Intersex states are conditions where a newborn's sex organs (genitals) look unusual, making it impossible to identify the gender of the baby from its outward appearance.
Intersex individuals can have both male and female traits in some cases, making it possible for a person who is apparently a man to have female reproductive organs.
Intersex states may also be caused by a condition called congenital adrenal hyperplasia, which occurs in about one out of every 5,000 newborns.
Any abnormality in chromosomes or sex hormones, or in the unborn baby's response to the hormones, can lead to an intersex state in a newborn.
Persons with intersex states can be classified as a true hermaphrodite, a female pseudohermaphrodite, or a male pseudohermaphrodite.
Since the mid-1950s, doctors have typically assigned a sex to an intersex infant based on how easy reconstructive surgery would be.
Some people are critical of this approach, including intersex adults who were operated on as children.
"Communicating with parents of the newborn with intersex: transcript of an interview."
Intersex males may have testes and a female-like vulva, or a very small penis.
Counseling should be given to the entire family of an intersex newborn.