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Yin Yang Yo?[edit]

What does the summary of an episode of a cartoon have to do with hermaphrodites when the character doesn't sound like a hermaphrodite? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:26, 9 July 2009 (UTC)


Another possible reason hermaphrodites or intersexed humans are born (especially in cases of simultaneous hermaphrodites) could be Chimerism. Other topics discussed touched on the possibility of up to 5 sex genes being present. With the use of fertility drugs on the rise these days, the complications and anomolies seem to compound. Sometimes a zygote is suposed to split into twins and doesn't. In which case you get one of two conditions, Siamese twins or a Chimera, resulting in the presence of four chromosomes. Being in this example the twins would have been identical, resulting in an XXYY or XXXX sex chromosome combination. Cases of dizygotal or fraternal twins in which one of the ova are fertilized but one of the zygotes produced does not fully or properly develope (chances of cases like these may be increased by in vitro fertilization)the underdeveloped zygote can be fused to the other. Take into consideration the case of the man with an intestinal blockage and the blockage was found to be a underdeveloped fetus in his intestines. In some cases one zygote is combined through fusion of the DNA material where as certain parts of the body have distinctively different DNA paterns as if two people are making up one body. (talk) 05:48, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Hermaphroditism in animals[edit]

Should the section on sequential hermaophrodism be linked to dichogamy? Maybe the differences between these should be clarified, as the article on dichogamy seems to be more focused on plants, despite that article citing fish as an example of a dichogamous organism. --Ochotona (talk) 06:12, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

I did some clean up (Finally!) of the subsection. I suggest that anyone editing this section keeps in mind that for biologist, gender is not the correct term when referring to hermaphrodites. We use the word sex, as in SEX-CHANGING animal. Gender, as I have stated in previous comments, is a social construct and refers to humans. Animals are not of one or another gender but of one or another sex. I also took out the following paragraph and I suggest it only be re-inserted if it can be re-phrased or cited properly:

"The order of sequential hermaphroditism within a species is often driven by resource demands. In a population where resources are scarce and can support limited bearing of young, it is advantageous to have a larger population of males supporting one female. One would expect that a species that typically faces this scenario (such as many clownfish living in a single anemone) would have organisms that start as male, and perhaps one individual per group would have changed to be female at any given time. Where resources are abundant and can support bearing of many young, on the other hand, it is advantageous to have many females mating with a limited number of males, so that more young are produced. One would expect that a species that typically faces this scenario (such as parrotfish that can forage over large distances) would have individuals that start as female, and perhaps one individual per group would have changed to be male at any given time."

I think the idea is right but I found it hard to follow. In my doctoral dissertation I think I have something along the same lines and is better explained. I will added it later, when I have additional time! I also need to add some reference to what I wrote! Sex changing fish is one of my favorite subjects so I would really like to contribute to wikipedia on this!--Reefpicker (talk) 13:47, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

I would like to clean up this subsection. I want to link it to the wikipedia entries on Wrasses and Clownfish, which are models for the study of sex change in fish. The subsection is good but it could be better. For example, it mentions that animals can change "gender" several times. The correct term is sex, as gender is a social construct only used for humans. --Reefpicker (talk) 16:05, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

The article claims that "gonadal dysgenesis" occurs in "about 1 percent of mammals (including humans)". Should this actually read "about 1 percent of mammal species"? It's difficult to believe that 1% of humans are true hermaphrodites.

--Smallblackflower 18:48, 8 November 2006 (UTC) : This article says "though often as a synonym for transsexual, as true human intersexuals are rare", however, this site, says "There are 40 times more intersexed people than transsexuals." and I believe that to be more accurate. I do not know how to edit the article accordingly, help?

Innaccuracies about Genetics[edit]

"On very rare occasions, such a hermaphrodite can even impregnate itself, but this will result in complications, such as the offspring having identical DNA to its parent. See Simultaneous Hermaphrodites below." Not true, such reproductive behaviour would be selfing, not parthogenesis. They would have a genome constructed from a gene pool that would equal no more than the parental DNA. Which would them very inbred, (mean heterzygosity half the parental level) but still quite genetically dissimilar to their parent. This article also needs a section on the evolutionary and adaptive consequences of hermaphroditism, with attention given to WHY it arises, etc. (Hermaphroditism is an important case study when considering sex evolution and sex maintenance)

   Ludolud 22:26, 11 May 2007 (UTC)Ludolud


Come on, now... what value do 'furries' have in an article on hermaphroditism?

Just look at some of their art, 90 % of the Furry art has breasts and a large penis.

Now, of course you don't know this first hand, do you?

