Intersex people (once called hermaphrodites) are people born with ambiguous genitalia or genitalia having characteristics of both sexes. Usually a doctor will immediately perform surgery to assign the infant’s sex, usually removing male characteristics and ‘creating’ a female. Because this surgery is medically unnecessary, advocates today are asking that doctors and parents wait until the child is old enough to self-identify the appropriate biological sex and gender and also old enough to choose whether or not to have the surgery. Some who had surgery as infants later experience conflict with their assigned gender, similar to that experienced by transgender people. They may opt for hormone therapy and surgery to transition to the gender that they should have had. About one in every 2,000 people is intersex.

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