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A Comprehensive Guide to Intersex

A Comprehensive Guide to Intersex

Jay Kyle Petersen. Foreword by Christina M. Laukaitis, MD, PhD

Quick Overview

Intersex is a commonly misunderstood natural human variation, and this book covers a wide breadth of topics on the subject in both a comprehensive and accessible way. It includes information on what intersex is, its range of variations, and practical strategies for supporting intersex people. Ideal for both professionals and general readers.
Details Price Qty
Paperback / softback
2020, 9.02in x 5.98in / 229mm x 152mm, 320pp
ISBN: 9781785926310

Out of stock

2020, ePUB
ISBN: 9781785926327
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This comprehensive yet accessible resource provides readers with everything they need to know about intersex - people who are born with any range of sex characteristics that might not fit typical binary notions about male and female bodies.

Covering a wide variety of topics in an easy-to-read way, the book explores what intersex is, what it is not, a detailed overview of its 40 or so different variations, historical and social aspects of intersex and medical intervention, along with practical, proven advice on how professionals can help and support intersex people.

Written by an intersex man with over 65 years of first-hand experience, this book is an ideal introduction for any medical, health and social care professional or student, as well as family members and friends, seeking to improve their practice and knowledge.


'I highly recommend this book; it has a lot of good information and a lot of great research has gone into it. It will be a wonderful addition for professionals in their work with intersex/non-binary individuals who seek help.'
- Dana Zzyym, intersex activist and associate director of Intersex Campaign for Equality

'Writing on variations in sex characteristics has been long dominated by medical lenses, which can often be dehumanising and even harmful. By contrast, Jay Kyle Petersen's book contributes a worthy new guide to the burgeoning field of Intersex Studies: positioning people who actually experience intersex variations - their experiences and self-determination - in the foreground. Peterson leads this book with personal experience before diving into definitions, variations and key controversies in Intersex Studies today. Information is provided for a range of professional engagements and letter templates are included. This will be a highly useful, valued guide for those seeking key information, from a critical perspective.'
- Tiffany Jones, Macquarie University, author of Intersex: Stories and Statistics from Australia

'I recommend this very book to anyone who would like to learn more about supporting intersex individuals. It addresses topics not only for medical and mental health professionals, but also for parents, family members, social workers, and anyone in general who wishes to learn more. It includes a personal perspective, as well as diverse cultural information that offers unique insight into the lives of people who are diagnosed intersex. There are so many resources for further education too! Get your copy today!'
- Amy D’Arpino, BSW, parent, social worker, cultural competency specialist

'Intersex is no longer a condition lurking as an obscure definition on the periphery of Medicine. As Jay Petersen's extensive work shows, it is a real part of everyday life for REAL PEOPLE. Our bodies can't help impacting how we interact with the world. They are the starting point for humans to learn what we must become in several aspects of our lives --emotional, psychological, social-- and Jay's book provides more than a quick introduction to Intersex. His work is thorough, thoughtful, and thought- provoking. He describes clinical aspects of Intersex, but also illuminates more personal nuances through individual accounts and examples. It is a "must read" for health care professionals.'
- Clare McCarthy, MD, FACEP

'If you think "hermaphrodite" is appropriate language, you need to read this book! If you know the correct word is "intersex," you still need to read this book! While designed to orient professional care givers in all matters intersex, A Comprehensive Guide to Intersex offers vital information for all of us. Violence has been perpetrated upon those with intersex markers for centuries. In more recent times, this violence has taken the form of selective infant cosmetic genital alteration leading to lives full of trauma and needless shame. It is time for us to understand and respect the natural variations in sex characteristics and stop diagnosing and "correcting" them. If you read only one book on intersex, make sure it's A Comprehensive Guide to Intersex by Jay Kyle Petersen.'
- Sister Mary Deborah Giles, SND, LPCC

'Jay Petersen has written an important simple, clear, and practical guide for the layperson and professional alike regarding the inborn biological condition called intersex. There is no better guide available for all members of society to accompany intersex persons in supporting their resilience, mental well-being, physical health, and spiritual journey across a wide range of cultures, groups and individuals. This book will help prevent mistakes that have caused so much pain, misunderstanding, and trauma to intersexed persons as they claim their gifts, unique perspectives on the human condition and equal rights in society.'
- Rev. Thomas Picton, C.Ss.R., Pastoral Psychotherapist and Spiritual Director


By (author): Jay Kyle Petersen
Foreword by: Christina M. Laukaitis