Most furry art I have seen does not depict any genitals at all. Ether the furries wears clothes covering the area in question, or they are portrayed in such an angle that you can’t see any genitals, or they are depicted as if they had no external genitals at all. Almost all furry art depicting genitals I have seen is found on the art pages of the Chakat’s Den. This artwork does show a lot of hermaphrodites since the chakat species itself is entirely hermaphroditic. Yet most species in their fictional universe does have at least two genders. What I mean is that the species in question exists as males and females and possible as simultaneous hermaphrodites and/or sequential hermaphrodites. As far as I know there is only three species consisting entirely of simultaneous hermaphrodites. There is also one species entirely consisting of sequential hermaphrodites in which secondary sex characteristics change at the same time as the genitals. Please note the in the chakat fictional universe simultaneous hermaphrodites may have male secondary sex characteristics or a mix of both genders. But this seems to be more uncommon.

2009-08-05 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

Cleanup Tag[edit]

What is the rationale for this tag? -- RyanFreisling @ 20:47, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The PC throwaway line is a riot... "The term intersexual to describe these people is now preferred, and the term "hermaphrodite" is deprecated, since hermaphrodism is not a typical part of the human life cycle." And being "intersexual" is? Who prefers this term anyway. I have not seen it in the scientific literature. I'm of a mind to yank this line.

I would yank it. And anyway, the 'term' Hermaphrodite is still valid, when used to describe the child of Hermes and Aphrodite, to say nothing of the biological case. -- RyanFreisling @ 21:18, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)
While I don't care about inclusion of the term either way, stating that it is not a valid term is entirely wrong. Search PubMed with the term 'intersexual' and restrict to human papers and you get 140 returns. For example: "Ethical dilemmas in retrospective studies on genital surgery in the treatment of intersexual infants." Camb Q Healthc Ethics. 2004 Fall;13(4):394-403. Or this NEJM review of a book on the ethics of treatment and understanding intersex patients (from 2000.)
Moreover, 'intersexual' is an adjectival form of intersex, which is used almost exclusively in my experience to describe kids with ambiguous genitalia (as a general group... obviously its more common to say a girl with CAH etc.) Search Pubmed for intersex OR intersexual OR intersexed with the limit 'human' and you get almost 600 returns.
So it is far from a PC term, but rather simply the term that is preferred now by clinicians as well as intersexed people. This is especially the case since most intersex people are not in fact true hermaphrodites – i.e. individuals with both ovarian and testicular tissue (or ovotestis.) NickGorton
I don't think anyone is arguing 'intersexual' isn't a word, the focus of this article is 'hermaphrodite'. -- RyanFreisling @ 01:35, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I was referring to the original quote, not your comment, Ryan -
"The PC throwaway line is a riot... "The term intersexual to describe these people is now preferred, and the term "hermaphrodite" is deprecated, since hermaphrodism is not a typical part of the human life cycle." And being "intersexual" is? Who prefers this term anyway. I have not seen it in the scientific literature. I'm of a mind to yank this line.
This comment implies (though I will admit doesn't directly state... with that 'well I haven't seen it' line) that intersexual is not used as a term in the medical/scientific literature. And I think the real issue is the confusion between intersexed people and hermaphrodites. While intersexuality is relatively common (for example, just the most common single illness, non-classical CAH is about 1/60-70 XX births.) Taken as a whole and in the broadest sense, all of the conditions regarded as intersexual are about 1/50-100 births. However, true human hermaphrodism is extremely rare. The problem is that people confuse the two all the time. And if you have an article discussing hermaphrodism that mentions human hermaphrodites, I think it bears stressing the fact that hermaphrodites are a minute and particular sub-category of much more common group of intersexed people.
And I think the reason this is important is that people who are intersexed no more like being called hermaphrodites than people with Down's syndrome like the term 'mongoloid.' And while the original discussant described it as PC-run-amok, I see it as simply being respectful. Not that Dr Down was a prize either. He originally described children with trisomy 21 as being a 'devolution' of the superior 'Caucasian race' to the inferior 'Mongol race.' But then I imagine I will be accused of PC-run-amok if I prefer to refer to my niece's illness as trisomy 21 rather than use an eponym that honors a dead racist English Pediatrician. ;) NickGorton

"True" Hermaphrodites[edit]

I know it is extremely rare, but if a human has fully functioning sexual organs of both genders, could they self-impregnate? Talk about a hypothetical situation... Xyzzyva 01:06, Jun 21, 2005 (UTC)

I am doing a project for school and I was wondering of the 46 chromosomes that every person male or female; has how many do hermaphrodites have? Do they have an extra two? having both Xx for female and Xy for male? What makes these changes occure in the fetus? What can a mother or father do to avoid having these changes in their unborn child? How do they(or you) feel about having both?

