Hermaphrodites

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. 1979, 1986 © Harper Collins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012 Cite This Source ), son of Hermes and Aphrodite, who, in Ovid, was loved by the nymph Salmacis so ardently that she prayed for complete union with him and as a result they were united bodily, combining male and female characteristics. The five sexes: Why male and female are not enough. There may be an ovary underneath one testicle or the other, which derives from Hermaphroditos ( Ἑρμαϕρόδιτος), the son of Hermes and Aphrodite in Greek mythology.

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To read more about the Victorian origins of the medical terminology of “true” and “pseudo” hermaphroditism, check out chapter 5 of Alice Dreger’s Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex which is available at our bookshelf, or go to our called What’s the history behind the intersex rights movement?

—are usually parasitic, slow-moving, or permanently attached to another animal or plant.

Unfortunately, some medical personnel still use them to refer to people with certain intersex conditions, because they still subscribe to an outdated nomenclature that uses gonadal anatomy as the basis of sex classification.

In a paper titled Changing the Nomenclature/Taxonomy for Intersex: A Scientific and Clinical Rationale, five -associated experts recommend that all terms based on the root “hermaphrodite” be abandoned because they are scientifically specious and clinically problematic.

A child who is in an intersexual state is classified in one of three categories: 1) true hermaphrodite – an infant born with both ovaries and testicles and has both male and female sex organs.

2) female pseudohermaphrodite – a genetic female with male external sex organs.

Now, specialists can perform an ultrasound, blood test, chromosome analysis, and even do exploratory surgery to find out the baby's true sex. Some believe that surgery and/or hormonal therapy should begin within the first 15 months of life, and others believe these things should be put off until the child is old enough to make his or her own decision about it. Either way, any family with an intersexual infant should begin counseling, as should the child when he or she is old enough.

When babies are developing in the womb, they all begin with sex organs that look female.

If the baby is male, he begins to produce testosterone, and if the hormone reaches the tissues correctly, the external genitals become a scrotum and penis.

Chromosomal or sex hormone abnormalities can produce an infant in an intersexual state.

It is very possible for a child born with both sex organs to grow up to have a healthy view of sexuality and successful relationships.

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