What Is It Like to Be Intersexual?

Here's what's happening on the HealthyPlace site this week:

Being Intersexual

South African runner Caster Semenya should be on top of the world. Instead she is on a suicide watch. At the international track and field championships in Berlin in September, she set a world record in the 800 meters and became a national hero. Now her life is in ruins.

After being forced to submit to all kinds of medical and psychological tests, the 18-year old track star was humiliated when the test results, showing her as being "intersex," were released to the public. Semenya has internal testes and no womb or ovaries.

She's not alone. Over 1 in 1600 births are classified as intersex (what some refer to as hermaphrodite).  Many more have gene variations affecting sexual and reproductive organs as well as hormone levels.

As most everyone with a mental health condition can relate, being different does not usually equate to a good thing. It seems the same holds true for many intersexuals, as you'll see on this Tuesday's HealthyPlace TV Show (more below).

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"What Is It Like to Be Intersexual?" On HealthyPlace TV

How she was treated by doctors and her family growing up was horrible, says our guest, Kailana. At 22 though, receiving the intersex diagnosis from the military destroyed her life. Take a look inside at what it's like to be intersexual on Tuesday's HealthyPlace Mental Health TV Show.

Join us Tuesday, November 17, at 5:30p PT, 7:30 CST, 8:30 EST or catch it on-demand. The show airs live on our website. Kailana will be taking your questions during the live show.

In the second half of the show, you get to ask Medical Director, Dr. Harry Croft, your personal mental health questions.

Still to Come in November-December on the HealthyPlace Mental Health TV Show

  • Mental Illness in the Family
  • Overeating: The Emotional Pain and How to Cope with It
  • OCD: Scrupulosity

If you would like to be a guest on the show or share you personal story in writing or via video, please write us at: producer AT

Click here for a list of previous HealthyPlace Mental Health TV Shows.

back to: Mental-Health Newsletter Index

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2009, November 16). What Is It Like to Be Intersexual?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 25 from

Last Updated: January 14, 2014

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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