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A position statement on the treatment of intersex children

Publication date 5.4.2016 9.15 | Published in English on 30.5.2016 at 11.08
Press release

Intersex is a condition where the gender of a person cannot be determined on the basis of physical characteristics.

This condition is rare. In Finland three to eight intersex children are born yearly. Their care and the follow-up of their growth and development has been centralized to university hospitals.

ETENE handled this issue on the bases of the background report written by DDS Tuula Wahlman-Calderara. This report contains a review of current care practices, national legislation, international development and ethical issues.

In its position statement ETENE proposes that measures modinfying external gender characretistics are taken only when the child can define one´s own gender and form an opinion about one´s sexuality. ETENE found it problematic that somebody else, for example an authority defines child´s gender and may even modify it, while gender and sexuality are a central part of identity.

ETENE wishes to raise awareness and societal discussion on the relevance of the appearance of one´s gender in the ID of a person. In Finland the ID reveals the gender of a person as an odd or even number within the ID. In the case of intersex persons the ID may even be misleading. ID is often used in contexts where the revealed gender of a person may be harmful also to non-intersex persons.

ETENE´s position statement

Background report (in Finnish)