Is intersex a third sex or gender?

No. Most intersex people present and identify in society as male or female. There are some intersex people who consider intersex to be a third gender and present themselves as such to others. International intersex organizations have spoken out against the recognition of intersex as a third gender in the Malta Declaration. They believe that there should be less pigeonholing instead of more. Some intersex people have an X in their birth certificate and passport as their sex designation. The X stands for ‘sex could not be determined’ and thus is not a third sex.

Developing a gender identity other than the one assumed at birth can be difficult for intersex people. This is especially true for people who underwent ‘normalizing’ surgery shortly after birth without autonomous and informed consent. Due to social pressures, they are more likely to present as male or female rather than non-binary or intersex.