I was under the impression that they had the normal number of genes and such, and that they were either one sex or another being that only one of the sexual organs was actually connected with all the right plumbing. I know that some people do have the XXY or XYY combination and that they are either male or female, not imbetween, I will have to look up on that. I assumed that it was just the outward appearance that was both, and no, I don't think it is possible to self impregnate seeing as if you look at siblings breeding with close to the same genes you get some messed up shit right? but imaging now just having your own genes split with your own and I don't think it could happen even if both 'organs' worked. -Damien Vryce 18:47, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
I did a lot of research about this, but it was a long time ago so I don't have as much information remembered. Anyways, I found out that there have been no known cases of a true hermaphrodite. All human hermaphrodites have had at least one of their sex organs not function. However, there have been a few cases of humans with more than one penis in which both actual function properly! I think there have been cases of females with more than oen clitoris as well, but I'm not too positive about that. Anyways, as long as their is 1 Y chromosome then it will be a guy. There have been cases of XXXY and it is still a guy. There have been XYYY and it is a guy. There have been XXXX and that's a girl because there is no Y. I hope you understand. Theoretically, it would be possible to have up to 5 sex chromosome. When I read about this, it was explained very well how such a thing could be possible but I can't remember. It sounded as if any more than 5 sex chromosomes simply would not be possible though. Regardless, from all that I read I did not find any cases of anyone who actually had 5 sex chromosome. I never read about any XXXXY, nor XXXXX, or any other combinations. But, maybe there have been some cases.
Oh, there is an exception in which you can have a Y chromosome and still be a girl. I can't remember the name of the disorder. In fact, I think I'll research on my own now since I am curious. Anyways, it happens basically because some of the very important genes on the Y chromosome either get translocated onto another chromosome (often the X I think) and then do not function properly. And so, it's like there is a Y chromosome that does not function properly and then it is possible to be an XY female. I don't have any sources for all this information, it was logn ago when I researched about it. I hope this information was somewhat helpful to you though. Jamesters 08:27, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

There is an article about this here. The person who said 'as long as their is 1 Y chromosome then it will be a guy' is completly incorrect (both grammatically and factually). Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome is the term to google for more information.--Smallblackflower 18:08, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

Edited the section on True Hermaphroditism to correct some of the misinformation there. True Hermaphroditism (TH) is the rarest form of intersexuality in humans (according to the Modern Pathology citation), and it is just one of many possible types of Gonadal Dysgenesis. The 1% figure probably refers to all types of Gonadal Dysgenesis. The intersexuality article references a paper that contains statistics on the frequency of different types of intersexuality in humans and a full version can be downloaded from the author's website here
It seems to me that important to the understanding of intersexuality is the discussion of karyotypes. Neither this article nor the intersexuality article mentions it, but all scholarly articles on intersexuality seem to recognize how abnormal karyotypes contribute to intersexuality in humans. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 00:49, 22 January 2007 (UTC).

Please not that there is no humans with fully functional male and female genitals. The male and female genitals are partly analogous organs making it biologically impossible to have them in two versions. There are humans with both ovarian and testicular tissues but such people are born with ambitious genitals. They are nowdays called “intersex” since the term “hermaphrodite” has lead to exactly the kind of misconceptions the person writing the first inlay assumes. I don’t want to be unpleasant to you but this discussion started with the wrong assumption.

