Depending on whose statistics you quote and what characteristics you apply, the commonality of "intersex" individuals ranges quite a bit. But in a widely quoted and recognized book on the subject, Anne Fausto-Sterling reported that approximately 1.7 percent of children are born with some form of this condition.
And since there are approximately 6.8 billion people on Earth, we can estimate that roughly 115 million individuals on the planet could be classified under the same category as Caster Semenya, the embattled South African runner whose sexuality has been questioned in the wake of her impressive 800-meter win at the World Championships in Berlin in August.
For those that have a hard time visualizing this number, it is more than one-third of the population of the entire United States—a lot of people.
So what's really strange about the case of Semenya is that it really isn't strange at all. What's strange is that we've so whole-heartedly ignored this section of the population, leaving them to suffer the daily indignities of not fitting into a system that doesn't even recognize their existence.
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