Glossary beginning with I
A term that relates to a range of physical traits or variations that lie between stereotypical ideals of male and female. Intersex people are born with physical, hormonal or genetic features that are neither wholly female nor wholly male; or a combination of female and male; or neither female nor male. Many forms of intersex exist; it is a spectrum or umbrella term, rather than a single category.
That is why intersex activists frequently prefer to use the term sex characteristics (for example, when talking about grounds that can be protected against discrimination). There is not one static state called 'intersex status', so using the term sex characteristics reflects the fact that being intersex is a bodily experience and only one part of a person's identity.