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Intersex, what it is?

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Written by   16
3 months ago
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Sexuality is as diverse as humanity itself. And sometimes we can confuse some terms due to ignorance. That is why in this post I will tell you in a precise and respectful way what intersexuality is.

What is intersex?

Intersexuality is when there is a discrepancy between the internal and external genitalia.

People who are born with sexual or reproductive organs that are not traditionally considered male or female are called intersex. It is a bodily variation, but it is not a medical problem or pathology.

Scientifically, intersexuality can be classified into 4 categories.

Intersexuality XX or Female Pseudohermaphroditism

In this case, the person genetically has the chromosomes of a woman (XX) and has ovaries. But the external genitalia have a masculine appearance.

The major labia of the vagina fuse together and the clitoris enlarges to appear like a penis. Normally these people have a normal uterus and fallopian tubes.

XY intersex or male pseudohermaphroditism

This case is the opposite of the previous one. The person has the male chromosomes (XY) but the external genitalia are not fully formed or are clearly female.

This XY intersexuality has its explanation because the male genitalia need an adequate balance between female and male hormones for their formation.

True gonadal intersex

Those who classify within this intersexuality have ovarian and testicular tissue equally. They may have an ovary below the testicle or suffer from ovotestis (have both tissues in the same gonad).

The appearance of the genitalia can be ambiguous or with marked feminine or masculine characteristics.

The main causes of true hermaphroditism (as it is also known) are unknown.

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Gonadal dysgenesis or complex intersexuality

Complex intersex is characterized by having different chromosome combinations than normal combinations (XX or XY).

Chromosome combinations can be simple (XO, only one X chromosome). This condition only occurs in women and is not preventable because it occurs at the time of conception. It is the only viable monosomy (absence of chromosome) in humans because the absence of any other chromosome is fatal.

The absence of the Y chromosome determines that the sex is female and the lack of another X chromosome causes the absence of some sexual characteristics. This causes permanent infertility in those who suffer from this condition.

Also those with gonadal dysgenesis may have extra chromosomes (XXX or XXY). It is based on a genetic alteration caused by the incorrect separation of chromosomes.

In cases of complex intersexuality there is usually no discrepancy between the external and internal genitalia. Either they are both men's or they are both women's. But they can cause hormonal problems and sexual development.

Intersex people and sexual preferences

As you may have learned, intersex is not a sexual preference or a gender identity, it is a physiological characteristic.

An intersex person can identify as a man, woman or non-binary person in the same way that a person without this condition can. They can also choose the sexual orientation they want.

Due to the taboos and prejudices of society, they can be subjected at an early age to surgical procedures and hormonal treatments. Actions that can cause irreversible damage and consequences such as chronic pain or loss of sexual pleasure.

All this is completely unnecessary in most cases and only it has the sole purpose of adapting them to the traditional stereotype of man or woman. That is why what is recommended is that intersex bodies should not be intervened without the free and informed consent of the people. It doesn't matter if you are still a child or a teenager.

Intersex people's bodies are perfect the way they are.

One of the best known cases, possibly the most mediatic, of an intersex person has been that of the athlete Caster Semenya. Who was excluded from different athletics tests. Due to the high levels of testosterone that she naturally generates due to her intersexuality.

Concluding thoughts

Talking to intersex people and getting information is a way to eliminate the ignorance and discrimination they may suffer.

Always be respectful with others persons no matter his body, sex orientation or raze.

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