The Intersex Mapping Study

We want to learn about what life is like for the intersex community so we can help bring about positive change. 

The official title of our study is: Mapping the Lived Experiences of Intersex/Variations of Sex Characteristics in Ireland: Contextualising Lay and Professional Knowledge to Enable Development of Appropriate Law and Policy

Our team is led by Dr. Tanya Ní Mhuirthile from the School of Law and Government.  Tanya is a legal expert on the subject of how the law affects the lives of intersex people.  Prof. Anthony Staines (Health Systems/Public Health) and Dr. Mel Duffy (Sociology) are both from the School of Nursing, Psychotherapy and Community Health.  Dr. Maria Feeney (Sociology & Education) is based at the School of Law and Government.

Our study is funded by the Irish Research Council's COALESCE Fund.  Internationally renowned intersex advocates are members of our Steering Committee.

What is our work about? 

Intersex people are born with bodies that are different to ‘typical’ male/female ones – they have different sex characteristics [such as genitalia, hormones, chromosomes, gonads (ovaries/testes)]. Sometimes people use different terms to talk about these differences, such as:

  • Variations of Sex Characteristics (VSC)
  • Intersex Variation (IV)
  • Atypical Sex Characteristics
  • Difference(s) of Sex Development (DSD)

Intersex is an umbrella term that includes more than thirty ways the human body may naturally differ.  We use this term most often.  You can learn more about intersex here from our FAQs page.

We know that the intersex community experiences many challenges such as legal/social barriers and discrimination but we do not have enough data to bring about positive change such as more informed policy and law that will protect them and offer them the same levels of equality as the non-intersex population. 

Our study seeks to bridge that gap in two ways by speaking directly to intersex people, their families, and medical professionals who care for them

Contact us intersex@dcu.ie