Variations in Sex Characteristics - A Call for Evidence

About this Call for Evidence

Welcome to the online response platform for the Government Equalities Office's call for evidence on variations in sex characteristics.

What is this call for evidence about?

This call for evidence seeks information on the experiences and needs of people in the UK who have variations in sex characteristics – which we define as physical sex development that is different to what is generally expected of males and females. The sex characteristics of focus here are naturally occurring genetic, chromosomal, gonadal, anatomical and hormonal variations. It includes diagnoses such as:
  • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (or CAH);
  • Hypospadias;
  • Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS);
  • Klinefelter syndrome; and
  • Turner syndrome.
This is not a full list. Our technical paper on variations in sex characteristics contains more detail.

Variations in sex characteristics is distinct from being transgender or non-binary, which refers to a person’s gender identity. 

Variations in sex characteristics is the umbrella term we have chosen for this exercise, but we are also aware that there are other terms in use, such as intersex and differences of sex development.  

Why are we doing this?

The Government is aware from engaging with stakeholders and analysing the available evidence that people who have variations in sex characteristics face particular issues in their day-to-day lives.

We want to know more about these issues to determine whether Government intervention is necessary.

This call for evidence does not put forward any proposals for policy and/or legislative change, it is an evidence-gathering exercise. Once the call for evidence has closed, the Government will review and analyse the responses we receive. We will then publish a report of what we found and a statement detailing any next steps.

Where can I read more? 

You can find a PDF version of the full call for evidence and a more detailed technical paper on variations in sex characteristics at the following website:

If possible, we recommend reading both documents carefully before completing this online survey.

If you have any questions, please e-mail