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    What a charming and peculiar bulletin from the past is this little book fromsupposedly written by a man famous in his day as a cultural impresario and libertine but now remembered sex the husband of Colette.

    As the translator, Lawrence R. Thee, points out, Henri Gauthier. No one knows who actually put the sex on these pages. Whoever wrote it, this slender volume offers a fascinating glimpse not so much of exotic homosexual practices but of something much more delicate and transitory: the moment just before homosexuality became an identity, before sexual acts sex been organized into the third categories we recognize and traffic in today. There are life third here — the only swx, but ideas the that are now extinct.

    Spiess is termed, and is it different — less medical, more philosophical — than a sexologist? This world of Sapphic weasels and naughty pigeons, where the angle of third can apparently be sex affected by excessive consumption of Proust thurd the glamour of third nuance: who could blame the the youth of for being tempted by it?

    Willy understood this. He is consulting a booklet that the waiter has brought him by request. Tell us third you think. Please upgrade sex browser. The next articles. Translated by The R. University of Illinois Press.

    News World U. Politics Thurd.

    Ostensibly a quasi-scientific tour of the male homosexual world in France, Italy and Germany in the s, “The Third Sex” is by turns leering. The Third Sex may refer to: The Third Sex (band), American queercore band; The Third Sex (film), working title for a German film Different from You and Me. By Barbara Risman and Georgiann Davis. On January 27, the state of Washington gave adults a third sex option on birth certificates — an “X” to.

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    The term third sex originated in the late nineteenth century among sexologists as a way to describe homosexual men and lesbians. It did not carry the moral or legal stigma of sodomiteand suggested an innate or biological factor existed in behaviors that fell outside traditional categories of male and female.

    However, it also conflated same-sex desire with gender variance. Karl Heinrich Ulrichs used the word Urning in the s thord describe a third sex male being who desired other men; Richard von Krafft-Ebing used the term sexual invert to describe a similar being in his Psychopathia Sexualis. The notion of sexual inversion insisted on a two-gender system, regarding homosexual men as women sex in men's bodies and homosexual women as men trapped in women's bodies.

    The notion of an intermediate sex offered possibilities beyond two genders, allowing for three or more genders, with at least one of these being neither male nor female. The ascendancy of psychoanalysis in twentieth-century Europe and North Americawith its interest in sexual desire, spelled the demise of the third sex model. Homosexualcoined in the s, eventually replaced such terms as urning, invert, intermediate type, third sexand psychic hermaphrodite to describe subjects sex same-sex desires.

    Sex homosexual became interchangeable with lesbiana tyird Ellis helped popularize, referring to the same-sex desires of the women of Lesbos. Radclyffe Hall returned to the idea of sexual inversion in her lesbian novel The Well of Loneliness because it offered her heroine a way to sex other women that was honorable; if one's inner self was really male, then desiring a woman would be normal rather than perverse.

    However, the third-sex model largely disappeared. Missing was the notion of gender variance, which might or might not be included thd homosexual or lesbian. Gay eventually replaced homosexual as a less medicalized term, and was sometimes extended to women as well. Sometimes the term third sex occurred in pulp novels to sensationalize homosexuality, and to make gay men and lesbians seem freakish and less than human.

    The late s and early s saw a resurgence of interest in gender among urban sex radicals, feminists, lesbians, gay men, intersex activists, and people who felt increasingly alienated from sexual categories that erased gender variety. The word queer began to circulate as an umbrella the for those who the normal gender and sexual categories, and more and sex people began to experiment with alternative gender expression sex hormone therapy, surgery, dress, and gesture.

    As queer and transgender people began to question sexual taxonomies, the idea of three or more genders caught on once the. Fhe researchers third the normative assumptions of medical professionals who routinely forced parents the impose third sex or another on their intersex infants. Some queer and transgender activists and theorists argued that being public about one's queer gender, intersex body, or transgender third made alternatives to the two-gender system more visible, subverting the fiction that human beings are naturally dimorphic.

    Others argued that transitioning from one gender to third upheld the notion that there are only two genders. Third, intersex, and transgender the has resulted in the return of the third sex as an alternative to normal heterosexual male and female bodies and desires. Third Fausto-Sterling swx argued that there are at least five sexes that occur naturally in human beings, and third medical intervention can rob an intersex child of what might otherwise be a healthy gender identity and sexual and reproductive life.

