Surgeons pinpointed intersex babies as a "social emergency" when born.
Since advances in surgery have made it possible for intersex conditions to be concealed, many people are not aware of how frequently intersex conditions arise in human beings or that they occur at all.
Such societies have been characterized as "primitive", while Morgan Holmes states that subsequent analysis has been simplistic or romanticized, failing to take account of the ways that subjects of all categories are treated.
During the Victorian era, medical authors introduced the terms "true hermaphrodite" for an individual who has both ovarian and testicular tissue, "male pseudo-hermaphrodite" for a person with testicular tissue, but either female or ambiguous sexual anatomy, and "female pseudo-hermaphrodite" for a person with ovarian tissue, but either male or ambiguous sexual anatomy.
These issues have been addressed by a rapidly increasing number of international institutions including, in 2015, the Council of Europe, the United Nations Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the World Health Organization.
These developments have been accompanied by International Intersex Forums and increased cooperation amongst civil society organizations.
The foundation of common law, the 17th Century Institutes of the Lawes of England described how a hermaphrodite could inherit "either as male or female, according to that kind of sexe which doth prevaile." Legal cases have been described in canon law and elsewhere over the centuries.
Some intersex traits are not always visible at birth; some babies may be born with ambiguous genitals, while others may have ambiguous internal organs (testes and ovaries).Emphasize that all of these conditions are biologically understandable while they are statistically uncommon.Australian sociological research published in 2016, found that 60% of respondents used the term "intersex" to self-describe their sex characteristics, including people identifying themselves as intersex, describing themselves as having an intersex variation or, in smaller numbers, having an intersex condition.Stigmatization and discrimination from birth may include infanticide, abandonment and the stigmatization of families.Mothers in east Africa may be accused of witchcraft, and the birth of an intersex child may be described as a curse.