Hermaphrodite-Humans

Human hermaphrodite is a variation of human gender/sex that occurs rarely and has been defined in various ways over the centuries. The technical term refers to any individual who is born with both testicular and ovarian tissues, not dependant upon functionality. The genetic or chromosomal reality of the individual as either a male or female can be masked by the evidence of a larger than normal clitoris, or the presence of both a phallus and a vagina that varies in both size and appearance and can be different than ones chromosomal sex assignment.

Although it is true that a very small percentage of the people not easily sorted into male or female have been shown to have chromosomal patterns that differ from the common XX and XY varieties, the majority do appear, upon examination of their chromosomes, to have the standard male or female "sex chromosome" pattern. (Dreger, 1998, p. 4)

In true hermaphrodites the visual representation of both variations of gender clues, which are arguable secondary sexual characteristics, the penis and vagina is again secondary to the presence of both testes (undescended or descended) and ovaries, in some form or another. The individual may have one of each or some variation of a conglomerate organ(s). (Gilbert, 2006) The development of abnormalities in sexual assignment is often a complicated set of hormonal and very occasionally chromosomal differences from the "discrete" assignment of gender that occurs during gestation, among this variation is a wide arch of individuals who can be classed not as either male or female but intersexual.

In the modern era medical/surgical assignment often takes place, though the medical surgical complications of the varied problems of the individual rarely have to do with sex but with concerns associated with such things as tumors associated with chriptorchidism or un-descended testes or underlying medical concerns related to a disease, disorder or simple variation that may have caused the physical ambiguity in the first place. (Gilber, 2006)

Surgical and medical progress through the last one hundred or so years has leaned toward the assignment of gender based upon gonads.

Starting in the 1960s, babies born with ambiguous genitalia were "assigned" a sex that seemed appropriate based on the genitalia that they had. Those with large phalluses had their labia closed and became males, while those with smaller but still larger than normal phalluses had them surgically shortened and became females. In the 1990s, some of the individuals who were surgically assigned their sex founded the Intersex Society of America (ISNA) and lobbied to speak to physicians to have them change their usual practice of surgically amending nature. Their arguments convinced many physicians that having a baby of ambiguous sex was not a medical emergency, that interventions should be reversible, and that time should be taken to…