This information sheet has been prepared for parents and families of children born with intersex variations. The tendency to categorize all people as either ‘female’ or ‘male’ means that people with intersex variations may face social stigma and discrimination, often due to a lack of awareness about such variations. This can be made worse when parents do not fully understand a child’s intersex variation due to a lack of clear and affirming information. Importantly, having an intersex variation is not a mental health issue, but mental health issues may arise due to social and cultural ideas about sex. Additional mental health issues can emerge as a result of unnecessary surgeries and hormone treatments that may be imposed on infants and young people throughout childhood and adolescence. Further, many laws and other institutional barriers currently discriminate against intersex people and do not properly acknowledge their existence.
This information sheet covers the following questions: What does it mean for a child to have an intersex variation? What issues might a child with an intersex variation face? How can parents/families support their child with an intersex variation? How can parents/families seek to affirm professional assistance? What are some useful resources?
Source: Australian Psychological Society