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Intersex- New Interdisciplinary Approaches

Project description

Creating knowledge on intersex studies, policies and practices from a human rights perspective

Children with sex characteristics which do not fit the typical definitions of male or female are estimated to account for 0.05 % to 1.7 % of all births, according to the United Nations. Intersex children continue being exposed to nonconsensual and clinically unnecessary surgeries and other medical treatments, causing frequently harm to their health and wellbeing. The UN and other regional human rights bodies have called for a cessation of these medical practices. The INIA project (Intersex – New Interdisciplinary Approaches) aims at creating knowledge on intersex studies, policies and practices from a human rights perspective. For this purpose, INIA will train 10 early career researchers within a transdisciplinary and transectoral network of organisations from 10 countries, working towards ways of addressing the human rights and needs of this highly pathologised population.


Intersex people are a highly marginalised population whose specific healthcare, social and human rights issues are often overlooked. The United Nations estimates that between 0.05% and 1.7% of infants are born with intersex traits, but intersex is largely invisible at legal and cultural levels. Intersex infants and children are often subjected to medically unnecessary genital surgeries in order to make them conform to physical norms. The dearth of policy frameworks and mechanisms to support intersex people’s social acceptance and inclusion is one reason for this. Non-essential intersex medical treatments are increasingly addressed as damaging to intersex people’s wellbeing, and as breaches of their human rights.

Intersex people are diverse and continue to face exposure to multiple forms of discrimination, requiring cross-sectoral policy responses in fields including healthcare, education, and the law. Accordingly, the INIA ETN proposes to train a cohort of 10 early stage researchers working collaboratively to develop knowledge that will inform policy making and practice across a range of key sectors. The training addresses central issues for intersex wellbeing and rights, drawing on intellectual resources provided by legal studies, gender studies, medicine and healthcare, sociology, social work, political science, social policy, cultural studies, and psychology. The practical focus of the programme will be on developing topical and original applied outputs of relevance to stakeholders concerned to support the wellbeing and rights of intersex people. The project will, thanks to the unique competencies of the consortium partners, train a cohort of highly skilled researchers who will enable fast-track developments of intersex studies, policies and practices, working in a multidisciplinary and transectoral network bringing together 21 organisations from 10 countries.


Net EU contribution
€ 606 345,12
HD1 3DH Huddersfield
United Kingdom

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Yorkshire and the Humber West Yorkshire Calderdale and Kirklees
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 606 345,12

Participants (5)