How do you prove you are genderless

Sexless or the third gender?

by Hans-Otto Burschel, published on August 16, 2013

Section 22 of the Personal Status Act (PStG) will be expanded to include the following paragraph 3 with effect from November 1, 2013 (Federal Law Gazette I 2013, 1122):

If the child cannot be assigned to either the male or female gender, the civil status case must be entered in the birth register without such information.

According to the will of the legislature, affected persons can later choose one or the other gender or leave it at this status.

Are they sexless then or has the legislature introduced a third gender?

When registering the birth, who decides whether the newborn should be assigned to the male, female or no gender? The parents? The registrar?

Can the person concerned later become a mother or father?

Can you get married or have a civil partnership?

Question after question. For more information, see Sieberichs FamRZ 2013, 1180

Notes on existing moderation practice
write a comment


Subscribe to comments as a feed

Stefan comments on the permanent link

So seriously, how can it be that you cannot assign a newborn to one gender or the other?

NT commented on the permanent link

This is possible because there are cases where two embryos "fuse" after conception and develop into a single baby. If both embryos are female or both are male, in most cases it is not noticeable that quasi dizygoti twins walk around with only one body. If one embryo is male and the other is female, the baby has characteristics of both sexes. It used to be common for parents or doctors to decide after the birth which gender the child should be and then to perform appropriate operations to make the sex characteristics "unambiguous". Recently, however, the tendency is that the affected children should decide for themselves at some point, as too many affected were unhappy with the gender they had chosen.

HB comments on the permanent link

According to Wikipedia

"The frequency of intersexuality is estimated very differently - from 1: 5000 to 1: 100, [11] which would be around 16,000 to 800,000 people in Germany. Other estimates - including Klinefelter and Turner syndromes indicate a proportion of 1.7 and 4%. [12] [13] [14] To rule out intersexuality, a detailed physical examination including chromosome analysis is necessary "

Hannah comments on the permanent link

After more than a century, Germany is finally catching up with its retrograde approach to the general land law for the Prussian states (1st part, §19-23, source e.g. ...

Reader comments on the permanent link

According to the wording of the standard, there is neither "no gender" nor "third gender", only "unknown". No indication is given, not an indication that there is no gender.

That would be similar to a missing entry about the father, the exact birthday or the place of birth. Nobody doubts that there was one of these. You just don't know the specific person, date or place.

All further legal consequences are likely to depend on it. If people of unknown gender want to assert rights that presuppose a certain gender, they will claim a gender and possibly even have to prove it. If a person wants a registered civil partnership with a woman, "she" will have to assert and possibly have to prove that "she" is a "she". In a marriage with a woman, "he" will have to heal and, if necessary, prove to be a "he".

If the law requires a compelling distinction, but the person concerned wants to keep the "unknown" status, there is likely to be a loophole in the law that would have to be closed by interpreting the legislative will.

In the case of a physical search according to § 81 d StPO, for example, I would say that people can choose which gender they want to be examined by, or that one would only allow the examination by a doctor (gap), but conversely people of both sexes may refuse a search by a police officer of unknown sex (because the presence of "the same sex" cannot be affirmed).


For easier reading, an excerpt from the ALR:

the hermaphrodite.

§. 19. When hermaphrodites are born, the parents determine the sex to which they are to be raised.

§. 20. However, after eighteen years of age, such a person is free to choose which sex he or she wants to be.

§. 21. After this election, his future rights will be judged.

§. 22. However, if the rights of a third party are dependent on the sex of an alleged hermaphrodite, the former can apply for an examination by an expert.

§. 23. The findings of the experts decide, also against the choice of the hermaphrodite and his parents.

Susi comments on the permanent link

to # 5 reader is certainly right.

Nevertheless, the question arises how to deal with "unknown".

Does "unknown" have to admit to male or female? Does the person concerned have to provide proof or not if what rights are to be taken? What if "unknown" and "unknown" want to get married, are they allowed to do so?

What role should expert reports play and when?