2 Your Health "What is intersex?" - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

2 Your Health "What is intersex?"

2 Your Health "What is intersex?"

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"Intersex" is a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn't seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male. For example, a person might be born appearing to be female on the outside, but having mostly male-typical anatomy on the inside. Or a person may be born with genitals that seem to be in-between the usual male and female types. Or a person may be born with mosaic genetics, so that some of her cells have XX chromosomes and some of them have XY.

Intersex anatomy doesn't always show up at birth. Sometimes a person isn't found to have intersex anatomy until she or he reaches the age of puberty, or finds himself an infertile adult, or dies of old age and is autopsied. Some people live and die with intersex anatomy without anyone (including themselves) ever knowing. 

Humans decide whether a person with XXY chromosomes or XY chromosomes and androgen insensitivity will count as intersex.  But when nature doesn't decide where the category of "male" or female ends, typically doctors decide

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