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Khanith or Khaneeth (Arabic: خنيث, variant transcription Xanith) is a vernacular Arabic term for both standard written Arabic mukhannath and khuntha. The Arabic word Mukhannath مخنث (literally "effeminate") refers to individuals with a gender identity other than that of their legally assigned identity. They are characterized as "effeminate", "not clearly male," and as people who were "born as a male" and who nevertheless feel, behave, and (in most cases) dress like a female. The Arabic word khuntha خنثى (literally "hermaphrodite") refers to intersex people.
John Money summarizes material presented by U. Wikan in an article entitled "Man becomes woman: Transsexualism in Oman as a key to gender roles." (Man (N.S.) 12:304-319, 1977.) According to that account, the khanith is a 'bottom' in a homosexual relationship. These individuals may retain his public status as a man, despite his departure in dress and behavior from a cisvestite role of a person expressing hegemonic-masculinity, providing that he also gives proof of a legal marriage to a woman and proof of having consummated that marriage. The clothing of these individuals must be intermediate between that of a male and a female.
The word is also widely used as an insult in the Middle East; it is roughly equivalent to the word "faggot" in the American English vocabulary.
(See: John Money, Lovemaps, Prometheus Book, 1993. ISBN 0-87975-456-7.)