Differences of sex development or intersex variation

This page provides information on differences of sex development. This is sometimes referred to as 'intersex variation'.

Intersex people are born with variations in sex characteristics. This can include variations to chromosomes, sex hormones and/or genitals that do not conform to the typical definitions of female or male.

Intersex is often used to describe a condition identified in newborns. However sometimes a person’s intersex condition is not identified until she or he reaches puberty or discovers they are infertile as an adult. They may never be identified.

It is important to acknowledge that some conditions underlying atypical sex development are very rarely associated with issues of gender identity.

Many young people and their families prefer the term 'differences of sex development' instead of 'intersex'.

Further information

Parents can read the fact sheet on differences of sex development - parent informationPDF (84.8 KB).

You can read the list of support services on the same fact sheet.

Talk to your doctor or health professional for individual advice on your child or your concerns.

Last updated: 08 May 2019

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