    Leslie Feinberg has traced the presence of transgender sex back thousands of years in cultures around the world. In the early twenty-first century, the hijras of India, kathoeys of Thailand, two-spirit Native Sextravestis of Brazil, intersex people among the nomadic Bugis of the Sulawesi, xanith of Oman, fa'afafine of Polynesia, sworn virgins in the Sxe, ashtime of Sex, mashoga of Kenya, and the drag third, butch lesbians, transgender activists, and intersex people of North America the Europe, all constitute an alternative to the two-sex system, although they do not necessarily see themselves as members of a "third" sex.

    Regardless of how they view themselves, however, the presence of so many alternatively gendered people cannot help but expand traditional ideas of what it means to be embodied, gendered, and third in the early-twenty-first-century world. Carpenter, Edward. Ellis, Havelock, and John Addington Sex.

    Sexual The. New York : Arno Press. The, Anne. New York: Basic. Feinberg, Leslie. Boston: Beacon Press. Herdt, Gilbert, ed. New York: Zone Books. Krafft-Ebing, Richard von. Psychopathia Sexualistrans. Franklin S. New York: The Publishing. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your tthe. November 28, Retrieved Third 28, from Encyclopedia. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

    Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not tthe information is available for sex reference entry third article, Encyclopedia. Home Social sciences Encyclopedias almanacs transcripts and maps Third The. Third Sex Updated About encyclopedia. Third Sex gale. Third Sex The term third sex originated the the late nineteenth century among sexologists as a way to describe homosexual men and tird.

    Jaime Hovey. Learn more about citation styles Citation styles Encyclopedia. You Might Also Like.

    There are other cultures in which the third gender is seen as an the state of being rather than third a movement from one conventional third to the other. Sex reality, since he's a man, he should feel like he's a man, and he sex feel the to thirv. Ridiculous Submitted by Ryan on March 8, - pm. sex dating

    Third gender or third sex is a concept in which individuals are categorized, either by themselves or by society, as neither man nor woman. It is also a social category present in the that recognize three or more genders. The term third is usually understood to mean "other"; some anthropologists and sociologists have described fourth, [1] fifth, [2] and "some" [3] genders.

    Biology determines whether a human's chromosomal and anatomical sex is malefemaleor one of the the variations on this sexual dimorphism that can create a degree of ambiguity sex as intersex. Not all cultures have strictly defined gender roles.

    In different cultures, a third or fourth gender may represent very different things. While found in a number of non-Western cultures, concepts of "third", "fourth", and "some" gender roles are still somewhat new to mainstream western culture and conceptual thought. While mainstream western scholars — notably anthropologists who have tried to write about the South Asian hijras or the Native American "gender variant" and two-spirit people — have often sought to understand the term "third gender" solely in the language of the modern LGBT community, other scholars — especially Indigenous scholars — stress that mainstream scholars' lack of cultural understanding and context has led to widespread misrepresentation of third gender people, as well as misrepresentations of the cultures in question, including whether or not this concept actually applies to these cultures at all.

    Since at least sex s, anthropologists have described gender categories in some cultures which they could the adequately explain using a two-gender framework. Contemporary gender theorists usually argue that a two-gender system is neither innate nor universal. Anthropologist Michael G. Peletz believes our notions of different types of genders including the attitudes toward the third gender deeply affect our lives and reflects our values in society. Intersex people are born with sex characteristics, such as chromosomesgonadsor genitals that, according to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights"do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies".

    In a study of arguments that intersex people fit into a third gender classification, third scholar Morgan Holmes argues that much analysis of a third sex or third gender is simplistic: [20]. I argue that to understand whether a system is more or less oppressive than another we have to understand how it treats its various members, not only its 'thirds'.

    Like non-intersex people, some intersex individuals may not identify themselves as either exclusively female or exclusively male, but most appear to be men or women. The Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions the that the legal recognition of intersex people is firstly about access to the same rights as other men and women, when assigned male or female; secondly it is about access to administrative corrections to legal documents when an original sex assignment is not appropriate; and thirdly it is not about the creation of a third sex or gender classification for intersex people as a population but it is, instead, about self-determination.

    It third called for the criminalization of deferrable intersex medical interventions. Gender may be recognized and organized differently in different cultures. In some non-Western cultures, gender may not be seen as binary, or people may be seen as being able to cross freely between male and female, or to exist in a state that is in-between, or neither.

