Sex and the law – share our short guide

Interpreting the law canbe hard – we've made it easy for you

What does intersex mean? Are you allowed to mention someone’s sex if they don’t want you to? Has someone with a gender recognition certificate changed their sex? Do you have the right to privacy when you’re taking your clothes off? Is it discrimination to keep male people out of female-only spaces if those male people identify as female? When a person’s biology and identity differ, what is a service-provider to do? 

Many people, and many organisations, are confused about what rights people have when it comes to sex – male and female – and “gender identity”: a feeling some people claim to experience of being the opposite sex. The confusion is increased by the fact that there’s a great deal of misinformation out there, some of it produced with good intentions, and some not. 

And so Sex Matters has produced a short guide to what the law actually says. If you’ve been hearing conflicting accounts of what is and isn’t allowed when it comes to men and women, we hope our booklet Sex and the law will make things clear. 

In 16 short pages, we summarise what you need to know about your human rights in everyday life when it comes to sex. We use ordinary language, and provide references you can check. 

Sex and the law was delivered to every member of parliament and every working peer before the summer recess, because we want to make sure that the people representing us are clear about the law too. Why not send copies to friends, and perhaps your employer – or even a shop, sports centre or restaurant you think could do with some help interpreting the law?