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  • Intersex, in humans and other animals, is a variation in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, or genitals that do not allow an individual to be distinctly identified as male or female. Such variation may involve genital ambiguity, and combinations of chromosomal genotype and sexual phenotype other than XY-male and XX-female. Intersex infants with ambiguous outer genitalia may be surgically changed to more easily fit into a socially accepted sex category. However, this is considered controversial, with no firm evidence of good outcomes. Others may opt, in adulthood, for surgical procedures in order to align their physical sex characteristics with their gender identity or the sex category to which they were assigned at birth. Others will not become aware that they are intersex—unless they receive genetic testing—because it does not manifest in their phenotype. Research in the late 20th century indicates a growing medical consensus that diverse intersex bodies are normal—if relatively rare—forms of human biology.

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