Inter-sex gets positive: Landmark decision of the Federal Constitutional Court

A reason to celebrate – persistence pays off!

“Yes to the third sex” (SZ), “Neither man nor woman”, “The future – unisex?” (FAZ), “Revolutionary” (Die Welt), “Three wins” (taz) – Headlines translated from German from 8 November 2017


The plaintiff, Vanja, did not give up. Only a year ago, her_his lawsuit was rejected by the Federal Court of Justice. Now the judges of the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe, the highest court in the country, have ruled in her_his favour. In the constitutional complaint, Vanja brought an action against the current Personal Status Code, which previously only allowed two positive sex markers and, since 2013, a further, “empty” sex marker. Continue reading “Inter-sex gets positive: Landmark decision of the Federal Constitutional Court”

Positive response and constructive debate at the HOOU: Successful intersex symposium at UKE

The symposium “Intersex Controversies” on 22 November 2017 was the second symposium hosted by the HOOU Intersex-Kontrovers project. The response was tremendous and the ballroom in Erika-Haus at the UKE in Hamburg was fully booked. Prof. Peer Briken, Director of the Institute for Sex Research and Forensic Psychiatry at the UKE, opened the event.The initiator, Dr Katinka Schweizer, was delighted that so many people accepted the invitation. She introduced the host project along with all the guests, and moderated throughout the afternoon. Continue reading “Positive response and constructive debate at the HOOU: Successful intersex symposium at UKE”

EuroPSI conference in Jerusalem: Building bridges

This year’s conference of the EuroPSI network (European Network for Psychosocial Studies in Intersex) will take place from 6 to 7 September 2017 in Jerusalem, Israel, at the Hebrew University. The conference topic is “Building Disciplinary Bridges for Research and Recognition of Intersexed Bodies”. You can view the conference programme here:

Co-hosts of the conference include the Martin Buber Society of Fellows.

I-DSD symposium in Copenhagen

The I-DSD symposium took place in Copenhagen from 29 June to 1 July 2017. In addition to medical topics, the discussion addressed psychosocial issues (e.g. the care situation and psychosocial screening) and ethical aspects (e.g. in connection with fertility). Ute Lampalzer presented initial results from research connected with the HOOU project “Intersex-Kontrovers” (see here).

EuroPSI meeting in Jerusalem

This year’s EuroPSI network conference will take place in Jerusalem, Israel. The host is Dr. Limor M. Dannon from the Hebrew University.

Date: 6/7 September 2017

Conference location: Jerusalem, Hebrew University, Mount Scopus

Information and registration:

EuroPSI was founded in 2013 and stands for European Network for Psychosocial Studies in Intersex/dsd (diverse sex development).

The previous conferences were held in London (2014), Vienna (2015), and Guildford/Surrey, UK (2016).

Interviews with professional experts

In this contribution you can watch interviews with a range of professional experts. Dr. Ute Lampalzer has interviewed experts who have been dealing with intersex, the body and gender in their work over a long period of time.

We would like to thank the interviewees for their time and openness and for their consent to publication.

The following interviews can already be seen here:

Dr. Michael Groneberg, philosopher

Prof. Dr. phil. Konstanze Plett, jurist

Dr. med. Wilhelm Preuss, psychiatrist and sex researcher

Fabian Vogler, sculptor

Dr. phil. Katinka Schweizer, psychologist

Intersex – from a sculptor’s perspective

A contribution by Fabian Vogler

For me as an artist or figurative sculptor, the mere knowledge of intersex has greatly expanded and enriched my understanding of the world. By “coincidence” I found myself in a lecture by Dr. Katinka Schweizer on the topic of “Intersex and Transsexuality”, and the realisation that there is a difference shook my previous conditioning that was built on the gender-binary construct. At no time during my entire school or university education, whether in Germany, in Austria, Spain or Great Britain, had intersex ever been mentioned. Without knowing it, however, I had repeatedly depicted intersexual figures in my work for years, and for this reason alone, the existence of intersex seemed to me to be a revelation!

Personally always bored by the male stereotypes which I should have lived up to in my role as a man, shifting the task of maintaining a strict dichotomy towards expanding the concept of gender identity seems to me a great liberation. What fascinates me above all is that EVERY HUMAN is intersex as an embryo until at least the 7th week of pregnancy. Only then, depending on the situation, do female or male internal and external sex characteristics develop. Thus all our origins are the same and the information about these origins is in all of us. Internalising this is something I see as a great societal opportunity. Let’s embrace it!