interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth applauds Amnesty International’s attention to this important issue. The experiences highlighted by the researchers mirror what many intersex individuals suffer in the United States. This report is part of a growing tidal wave of awareness in the international community that these surgeries violate human rights and must be stopped. If doctors fail to police their actions, forces outside of medicine will be forced to step in to protect these vulnerable children.

This report focuses on situations where medical interventions performed may be non-emergency interventions. Variations where this may be the case include:

  • Some forms of congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), a genetic variation associated with a decrease in the blood level of the hormone cortisol and an increase in the level of androgens. In some countries including Germany and Denmark, it is also called androgenital syndrome (AGS);
  • (Complete) androgen insensitivity syndrome (CAIS or AIS) is a variation in which the body cannot fully (or at all) respond to androgens, affecting the development of genitalia in the foetus;
  • Hypospadias refers to a situation in which the hole through which urine passes is not at the tip of the penis;
  • Klinefelter syndrome is a variation in which individuals have one Y chromosome and two or more X chromosomes. It has physical characteristics that may include lower levels of testosterone and slow, partial or no development in puberty;
  • Turner Syndrome is a variation in which individuals have a single X chromosome. This can lead to physical characteristics that may include short stature and ovaries that are partially developed.

Children, adolescents and adults who were born with variations in sex characteristics face discrimination and other human rights violations, some of which are documented in this report.

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