Double-edged sword – the BBC throws light on intersex people while pathologizing us

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A double-edged sword: BBC One throws light on intersex people while medically pathologizing us.

“DSDs (Disorders of Sexual Development)” are rejected by OII as pathologizing language that causes harm to intersex people.

This compelling and sensitive documentary unlocks the stories of people born neither entirely male nor female. Conditions like these have been known as ‘intersex’ and shrouded in unnecessary shame and secrecy for decades. It’s estimated that DSDs (Disorders of Sexual Development) are, in fact, as common as twins or red hair – nearly one in 50 of us.

We don’t know for sure what this documentary actually has to say about intersex other than what is in their description on the page we have linked to, but the text puts quote marks around intersex and the clear promotion of “conditions” and “DSD” – “Disorders of Sex Development” – is problematic.

At least the BBC gets one thing right: intersex is as common as two other natural biological variations – twins and red hair – and it as prevalent as 1:50, or 4% as geneticist Peter Koopman reminds us.