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This language has fallen out of favor due to misconceptions and pejorative connotations associated with the terms, and also a shift to nomenclature based on genetics.

Hermaphrodite is used in older literature to describe any person whose physical characteristics do not neatly fit male or female classifications, but the term has been replaced by intersex.

Intersex describes a wide variety of combinations of what are considered male and female biology.

Below we provide a summary of statistics drawn from an article by Brown University researcher Anne Fausto-Sterling.

The basis for that article was an extensive review of the medical literature from 1955 to 1998 aimed at producing numeric estimates for the frequency of sex variations.

Early observations of spotted hyenas in the wild led researchers to believe that all spotted hyenas, male and female, were born with what appeared to be a penis.

The apparent penis in female spotted hyenas is in fact an enlarged clitoris, which contains an external birth canal.

Other kinds of intersex conditions are identified immediately at birth because those with the condition have a sexual organ larger than a clitoris and smaller than a penis.

Some humans were historically termed true hermaphrodites if their gonadal tissue contained both testicular and ovarian tissue, or pseudohermaphrodites if their external appearance (phenotype) differed from sex expected from internal gonads.

To answer this question in an uncontroversial way, you’d have to first get everyone to agree on what counts as intersex —and also to agree on what should count as strictly male or strictly female. How small does a penis have to be before it counts as intersex?

Do you count “sex chromosome” anomalies as intersex if there’s no apparent external sexual ambiguity?

Note that the frequency of some of these conditions, such as congenital adrenal hyperplasia, differs for different populations. Blackless, Melanie, Anthony Charuvastra, Amanda Derryck, Anne Fausto-Sterling, Karl Lauzanne, and Ellen Lee.