2009-07-18 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

This is a bit odd - I appreciate that 'ambitious genitals' is probably a typo for 'ambiguous genitals' - but it is an amusing slip. There seems to be some confusion between genitalia and and gonads. It is possible to have mixed genitalia, in as much as somebody can have a phallus and a vagina - although this may actually be some combination which involves a phalloclitoris or a shortened or blind vagina. What people cannot have is a clitoris and a penis, or two sets of gonads (people can have zero, one or two - but not three or four. People can have mixed ovarian and testicular tissue, such as a testis and ovotestis, or ovotestis and ovary, or ovotestes, but the likelihood of having both ovarian and testicular tissue is unlikely, because the dominant hormones will serve to 'switch-off' the viability of one or the other. Mish (talk) 13:03, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Well, “ambitious” is my misspelling of “ambiguous”. I wrote my previous inlay without reading the whole discussion. Let me start the explanation from scratch. Before the seventh week of pregnancy the human fetus develop external genitals capable of becoming ether male or female ones. There is a bulge that can develop into ether clitoris or glans penis, a structure that can become ether labia minora or penis shaft and one that can become ether labia majora or scrotum. Inside the body there are two pairs of tubes. One has the potential of developing into uterine tubes, womb an the inner part of the vagina. The other has the ability develop into vasa deferentia and seminal vesicles. The gonads are always found in the same place as the ovaries. They are determined by genes to be ether ovaries or testes but in very rare cases the gonads contain both ovarian and testicular tissue. In the seventh week of pregnancy the testes begins to produce testosterone to start the development of the genitals in male direction. If this production does not start – or if there is no receptors for testosterone – the genitals will develop in female direction. However, in the later case the vagina will be shorter than normal and the womb and uterine tubes will be missing. Such women are also unable to grow any androgenic hair since this needs testosterone as the signal to start growing. If the production of testosterone is too low for unequivocally male genitals but too high for unequivocally female ones the child will be born with ambiguous external genitals. The same happens if there are testosterone receptors but they are too few to receive enough testosterone. Such people may have two sets of internal genitals but one or both will be vestigial. (In this case “vestigial” means “abortive and non-functional”.) People born with ambiguous genitals once used to be called “hermaphrodites” but this lead to the misconception of them having complete sets of male and female genitals. So the word “hermaphrodite” was replaced with “intersex” to signal that their anatomy is somewhere in-between.

How to handle these people? On the Indian Subcontinent they are usually raised as hijras. This means that they are considered neither nether male nor female but are referred to in feminine terms. A lot of them have to make a living as prostitutes. What I mean is that poverty forces them to have much more sex than it is possible for them to enjoy. (Please note that everyone has an individual upper limit for how much sex that person can enjoy.) How do you think it would feel to have sex without giving your consent several times a day? Also, an unknown percentage of them have had their external genitals surgically removed without anaesthesia. This is most likely a traumatising experience. So it would not surprise me if most hijras live miserable lives. However, the Western way of dealing with intersex people may not be much better. In Western countries it has become a tradition to operate on them in infancy to make them look female then raised as girls. Something not all of them have accepted. A significant minority of them perceived themselves as male anyway and some felt like they where nether male nor female. Personally, I think it would be best to make statistics of all intersex conditions including related conditions such as micropenis and 5-ARD. For each of these conditions we should count the known number of cases when the person perceived his- or herself as male or female. The majority of each condition determines if the members should recieve surgery to look male or female and be raised as boys or girls. For safety’s sake no erogenous zones should be removed. So if there is a vagina it should not be removed. Similarly, if there is a penis it should be reduced to a clitoris which size is at the upper end of the range of variation but not more than that. Please note that these suggestions are just my opinions.

Yet, there are some people refusing to identify as ether male or female. I can imagine a future when such people are recogniced as belonging to a third gender and referred to as “shi” and “hir”. (These are the pronouns used about simultaneous hermaphrodites in the soft science fiction stories of Bernard Dove and stories by other authors set in the same fictional universe.) Such people do not have to be born intersex, I have read about a Swede who was born physically male but wants to be called “hen” which is the Swedish counterpart of “shi”. The may be called ether “hermaphrodites” (shortened to “herms”) or “androgynes” (possibly shortened to “andros”). With the appropriate surgery they could even be made to have sexually functional male and female genitals. If you want I can describe how such hermaphroditic genitals could look. Anyway, such people would ether be sterile or have only one set of genitals which could function reproductively. If I understand it correctly the human hormone system does not allow for the production of sperm and egg at the same time. So third gender people would not be able to self-conceive without scientific intervention. Such procedures would most likely be outlawed on the same grounds as sexual intercourse between siblings is illegal. In such a future intersex people may not recieve any genital modification in infancy unless it would be medically necesesary. Instead they could be raised as third gender people and have the onset of puberty delayed to the age of 14. Then they can tell if they percieve themselves as male, female or neither. Their own perception would then determine in what changes of puberty they would have. This is just an idea of how the problem of people feeling nether male nor female could be solved as well as the problem of gender indentity for intersex people. Anyway, I am convinced that nothing can change what gender you pecieve yourself to be. My educated guess is that self-precieved gender is determined by hormone influence before the seventh week of pregnancy. After all, no-one have ever been able to really cure gender identity disorder with anything other than sex reassignment surgery.

