Intersex: Stories and Statistics from Australia

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Organisation Intersex International Australia have announced a forthcoming book titled ‘Intersex: Stories and Statistics from Australia‘. Written by Tiffany Jones, Bonnie Hart, Morgan Carpenter, Gavi Ansara, William Leonard, and Jayne Lucke, the book draws on stories and statistics from the first Australian national intersex study.

From the publisher:

Sex is complex. Humans are simultaneously more similar in their sex development, and more diverse, than is commonly appreciated or understood. Females and males are not made of wildly different ingredients. The potential to have intersex variations—to be born with atypical sex characteristics—exists for all humans in the first few weeks of their prenatal development. 1.7% of people actually go on to be born intersex.
However, most of us know little about intersex variations. This is only partly due to their occasional invisibility. Intersex people have historically faced deep social stigma—the assumption that they were simply bizarre aberrations from the human norm. Furthermore, intersex infants have been widely subjected to systematic institutional mistreatment, particularly within medical settings. Finally, some people with intersex variations have simply tried to integrate themselves unnoticed into the socially accepted categories of male and female.
Drawing on stories and statistics from the first national study of intersex the book argues for a distinct ‘Intersex Studies’ framework to address intersex issues and identity—foregrounding people with intersex variations’ own goals, perspectives and experiences. Collected in 2015 and arranged in thematic chapters, the data presented here on 272 individuals gives a penetrating account of historically and socially obscured experience. This book is an important and long-overdue contribution to our understanding of human sexuality and a must-read for people with intersex variations, health practitioners, psychologists, advocacy groups, students, and anybody interested in knowing more about our diverse human make-up.
For further information:

From Blues to Rainbows: The Mental Health Needs of Young People With Diverse Gender

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From Blues to Rainbows was a national research project that aimed to redress the absence of positive, resilience-focused research for gender diverse and transgender young people. Download the From Blues to Rainbows report from beyondblue.

“From Blues to Rainbows found that half of the gender diverse and transgender young people surveyed were diagnosed with depression and two thirds had experienced verbal abuse.

Almost all of the 189 young Australians surveyed had experienced abuse because of their gender diversity, ranging from verbal threats to physical violence. One fifth had experienced physical abuse, and 90 per cent had thought about suicide in response to that experience of physical abuse. The street (40 per cent) and school (38 per cent) were the most common places for threats and harm to occur.

The report also found:

  • 66% of participants had seen a health professional for their mental health in the past year
  • 38% had suicidal thoughts and a quarter had spoken to a medical professional about it
  • One in three did not feel supported by their family and suffered much higher rates of stress, suicide and depression
  • 45% were diagnosed with anxiety compared with an average 25% of the population
  • 66% had experienced verbal abuse due to their gender identity
  • 62% had participated in some form of activism (e.g. participating in a march) which was a protective factor

However, the report also highlighted that parental, peer and school support can make a huge and positive impact to that young person’s wellbeing, as support from parents, peers and teachers was a major protective factor in their wellbeing.

The findings will be presented to policy makers and schools to suggest better supports for gender diverse and transgender young people and to educate teachers and parents, whose influence is crucial to the young person’s mental health and wellbeing”

Citation

Smith, E., Jones, T., Ward, R., Dixon, J., Mitchell, A., & Hillier, L. (2014). From Blues to Rainbows: Mental health and wellbeing of gender diverse and transgender young people in Australia. Melbourne: The Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society

Growing Up Queer

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Growing Up Queer was a national research study released in 2014 looking into the issues facing young Australians who are gender variant and sexuality diverse. It demonstrates the need for greater community education, training of educators, doctors and health professionals about the health and wellbeing issues facing young Australians who are gender variant and sexuality diverse.

Visit Growing Up Queer

Download Growing Up Queer research report (2014) [PDF]

 

Writing Themselves In 3

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Writing Themselves In 3

Writing Themselves In 3 is the third national study on the sexual health and wellbeing of same sex attracted and gender questioning young people in Australia. It highlights young people’s experiences of discrimination, as well as the protective factors that can improve their overall wellbeing.

Access the report: http://www.glhv.org.au/report/writing-themselves-3-wti3-report