What is the difference between “hermaphrodite” and “intersex”?

“Hermaphrodite” was a term that was commonly used in the past to describe and consequently oppress intersexed people. Illustrations of hermaphrodites usually depicted people that were born half female and half male however intersexed people are not born with two complete sets of genitalia. Many intersexed people are born with ambiguous genitalia, or sex organs that are not clearly female or male. Intersexed is a general term that can relate to various conditions and is now used as the non-discriminatory alternative to “hermaphrodite”.

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