2009-08-06 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

I agree there, that self-impregnation is not possible, but mixed gonads are - and as you say, that will involve either a scrotum or labia, either a penis or clitoris, either testes or ovaries, apart from when there is mixed gondal material, such as ovotestes, or where sex-based features affect the genitals, such as a phalloctoris, micropenis, or severe hypospadias where there is effectively a penis with a bifid scrotum that resembles labia and short vagina. Sure, these are rare, but Eric Vilain, Anne-Fausto Sterling and Milton Diamond have all suggested figures for intersex variations as high as 2% of the population at some point or other. I disagree that sex reassignment surgery is the only 'cure' for GID. People manage it in all sorts of ways, and most do prefer SRS. However, if one's gender identity is neither male or female, SRS won't really help that much. While 'hir' is correct, 'shi' is not: 'zie' or 'sie' is the preferred term. Mish (talk) 20:55, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Better descriptions of how of ambiguos genitals may look is found under the headword “intersex”. My point is that core gender identity is unchangaable. The word “shi” is used in the novels and short stories os Bernard Dove. I did not know that there were any other forms.

2009-08-08 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

I looked at this entry because I wanted to find out about what I THINK are hermaphrodites, but neither this or the intersex or even the ambiguous genitals references clear anything up. Based on what I see (maybe not daily, sorry Mish), there seem to be a LOT of what are called "Trannies," yet that term is not "correct" or even addressed anywhere. But those are the people I'm interested in (curious about, I should say). Isn't there a way to address this subject in a meaningful way? If they have breasts and what certainly appear to be very feminine qualities, yet also male sex genitals, the question I have is in their orientation, or is that as blurred as the rest of this entry? Thanks, and I'm serious, it would be nice to have some statistics about the numbers of such individuals and if this is the largest variant. Sorry if I've broken any Wikirules, I'm a newby. (talk) 06:07, 12 March 2011 (UTC)bjones

You seem to have mixed up intersex persons with she-males. The later word refers to transwomen wich undergo hormone terapy but have no genital modification. The concept has nothing direcly with hermaphrotiteism to do.

2012-08-01 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:37, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Copied from Talk:Intersexuality[edit]

This site is an 'expert' source, and they have a good argument (on the page linked) as to why 'hermaphrodite' should not be used, and a link to a medical paper on abandoning the term.--Smallblackflower 18:54, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

We need an expert to determine whether or not "hermaphroditism"/"pseudohermaphroditism" are medically accepted, non-offensive words for "intersexuality".

  • (1) If so, we should merge these articles.
  • (2) If not, we should make the relationship between these more clear by doing this:
    • the article "hermaphroditism" deals only with animals and plants, so it should be moved to two new locations, "hermaphroditism (plants)" and "hermaphroditism (animals)".
    • Then the page "hermaphroditism should be changed into a disambig page with the following options:
  1. for the condition known as hermaphroditism/pseudohermaphroditism in humans, see "intersexuality". This usage now considered offensive by some.
  2. for hermaphroditism in non-human animals, see "hermaphroditism (animals)"
  3. for hermaphroditism in plants, see "hermaphroditism (plants)"

Can we put this proposal up to a vote? JianLi 19:48, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

I really like to know where the citation "However, some of these people do not like the connotations and misunderstanding of the word "intersexed" and thus prefer to use hermaphrodite instead (Chase, 1998)." comes from.
Looking in Google Scholar ([1])

Mr Chase seems to be an expert in can he be considered an bigger authority than the ISAN on which is the best/more correct word to be used? -- 15:41, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

until someone can provide a more appropriate reference I remove the sentence. --Dia^ 10:15, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
well I remove the reference...--Dia^ 10:20, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

I would add

4. for hermaphroditism in mythology, see (...)

perhaps? Because of the Greek Hermaphroditus article, as well as other androgynous Gods and beliefs. For Pete's sake, do not uncritically merge Intersex with Hermaphroditism.Kriscrash 16:49, 9 September 2008 (CET)

JianLi: "This article is not about hermaphroditism in humans"[edit]

