Trend Watch

Hanne Gaby Odiele Discloses That She Is Intersex

Odiele made the announcement to raise awareness

Lookups for intersex spiked on January 23, 2017, following the announcement by fashion model Hanne Gaby Odiele that she is intersex. She made the announcement to raise awareness and to encourage conversation about controversial surgical treatments.

Intersexuality is defined as “the condition (as that occurring in congenital adrenal hyperplasia or androgen insensitivity syndrome) of either having both male and female gonadal tissue in one individual or of having the gonads of one sex and external genitalia that is of the other sex or is ambiguous ” According to the U.N., 1.7% of the population is born intersex.

Though the term intersexes and intersexual were used as far back as 1906, its current scientific meaning began a bit later:

We have proposed the use of the terms intersexe, intersexual, intersexuality instead of sex-intergrades because the former terms can be used in all scientific languages, whereas the latter must be translated, e. g., “Sexuelle Zwischenstufen" in German.
—Richard Goldschmidt, Endocrinology, 1917

Recently, New York City issued an intersex birth certificate for the first time.

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