Some later shifts in terminology have reflected advances in genetics, while other shifts are suggested to be due to pejorative associations.
Since the rise of modern medical science, some intersex people with ambiguous external genitalia have had their genitalia surgically modified to resemble either female or male genitals.
Infants, children and adolescents also experience "normalising" interventions on intersex persons that are medically unnecessary and the unnecessary pathologisation of variations in sex characteristics.
Medical interventions to modify the sex characteristics of intersex people, without the consent of the intersex person have taken place in all countries where the human rights of intersex people have been studied.
Areas of concern include non-consensual medical interventions; stigma, discrimination and equal treatment; access to reparations and justice; access to information and support, and legal recognition.
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.
Stigmatization and discrimination from birth may include infanticide, abandonment and the stigmatization of families.
Mothers in east Africa may be accused of witchcraft, and the birth of an intersex child may be described as a curse.