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Female, male and intersex

Sex is usually seen as being about bodies, genetics and chromosomes.

For example, someone with a vulva, vagina, uterus and XX chromosomes is generally female.

Someone with a penis, testicles and XY chromosomes is generally male.

Intersex refers to the people who are born along the continuum between male and female. Someone can be intersex due to chromosomes, hormones or reproductive organs. It is a lot more common than people think.  interACT Advocates for Intersex Youth estimates that around 1.7 per cent of the population will be intersex – to put this in perspective, between one and two per cent of the population have red hair.

Belgian model Hanne Gabe Odiele came out as intersex in January 2017. She spoke with The Guardian in April 2017.

Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.