Intersexuals Essay

1654 words - 7 pages

Hermaphrodites, or what we call in the modern times: intersexuals, are misunderstood throughout the entire world. Often times when we hear the word intersexuals or hermaphrodites we automatically have a negative connotation towards them. However, what most people do not realize is that hermaphroditism is in fact very common for quite a long period of time. Records were dated back to even the time when Plato was alive. However, the idea, or the actual concept of a third gender has only become less and less accepting the last one to two centuries. These individuals biologically have sexual characteristics intermediate of those typically male or female seems to medical progressives as a glitch of nature needing for regulating surgery and hormones. Contemporary ideology recognizes only two genders: male or female and any anomaly as a defect (Oesterling et al., 1936) but buried within history and medical jargon, it could be plainly seen there is a graduation of male and female, a continuum not a defined classification, that’s actually exceptionally common. About one in one hundred births exhibits some irregularity in sex differentiation and about one in two thousand is drastic enough to question the sex of the baby (Chase, 1998). Cleft palate/cleft lip, a much more publicized congenital issue, has a similar birth rate as intersexuals with a range of about 1 in 1500-2000 births in the US annually (CDC, 2014).
According to Plato, there were once three different sexes: male, female, and hermaphrodite. However, the third sex was unfortunately lost in time. Some people would argue that the idea of hermaphroditism is against their religion, but some early biblical scholars also believed that Adam began his life as a hermaphrodite and later divided into two different people, a male and a female (Chase, 1998). Even in Europe, from the Middle Ages up to the present, hermaphrodites are forced to make the decision to establish a gender for the rest of their lives. And the penalty for breaking this law could be death. An example of the actual practice of this law would be a story of a Scottish woman who was buried alive after impregnating his or her master’s daughter in the 1600s. While in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Dr. Hugh H Young of Johns Hopkins University, the father of the medical studies for hermaphroditism and the author of the book “Genital Abnormalities, Hermaphroditism and related Adrenal Diseases”, explored numerous people who were intersexuals and discovered that the majority of them were content with their lives, and did not develop any psychological problems or scars. A notable case would be a woman named Emma who had grown up as a female with a vagina and a penis-sized clitoris. As a teenager, Emma would have sexual intercourses with other women but eventually she married a man. Although she had a husband, there had not been too many sexual activities therefore Emma would have other girlfriends on the side to fulfill her pleasures.
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