I don't believe this sentence is accurate. This article isn't specifically about humans, it's about hermaphroditism in general. The image speaks to the 'etymology' section in particular, but others as well. On this basis, I think the image is appropriate. Jian Li - can you explain your rationale? Thank you. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 05:25, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Sure thing. It was my understanding that some editors decided that the use of "hermaphrodite" in humans was offensive, so they excised all the stuff about human hermaphroditism and moved it to "intersexual" (see intersexual: "The terms hermaphrodite and pseudohermaphrodite, introduced in the 19th century, are now considered misleading and stigmatizing, and patient advocates call for these terms to be abandoned."). I was just trying to ensure uniformity: though I think this article's text is not about hermaphroditism in humans (except for the etymology), I have no strong opinion whether or not this article should be about hermaphroditism in humans; if you think it should, then I won't contest your revert of my edit. JianLi 15:25, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
I totally understand your point about offense - it's something I didn't know so I'll need to learn more about the issue to chime in with an opinion about it. But just off the cuff, it seems to me that the views of some (most?) U.S. intersexual patient advocates shouldn't be the sole determinant of this article's entry. The term is used historically, scientifically and culturally so I think I should learn more. Thanks for the info Jian Li - I'll get knowledgeable and we can work towards addressing the issue of 'intersexual offense' here in such a way that informs and doesn't censor content.
I guess I don't think it's right to 'excise' information about hermaphroditism in humans here solely for fear of offense. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 15:37, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, actually, from the standpoint of elegance, I would agree with you that stuff about human hermaphroditism belongs in the hermaphrodite article. Given the etymology of the word, it is suited especially for humans. And in my limited experience, I never knew that the word was offensive. So that's why I put an "expert" tag on the top of the page: so that somebody with a medical knowledge of the condition could tell us if the word was indeed offensive. JianLi 15:52, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

In reference to humans, hermpaphroditism is a 19th century term for people today more commonly reffered to as intersexed or intersexual. See Alice Domourat Dreger's Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex and Anne Fausto-Sterling's Sexing the Body for references. I will help clean up this page when I have a chance. Drkamikaze 19:54, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

South Park[edit]

I removed an edit due to its' lack of encyclopedic value. Discuss. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 23:27, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Freedman, you deleted this disambiguation, but restored the South Park trivia reference (alleged 'hermaphroditism' of a cartoon character). Can you provide a justification? I disagree at this point with both of your edits. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 00:02, 10 August 2006 (UTC)


Anon just added: In popular culture, a hemaphrodite is commonly referred to as a "hem". I have not heard this, nor did that term appear in my cursory research. Discuss. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 12:24, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

I believe this may have been a mispelling of "herm," although it still probably shouldn't be in the article. At least in America we usually call them "herms." Robot Chicken 00:41, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

"Herm" is another name for Hermes who is a male god - a god of phallic worship no less - so it's quite misleading. If you add it, I suggest you make clear that it is incorrect. kriscrash (talk) 14:57, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Actually, "herm" is a shortened form of "hermaphrodite". (talk) 07:59, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
In popular culture, yes, but in correct terms, no. Please see Hermes and Herma - these are herms. I just think if herm is added, write that it's a popular name that can be misleading. Why do you argue against it's meaning Hermes? krisCrash 10:04, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

Jamie Lee Curtis[edit]

Why is this here? --Ochotona (talk) 06:18, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

A quick look at the snopes site on Jamie Lee Curtis points out that it's an unfounded rumour that she's a hermaphrodite. 05:57, 4 November 2006 (UTC)


Under the In Animals section, there is some vandalism which is invisible on the Edit this Page tab.

The article says "In humans, these manifestations are often altered (sometimes only cosmetically) to resemble standard male or female anatomy shortly after birth - often without the parents' knowledge or (informed) consent."

I was just wondering which source was used to obtain this information. And if it is still true that doctors can do this sort of thing without parental consent? Ambiguousfreak 02:51, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

Hermaphrodites in Ancient/Modern Culture[edit]

I think this would be a great edition to the article. I know the Hermaphrodites were important in the religious beliefs of the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians and that since ancient time in India there has been a social class made up of Hermaphrodites, castrated men, and women who would be identified as Transgender in the West. They have a specific name which I have forgotten, but they're believed to have special powers and must live as social outcasts. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 05:36, 26 March 2007 (UTC).

In India they are called 'Hijra (South Asia)'. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 05:52, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

The Reclining Hermaphrodite[edit]

Is there any verification that The Reclining Hermaphrodite sculpture is a Hermaphrodite or is it just a man with Gynecomastia and long hair? I fail to believe Gynecomastia is a form of being Hermaphrodite.

And why must the article have 3 copies of it? kriscrash (talk) 12:27, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

I agree that three versions is excessive - but that is its name - my favourite is the one in the Louvre. Mish (talk) 22:48, 8 August 2009 (UTC)


Why is there nothing about X & Y chromosomes at all in this article? Surely someone has published some research on the sex chromosomes of hermaphrodites? 14:22, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Do you mean in humans or in nature? In humans there'd typically be a mosaic of XX and XY cells in the gonads and elsewhere, but species that are naturally hermaphroditic are likely not constructed this way at all (because the nature of mosaichism is too random to count on?). Also only mammals seem to have X/Y sex chromosomes, birds' are called something else etc. kriscrash (talk) 12:26, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Organizing w Human hermaphrodites[edit]

I consolidated the two separate human sections into one and placed as the first section, thinking that most readers are humans and will want to know about human hermaphrodites more than animals! Expecting someone to say "humans are animals too!" yes we are biologically but not in other senses. If you still object, please change the section title to "Non-human animals". --Ephilei 01:09, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

An odd anon contribution[edit] (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) contributed this section, which seems earnest but also pretty fatally flawed in clarity and structure.

