Bias in Intersex Research – Presentation Video + Script

>>> Slides + Script (PDF, 5 MB)         >>> Video (vimeo, 15 min)

IGM = CRIME, Not 'Health Care' or 'Therapy'! on FacebookWe would like to thank the Centring Intersex Conference for making available online the presentation videos and abstracts of those who wished so. And we are grateful for all the constructive and interesting contributions by fellow intersex advocates, and allies, also in the discussions.
By popular request and as a late-ish tribute to Intersex Awareness Day 2023, we are sharing our presentation on Bias in intersex research, followed by the abstract.

Presentation @ Centring Intersex: Global and Local Dimensions, 21.02.2023
cc 2023 Daniela Truffer, Markus Bauer, /
• Slides + Script (PDF, 13 MB):
• Video of presentation (15 min):
• Conference Programme and Abstracts (PDF):

Bias in intersex research and the lack of implementation of intersex human rights.
Analysis and proposals to ensure good practices
Markus Bauer [1], Daniela Truffer [1]
[1] /, Zurich, Switzerland


Since the 1990s intersex advocates have been criticising medical research on intersex and the consequences of “corrective” surgery as biased, followed by similar criticism of social research. Documented criticism of medical publications includes sampling bias, directive questionnaires, lack of evidence as an argument to continue with nonconsensual surgery, and the recurring fallacy of “surgery is better now, and in 20 years we will be able to prove it”, as well as discrediting critical intersex voices as “zealots” and “a (small) group of activists standing on the barricades for sexual diversity”. Criticism of social sciences includes misrepresentation of intersex as a gender issue, erasure of human rights criticism, and academic complicity. In recent years, medical and social research on intersex has increased and a new type of research has emerged with an explicit focus on human rights.

We will analyse some recent salient examples and demonstrate that despite positive developments and examples of good practice, in many cases the aforementioned biases and fallacies persist and new ones are being added, while positive examples often only have limited reach. We will argue that these shortcomings and deficiencies in often not genuinely disinterested academic papers are a contributing factor to the lack of implementation of human rights, policy and legal directives, and propose measures to ensure good practices in intersex research.

Fighting the good fight – happy Intersex Awareness Day 2023!Hermaphrodites With Attitude, Boston 26.10.1996

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