Free «Pseudo-hermaphroditism Condition » Essay Sample
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The condition under analyses is commonly referred to as pseudo-hermaphroditism or intersex. Dreger (2009) thinks that pseudo-hermaphroditism is the condition in which an individual or animal is born with the primary characteristics of one sex, but later develops the secondary characteristics of another sex. These changes occur mostly during puberty when an individual gains more characteristics of another gender. For instance, females are likely to develop testis while males develop ovaries during their adolescence. John Money is responsible for the early research in this area.
This paper describes the pseudo-hermaphroditism condition highlighting gender assignment, sexual appearance, sexual identity, and sexual preferences.
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Most parents and medical practitioners find it difficult to detect pseudo-hermaphroditism in childhood. Therefore, sexual assignment is always based on the primary characteristics that an individual exhibits in childhood. For instance, parents and medical practitioners conduct gender assignment based on key characteristics such as the presence of testicles and the clitoris at an early age. Dreger (2009) agrees that most parents raise their children as females or males depending on the gender assigned to them at their early stages of life. Nevertheless, gender assignment always changes when the secondary characteristics of another gender occur. It is always possible to change from male to female or female to male to give these individuals a genuine identity as they move on to another stage in their lives. The change in gender assignment could occur during puberty when the secondary characteristics of another sex start appearing in an individual.
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Pseudo-hermaphroditism could lead to the alteration in sexual appearance among individuals. Female pseudo-hermaphroditism may lead to the masculinization of females with the development of anomalous body parts. Most females tend to develop internal testes. The ovaries might also become inactive, hence making it difficult for these individuals to bear children. The largest portion of sexual appearance remains with the primary sexual characteristics that occurred at infancy among females.
On the other hand, male pseudo-hermaphroditism entails the development of female configurations and characteristics among males. Jones and Lopez (2013) say that men with this condition tend to achieve a fully feminine appearance, which leads to a full transformation in terms of sexual appearance. Therefore, changes in sexual appearance are prevalent among men compared to women born with this condition. Jones and Lopez (2013) hold that the transition in sexual appearance will mostly happen during puberty as the secondary characteristics of another sex emerge.
Sexual identity refers to how an individual thinks of himself/herself in terms of their gender. Individuals suffering from the condition have two sexual identities. The first sexual identity occurs in the early stages of puberty before the appearance of primary sexual characteristics of another gender. At the early stages of life, one possesses the primary characteristics of one gender, and identifies himself/herself with the gender. For instance, a female child will identify herself as such because of the presence of the required sexual characteristics.
On the other hand, males with primary characteristics at childhood will identify with such characteristics and come out as men. Changes in the body lead to a change in sexual identity. Pseudo-hermaphroditism leads to individuals identifying themselves with the opposite sex as they face numerous changes in their lives. Most men could transition to female sexual identification, as females do the same.
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Researchers anticipate behavior changes from individuals suffering from pseudo-hermaphrodite. Dreger (2009) is of the view that the behavior changes among these individuals arise from the masculinization and the feminization of individuals during their growth process. Again, it depends on the gender identity that one would pick up in light of the changes occurring in the body. Most men who develop secondary female characteristics such as breasts will tend to embrace feminine behavior in the long run. There is always a transition in behavior depending on how parents brought up an individual. Individuals brought up as males will exhibit masculine behavior and roles in their earlier lives, but could shift with the changes in their bodies. This is similar to females; they will behave in a feminine manner in their childhood days until they experience any changes in their bodies. The process of behavior change is gradual, and it relies on the perception that a person will have towards life after the emergence of changes.
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Sexual preference refers to the attraction that one might have to the members of another sex or same sex. Jones and Lopez (2013) inform that female pseudo-hermaphroditism implies that women have similar primary and secondary sexual organs. However, they are genetically XY and tend to have internal testes. Jones and Lopez (2013) say that their sexual preferences are similar to those of normal women with the XX genetic orientation. Thus, they mostly prefer men as their sexual partners. This could be a different case in male pseudo-hermaphrodites. Most of them have sexual preferences for any given gender. They are receptive to any given party in their sexual preferences.
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In conclusion, significant transitions in the sexual characteristics of individuals occur in cases of pseudo-hermaphroditism. It is difficult to diagnose it at childhood, and it mostly comes out during puberty. It has the potential to alter behavior among individuals depending on the level of changes that might occur in the sexual configuration of individuals. Most females maintain their femininity while men have a high capacity of gaining feminine behaviors with the changes that occur in their bodies.