"Those who are intersexed mean they do not contain the reproductive powers of either sex, their DNA is a true anomaly meaning that somewhere in the time of fetal growth they were normally conceived but a sex incriptase mutation produced partial or full features of both sexes, but are infertile. They would however without this DNA mutation would identify with what they appear as or where and how they urinate."

Discuss! -- User:RyanFreisling @ 22:59, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

this is such an OBSCURE topic, as well as perverse Olliekamm (talk) 14:03, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

So called "Hermaphrodite symbol" decorating article[edit]

As see on Gender_symbol the image chosen to depict this article is a transgender one, the correct would be ☿ Since the first is incorrect (and second not informative), I propose perhaps we find a mythic hermaphrodite to add? Or an animal. We already have 3 versions of The Reclining Hermaphrodite, a bit much maybe? --kriscrash (talk) 16:03, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Hyena misconception[edit]

When did zoologists discover that spotted hyenas where not hermaphrodites?

2009-06-24 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

Also they have vaginal walls that prolapse during sex so that they may seem the male even more so during sex itself. That may have been more deciding historically than the clitoral size.

I don't understand what you are talking about. The external genitals of female spotted hyenas look very male-like. However, what looks like a scrotum is filled with fat instead of containing testes. What is usually called a “clitoris” is actually a tube-shaped organ more similar to a penis. It only extends to let in the male's real penis when she is horny. As a result vaginal rape does not exist among the spotted hyenas. Unfortunately, this also mean that the females have hard to give birth. Some of the females die the first time they try to give birth, but those which don't will have no problem giving birth during the rest of their lives. Yet every tenth cub dies at birth because it does not get out of it's mother fast enough. What I wonder is: when and how did scientists discover that the spotted hyena species has two sexes? Even today it is hard to tell the difference between the males and the females.

2010-08-24 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

Lady Gaga[edit]

Much as I like her, I am getting sick of people adding her on a daily basis to this and the Intersex articles. Is there some way we can get these pages protected so that only registered users can edit them? I have yet to see a single WP:RS that states she is intersex - the main reference seems to be on a blog where somebody claims she has stated this somewhere, but that source is unavailable. Mish (talk) 12:12, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Why are you reading hermaphrodite and intersex articles on daily basis? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:02, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Because they are on my watchlist, so whenever somebody changes them, I have a look at the changes. I have them on my watchlist because, like several other articles, I have an interest in them. Why they are of interest is none of your business - although when you placed this post, I was on an extended break. So, it seems you were misinformed. Let's look at this a different way - why do you have a problem with people monitoring these articles for vandalism and abuse? Mish (talk) 17:14, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Requested semi-protection until Lady Gaga rumours subside[edit]

WP:Requests for page protection#Hermaphrodite


I thought plants had male and female parts? =o Gray Ninjakoopa 00:52, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

Hermaphrodite Humans[edit]

While "Hermaphrodite" is deprecated as a general term for Intersexed people, it is still used in a purely technical fashion to describe Intersexed people who have both ovarian and testicular tissue. "Pseudohermaphrodite" should be reserved for cases of 5ARD, 17BHDD or the like where an apparently (somewhat, mostly or completely) female baby masculinises to look apparently (somewhat, most or completely) male in later life. Such a person is technically a protogynous dichogamous pseudohermaphrodite. Protandrous dichogamous pseudohermaphrodites exist, but are exceedingly rare, on the order of 1 in 10 million.

As regards self-fertilisation, there have been a handful of cases of teratomas in hermaphroditic Intersexed people with PMDS - but none brought to term successfully as there's usually no vagina etc.

Unfortunately, while I'm an expert on the issue, this would classify as "original research" for the most part. While there have been some papers on 5ARD and 17BHDD, and self-fertilisation as a theoretical concept, there are virtually no documentary resources otherwise.

e.g. 17β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-3 deficiency: A rare endocrine cause of male-to-female sex reversal by Silvano Bertelloni; M. Cristina Maggio; Giovanni Federico; Giampiero Baroncelli; Olaf Hiort. in Gynecological Endocrinology, Volume 22, Issue 9 September 2006 , pages 488 - 494.

