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.

However, this is considered controversial, with no firm evidence of good outcomes.

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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.

Others will not become aware that they are intersex unless they receive genetic testing, because it does not manifest in their phenotype.

Whether or not they were socially tolerated or accepted by any particular culture, the existence of intersex people was known to many ancient and pre-modern cultures.

A majority of 75% of survey respondents also self-described as male or female.

Research by the Lurie Children's Hospital, Chicago, and the AIS-DSD Support Group published in 2017 found that 80% of affected Support Group respondents "strongly liked, liked or felt neutral about intersex" as a term, while caregivers were less supportive.

Intersex is an umbrella term used to describe a wide range of natural bodily variations.

In some cases, intersex traits are visible at birth while in others, they are not apparent until puberty.

The Greek historian Diodorus Siculus wrote of "hermaphroditus" in the first century BCE that Hermaphroditus "is born with a physical body which is a combination of that of a man and that of a woman", and with supernatural properties.

In European societies, Roman law, post-classical canon law, and later common law, referred to a person's sex as male, female or hermaphrodite, with legal rights as male or female depending on the characteristics that appeared most dominant.

Dialog between what were once antagonistic groups of activists and clinicians has led to only slight changes in medical policies and how intersex patients and their families are treated in some locations.