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Complainant Name:
Jennie Kermode

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Spectator


Jennie Kermode complained to the Press Complaints Commission that the magazine had published an opinion piece which contained an inaccurate description of intersex people in breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors' Code.


The complaint was resolved when the newspaper published the following letter from the complainant in print and online:

Sir: Rod Liddle (31 December) gives a wholly misleading impression of the term intersex. Intersex is nothing to do with sexual orientation. It refers to physiological variations affecting between 1 and 4 per cent of the population. Whether or not a person is biologically identified as a male or female depends on a cluster of characteristics. In intersex people, these characteristics do not align in the way we might usually expect. Most intersex people still consider themselves to be male or female, but they are often subject to prejudice because of their variance. Sadly, it is still common for intersex people to be subjected to normalising' surgery when they are too young to consent, often leaving them with lifelong health problems. It is important that publications like The Spectator avoid contributing to a climate of prejudice and misunderstanding.

Jennie Kermode

Date Published: 08/03/2012

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