical trait, while a vulva (the external part of a woman’s genitals) is a typical female one, and an intersex person may have genitals that fall between those two extremes.

A common mild intersex condition is Kleinfelter syndrome, where someone is born with XXY chromosomes instead of the normal XY or XX. Such people almost always appear as normal men, and many people with the condition don’t know they have it, but they tend to have underdeveloped testes and reduced fertility.

A much more extreme example is [5-alpha reductase deficiency](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5%CE%B1-Reductase_2_deficiency), where someone with XY chromosomes and normal amounts of testosterone (the chemical responsible for triggering most male development) lack a critical enzyme for the development of male features (particularly the penis). These people may be born with external female genitals, an underdeveloped penis, or a number of other intermediate shapes between normal female genitals and normal male genitals. In some cases, they’re thought to be (and are raised as) girls. But as affected people reach puberty, chemical changes in their bodies overcome the broken enzyme, and their genitals become more male-typical and they go through otherwise normal male puberty. Such people typically consider themselves men in adulthood.

An artificial example is the biology of transgender people who have taken the hormones of the opposite sex to cause themselves to develop that sex’s physical traits. For example, I have a penis (which I was born with, along with an otherwise typical male body) and breasts (which I developed as a result of taking estrogen along with some other typically-female physical traits). My biology no longer fits neatly into either sex’s norms.

Usually, however, when people talk about “intersex” people, they usually mean “people who were born intersex” and not most trans people (although trans people may be, and frequently are, also intersex).

Intersex could refer to anyone who doesn’t fit the classic, stereotypical sex combination of “XY-testes-penis” or “XX-ovaries-vulva.” This could be due to an uncommon genetic karyotype (like XO, XXXY, or mosaicism, etc.), or hormones (androgen insensitivity, 5a-reductase deficiency congenital adrenal hyperplasia, etc.) or anatomical variation (such as a penis and ovaries, testes and a vulva, ambiguous genitalia, XX-testes-penis, or XY-ovaries-vulva). It’s a broad spectrum that includes many different kinds of intersex people.

An intersex person was born with some male traits and some female traits. It is a physical condition.

It can happen in a lot of different ways. One example would be a person who had male genitals on the outside and a uterus on the inside. Another example would be someone who had a penis with the pee-hole at the base of the shaft. Some people can go years without knowing that they are intersex.

There’s a lot of different things that can cause it. Sometimes it has to do with XY chromosome stuff, sometimes it doesn’t.

Sometimes intersex babies are given surgeries to make them appear to be strictly male or female. Many (most?) intersex people believe this is wrong.