There’s not a lot of intersex resources available for parents and children (if any).
So because of a few parent requests, I have adapted my anatomically correct printable paper dolls so that they are intersex and do not have a vulva or penis/scrotum. You can even find a set of transgender paper dolls to download.
Intersex is when a person’s sex characteristics are not what we usually expect for a typical male or a typical female. Sometimes we discover this when they are born, but sometimes it might not be until later on. If all this jargon is confusing, you can get clear by reading this article on how to explain transgender to a child. It talks about the terms in there!
You’ll find more information about sex education in my Sex Education 101 page.
So what makes these intersex paper dolls so special?
First of all, they are inclusive. The provide an intersex child with a doll that doesn’t dictate biological sex. It allows them to draw genitals that are representative of themselves. And if they don’t want to draw their genitals on, they can just leave them blank.
Second, they can be used to open conversations with all children about gender or sex. Intersex people are as common as red hair. So the next time you are at your child’s school, try to see how many redheads there are. At my son’s school or 500 kids, there are 3 redheads (one is mone, LOL). Which means that ‘technically’ there are 3 intersex children at his school. So you could use these paper dolls to have a conversation with your child about diversity and the fact that intersex exists and that these people are a minority. And minority groups are often discriminated against. This article tells the story of an intersex teenager and gives insight into how it can feel. And this article talks about what it’s like for parents of an intersex baby.
Third, they can be used by all children. They can draw their own genitals onto them or leave them blank.
Fourth, the clothes fit all of the dolls. So the child with short hair can dress up in a pirate suit, a fairy dress or just a shirt and shorts. They can dress them however they like.
So I hope that you find these intersex paper dolls helpful for talking to your child about intersex, diversity, gender, genitals, body parts, sex and more.
I'm Cath, a sex educator living in Australia with my husband and 2 kids. I help parents to talk about sex (with less cringe and more confidence) and to empower their child to make smart sexual decisions. You can join my online parent support group here and visit my shop for helpful resources.