Intersex

An intersex person has anatomical traits of both female and male.  Their genes, reproductive system, genitalia, and/or external appearance partially resemble the female and partially the male. These traits exist naturally, usually with a genetic cause. While ambiguously shaped genitals are best known, there are many diverse intersex conditions. "Intersex" (like "transgender") is an umbrella describing any physical abnormalities that do not conform to traditional concepts of female bodies and male bodies.

What transgender is to gender, intersex is to sex. Just as sex and gender are not the same, transgender and intersex are not the same. While some intersex people identify as trans, most do not.  Because transgenderism has neither been confirmed nor denied as biological in origin, it is unknown whether we can truly categorize transgenderism as an intersex condition or not. Trans people need to realize there is some tension between the two groups because trans people have been too quick to equate, rather than relate, intersex ideas with transgender ideas.  We should take care to understand our overlap and acknowledge our differences.

Nevertheless, intersex and trans people are common allies in a struggle against the worldview of the gender binary where sex is equivalent to gender and any violation of the sex/gender binary is sin. The existence of intersex people is an attack by Nature herself on the sex/gender Binary. Here's a rundown:

  • Gender defenders are duly frightened of intersex bodies. Their response is to ignore them, understate their existence, throw a red herring, and quietly allow the same gender transition and body modification they deny to trans people.
  • Intersex people, by their existence, invalidate the Sex/Gender Binary.
  • We must use the same ethics, whether a person is intersex, trans, both or neither.
  • We must not deify Nature. Nature is inferior to God's perfection.
  • We must not be arrogant to believe we understand when Nature manifests God's will and when it errs.
  • In some intersex cases, we cannot know whether God intended someone female or male.
  • We cannot know for certain if anyone was intended to be female or male or whether Nature erred.
  • We do always not know who is intersex and who is not.
  • Trans people ultimately posses intersex minds and bodies. Not that it should make a difference.
  • Intersex cases invalidate nearly every argument against transgenderism.

Analysis

These articles are duplicates or modifications from the intersex chapter of the booklet, Male and Female God Created Us: Transgender Christians.
  1. How Sex Happens - What does make us female or male?
  2. Intersex Conditions - A basic summary of the different kinds of intersex conditions
  3. The Response of Pro-binary Organizations - What gender defenders say about intersex conditions
    1. Misinforming Incidence
    2. Misinforming Cases
    3. Abominable Behavior
    4. Theology
    5. Dismissal and Referral
  4. Knowing Our Sex
    1. True Sex - Gender defenders talk about the true sex of intersex (and trans) people. I explore what they mean and why it's all nonsense.
    2. Thought Experiments - Using intersex situations for insight about knowing our God-intended sex
    3. Is Anyone Not Intersex?
  5. Transgenderism Applied
    1. Intersex Infers Male and Female
    2. Gender that Follows Body - Should intersex people live according to the genes and genitals they were born with?
    3. Transgender Is Intersex (brief) or Transgender Is Intersex (in depth) - When considered in more depth, transgender people are in fact intersex.
    4. Effect on Binary Arguments

Additional Articles

Intersex Stories - Personal stories of intersex Christians

Intersexuality and Scripture - Analysis of what Scripture applies to intersex people and conditions

What Is Sex Exactly? - Intersex, and post-ops complicate the definitions of "female" and "male" so I go exploring.

Intersex Is Transgender - The sequel to Transgender Is Intersex

The challenge of intersex conditions for theology - Quote: Christ himself has a wounded body even after his resurrection. God inhabits unexpected, non-dominant bodies. . . . Jesus invites people to touch his wounds, for this speaks of helping people to overcome their fear of coming into contact with “distorted” bodies."

Christian-Intersex Organizations

There are many, many intersex support groups. Like transgender groups, they need not be religious in nature to be helpful. The Intersex Socity of North America, for one. Listing all of them would be overwhelming and not that helpful. Here are just the most relevant organizations:

Intersex Support Group International - A Christian organization advocating intersex awareness and rights within the Church.

Organization Intersex International - Includes many Christian and transgender articles

See Also

Objection: Christ and the Bride - including intersex criticism