Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Intersex People Must be Consulted on Intersex Research

Morgan Carpenter, of OII-Australia published a piece in the Star Observer Australia, stating that intersex people are often not consulted by researchers studying intersex, and that consultation is necessary.  

Carpenter argues that without input from intersex people, the result of such studies are too-often conclusions that reinforce the long-standing view that intersex people do not have bodies that represent natural variation in how human bodies look and function - and which is simply most often ignored, in favor of the male-female sex binary - but instead, as having medical conditions that need to be "fixed" or serve as evidence to otherwise discriminate against intersex people (e.g., intersex women with high testosterone levels excluded from competing in Olympic sport).  

He also makes the important point that while many Australian orgs have added the "I" to the the LGBTI acronym, little work is actually being done on intersex issues by these orgs.  In the US, I have noted that few orgs have added the "I" at all in recent years, despite intersex issues gaining higher profile - and even despite working directly with intersex people on intersex work.  Orgs, please add the "I" and include work on intersex issues -in collaboration with intersex people - if you are serious about intersex human rights.

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