Wednesday, December 31, 2008

46XY/45XO Turner's Mosaic True Hermaphrodite

This well-spoken person is a 46XY/45XO Turner’s Mosaic True Hermaphrodite, a rare type of “Intersex” person. In spite of an unusual sexual life history, this particular person has a definite female sexual identity! Listen to her story!

Sex is not just about gonads and genitalia; sexual identity develops in the fetal brain and may take a different route than the genitalia. Also, difference does not equal disorder. As a biologist, I agree that “intersex” conditions are sexual variations and not disorders. Shame on the medical doctors! But hey, variations don’t bring in $$$, do they?


Bad hair days said...

Hello Veronica.

Thank you for this great blog. I have one question:
Who many more studies are necessary until we can say its proven that sexual identity is innate in the brain?

I don't see any recognition of this in the medical commmunity and a rejection of the idea even in a lot of its (medical community) victims.


Veronica (Ronnie) Drantz, PhD said...

Hi Bad hair,
You are correct that the concept of “innate sexual identity” is neither widely understood/accepted by the medical community nor known to those who suffer because of this ignorance. Some scientists and medical doctors are harder to convince than others. The research is still new and, of course, much more research is needed. Nevertheless all the evidence is consistent with the concept of sexual identity being innate and there is no good evidence against it. The simplest way to reconcile all the evidence which is coming from many different directions is to conclude that sexual identity is innate. For me, the challenge now is exploring the multiple molecular mechanisms that may determine the formation of the sexual identity in the fetal brain.

I can only guess at why the medical community has been reluctant to embrace the concept of innate sexual identity. Probably a mix of factors is responsible, among them being: (1) the fact that sexual identity is an intangible concept, (2) the newness of the evidence, (3) the need for more research on this issue, and (4) doctors may have a self-serving agenda (e.g., the surgeon’s income depends on surgical “correction” of infant genitalia; the psychologist makes money counseling victims who are unhappy because the world regards them as sexual freaks).

While more research is required, I think the evidence provides a “picture” that is so compelling and the ramifications of this concept are so enormous for the quality of life for so many people, that the message needs to get out now. This will only improve the quality and scrutiny of research in this area and eventually lead us to a clear understanding of human sexuality in all its many nuances.