Zoe Brain (talk) 06:14, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

I, too, wonder when someone is a valid source! Perhaps if you publish the research online and refer to it, perhaps ask experts of related fields to validate you, so all the paperwork is clear, it will be okay krisCrash 09:46, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

Non Biological Hermaphrodites--

This actile makes me wonder then about if the term can be used to describe those items that are a combinations of two items, yet are not biological. Case in point, during the latter half of WWII, the Japanese retro fitted two of the older battleships, due to extensive losses to the naval fleet of aircraft carriers, but modifying the last half or the sip to accomodate a flight deck. This resulted in two ships that had the forward half still left as a battleship while the back was redsigned as an aircraft carrier. Both of these ships were termed hermaphorite battleships. Now since the term is used to suggest having both male and female parts, would this term still apply or is there a more appropriate name that would cover someting such as this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:15, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

The Japanese word used for "hermaphrodite" is futanari. Futa means "two" and nari means "form/shape". Unless the ships were termed in English, it might be a translation mistake as "futanari" could technical have a double meaning.

MaverickTea (talk) 21:30, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

External link[edit] in the links section describes hermaphroditism as:

a sex development disorder in which a person is cursed with

seems a bit of a dated opinion and certainly opinionated should this link stay? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:26, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Hermaphrodite symbol[edit]

Male and female have their symbol, why doesn't hermaphrodite have its symbol (here-

Maybe you can find a better version? (talk) 18:03, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

Hermaphrodite Misconceptions[edit]

This article doesn't seem to address one of the most popular myths about hermaphroditism out there - that human 'hermaphrodites' exist - i.e. it is possible to have a fully formed penis and vagina at the same time, and that those organs look typical. As I understand it, this is completely false, and that intersex people with both external organs, tend to have ambiguous genitalia, and that they don't look like a penis and vagina as imagined. Perhaps this could be added in a more explicit manner somehow. (talk) 10:27, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

Uses other than biology/medicine[edit]

Some technology-related articles, mostly ones concerning cable connectors point here, but use of word 'hermaphroditic' in this context is not explained in article. Anybody care to correct? I may be unable to find correct sources/literature. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:29, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

inconsistency in articles[edit]

Taken from Article Hermaphroditus: "Hermaphroditus, the two-sexed son of Aphrodite and Hermes (Venus and Mercury) had long been a symbol of bisexuality or effeminacy, and was portrayed in Greco-Roman art as a female figure with male genitals" The article calls Hermaphroditus two-sexed, however then goes to say he had only male genitalia which is contradictory to the "two-sex" statement. I am sexually a male myself, with Gynecomastia (not Psudo-Gynecomastia) I could easily be called a Hermaphrodite by Greco-Roman ways, but not today's more modern-err ways. I wonder why the definition has changed and the word Hermaphrodite is now being used in error. I think someone is creating articles based solely on opinions rather than facts, because something isn't adding up. (talk) 13:57, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

Etymology of the word “hermaphrodite”[edit]

The article claims, with referance to an internet resource, that the word hermaphrodite is derived from, quote, “the Greek Hermaphroditos a combination of the names of the gods Hermes (male) and Aphrodite (female).” This is at best imprecise. The Oxford Dictionary states the word’s origin to be the following: “late Middle English: via Latin from Greek hermaphroditos (see Hermaphroditus)” ( The fate of Hermaphroditos is interesting, “the nymph Salmacis fell in love [with him] and prayed to be forever united [with him]. As a result Hermaphroditus and Salmacis became joined in a single body which retained characteristics of both sexes.” ( It must be mentioned though, that according to Richard Buxton (The Complete World of Greek Mythology, Buxton, Thames & Hudson, London 2004/2010), Hermaphroditos was a bisexual offspring of the aforementioned Aphrodite and Hermes, “whose bisexuality consisted of having a fused male/female body complete with both sets of genitals”. — Preceding unsigned comment added by CannedMan (talkcontribs) 20:36, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

born Female, but becoming a Hermaphrodite?[edit]

So ive a relative that was born Female, but wants to become a Hermaphrodite. Is this even possible, and if so what would this be called if not Hermaphrodite? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wikkfox (talkcontribs) 06:43, 29 October 2014 (UTC)



This is a controversial and delicate subject area for the world; however, I offer web pages that answer questions regarding this area. Please visit: and

The McMillin website requires one to have a very open mind as hermaphrodites have been with us since the beginning of time. Go to the right side of the page to access "The Atlantis Project" then go to "Sex in Atlantis".

Loribach (talk) 16:44, 23 June 2015 (UTC)