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Intersex - Research Paper Example

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Your F. Name 18 April 2012 Intersex Is a baby a boy or a girl? Isn't that the first thing that a doctor says when a newborn enters the world? What if it may have the appearance of both gender characteristics? Does that mean that there is maybe even a third gender that is so rare that it is almost taboo?…
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Intersex Research Paper
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Download file to see previous pages While intersex conditions are not completely uncommon, they are also not a surprise to society. The two major conditions are called hermaphrodite and pseudohermaphrodite. True hermaphrodites have complete sexual characteristics of both genders. This term has been loosely described though as most people are actually psuedohermaphrodites. This typically means that a person has one type of genitalia but secondary sexual characteristics are those of the other gender (Finkler). Some people may undergo surgery to remove any type of external genitalia so that they may assume one true gender. This would allow a person to then be able to have their external genitalia and their thoughts and feelings of how they identify with either gender to correlate and would give them a sort of true gender identity and would also increase their self confidence. People may also undergo hormone therapies in order to help aid in any transition (Finkler). According to a study done over fifty years ago, eighty-four cases of people who were considered hermaphrodites showed cases of heterosexual libido. This has less to do with the person's physical characteristics. Instead, it has to do more with their upbringing. It was at this time of the study believed by these researchers that hermaphrodites experienced either homosexuality or heterosexuality not by hormones but instead by their environmental surroundings. This is thought to be true of both true hermaphrodites and pseudo-hermaphrodites (Ellis). A similar type of birth defect is ambiguous genitalia that is similar to that of hermaphrodism. This is a case when the outer organs of a person are not similar to a male or a female's organs. What can happen with this condition is the fact that during conception, the X and Y chromosomes from the father determine the child's gender. A person is either genetically XX and identifies as a female or is XY and identifies as a male. If the process in the womb is disrupted in which a baby assumes identity, it can then result in ambiguous genitalia. When the person comes from the womb, it is difficult to determine if they are male or female based on the organs that are present. Some of the causes of this condition are pseudo-hermaphrodism, true hermaphrodism, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, lack of certain hormones or other abnormalities in chromosomes. It could also result from a mother taking certain medications (Medline Plus). Depending on the person, a genetic female may also appear to look like a female. However, a genetic female could also have physical characteristics instead of a male. This is the same for a male. Genetic females with ambiguous genitalia would have physical characteristics of an enlarged clitoris that looks like a small penis; the labia may resemble a scrotum; the urethral opening may be anywhere near the clitoris; there may be a lump of tissue in the labia that appears to look like a scrotum with testicles. It is often thought that these infant genetic females are at first males but with testicles that have not descended. On the contrary, a genetic male may have a small penis that is under 1.2 inches at birth. This may look like an enlarged clitoris. The scrotum may appear to look like a labia. The urethral hole may be anywhere along the peritoneum and the testicles are still undescended. This condition is not life threatening but can relate to psychological issues in the future where a person may struggle ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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