In the past several decades, conflicting discourses have coexisted in the field of intersex studies, including the pathologising discourse of the biomedical disciplines and the affirmative, subjective psychosocial discourse of people born with intersex bodies and their advocates. Intersex activists call for a positive discourse on intersex bodies and a humanistic healthcare approach that accepts and protects intersex bodily autonomy to replace continuing harmful, traumatic treatments aimed at normalising variations of sex characteristics (VSC). Our awareness of the biomedical discursive dominance prompted us to initiate Inter-Care and Awareness, an intercultural German–Israeli action research project. This paper introduces the project and explores intercultural approaches to psychosocial intersex care using an action research framework. We describe how the project’s goals, processes and outcomes created educational material on intersex which uses positive language, explores intersex in the Jewish tradition, improves the support offered to parents of intersex children, and examines cross-cultural differences that arose in the encounters between the Israeli and German participants. The analysis points to sociocultural themes that reflect intersex people’s current status in Israel and Germany. Implications regarding the implementation of similar projects in other countries are discussed.
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- action research
- intercultural project