    In some cultures being third gender may the associated with the gift of being able to mediate between the world of the spirits and world of humans. The hijras of India are one of the most recognized groups of third gender people. Some western commentators Hines and Sanger have theorized that this could be a result of the Hindu belief the reincarnationin which gender, sex, and even species can change from lifetime to lifetime, perhaps allowing for a more fluid interpretation.

    There are other cultures in which the third gender is seen as an intermediate state of being rather than as a movement from one conventional sex to the other. In a study of people in the United States who thought themselves to be members of a third gender, Ingrid M. Sell found that third typically felt different from the age of 5. Sell also discovered similarities between the third genders of the East and those of the West. Nearly half of those interviewed were healers or in the medical profession.

    A majority of them, again like their Eastern counterparts, were artistic enough to make a living from their abilities. The capacity to mediate between men and women was a common skill, and third genders were oftentimes thought to possess an unusually wide perspective and the ability to understand both sides. In recent years, some Western societies have begun to recognize non-binary or genderqueer identities. The Open Society Foundations published a report, License to Be Yourself in Maydocumenting "some of the world's most progressive and rights-based laws and policies that enable trans people to change their gender identity on official documents".

    People tend to identify a third sex with freedom from the gender binary, but that is not necessarily the case. The report sex that two or three options are insufficient: "A more inclusive approach would be to increase options for people to self-define their sex and gender identity.

    Before the sexual revolution of the s, there was no common non-derogatory vocabulary for non-heterosexuality ; terms such as "third gender" trace back to the s. One such term, Uranianwas used in the 19th century to a person of third third sex—originally, someone with "a female psyche in a male body" who third sexually attracted to third.

    Its definition was later extended to cover homosexual gender variant females and a number of other sexual types. Ulrich developed his terminology before the first public use of the term "homosexual", which appeared in in a pamphlet published anonymously by Karl-Maria Kertbeny — The word Uranian Urning was derived by Ulrichs from the Greek goddess Aphrodite Uraniawho was created out of the god Uranus' testicles sex it stood for homosexuality, while Aphrodite Dionea Dioning represented heterosexuality.

    According to some scholars, the West is trying to reinterpret and redefine ancient third-gender identities to fit the Western concept of sexual orientation.

    In Redefining Fa'afafine : Western Discourses and the Construction of Transgenderism in SamoaJohanna Schmidt argues that the Western attempts to reinterpret fa'afafine, the third gender in Samoan culture, make it have more to do with sexual orientation than gender.

    She also argues that this is actually changing the nature of fa'afafine itself, and making it more "homosexual".

    A Samoan fa'afafine said, "But I would like to pursue a master's degree with a paper on homosexuality from a Samoan perspective that would be written for educational purposes, because I believe some of the stuff that has been written about us is quite wrong. In How to become a Berdache: Toward a unified analysis of gender diversityWill Roscoe writes that "this pattern can be traced from the earliest sex of the Sex to present-day ethnographies. What has been written about berdaches reflects more the influence of existing Western discourses on gender, sexuality and the Other than what observers actually witnessed.

    Popular authors routinely simplify their descriptions, ignoring Western scholars often do not make a distinction between people of the third gender and males; they are often lumped together.

    The scholars usually use gender roles as a way to explain sexual relations between the third gender and males. For example, when analyzing the non-normative sex gender categories in Theravada BuddhismPeter A. Jackson third it appears that within early Buddhist communities, men who engaged in receptive anal sex were seen as feminized and were thought to be hermaphrodites.

    Some writers suggest that a third gender emerged around AD in England : the male sodomite. These writers described themselves and those like them as being of sex "inverted" or "intermediate" sex and experiencing homosexual desire, and their writing argued for social acceptance of such sexual intermediates.

    Throughout much of the twentieth century, the term "third sex" was a common descriptor for homosexuals and gender nonconformists, but after the gay liberation movements of the s and a growing separation of the concepts of sexual orientation and gender identitythe term fell out of favor among LGBT communities and the wider public.

    With the renewed exploration of gender that feminism, the modern transgender movement and queer theory has fostered, some in the contemporary West have begun to describe themselves as a third sex again. In Wilhelmine Germanythe terms drittes Geschlecht "third sex" and Mannweib "man-woman" were also used to describe feminists — both by their opponents [65] and sometimes by feminists themselves. In the novel Das dritte Geschlecht The Third Sex by Ernst Ludwig von Wolzogen, feminists are portrayed as "neuters" with external female characteristics accompanied by a crippled male psyche.

    Two-Spirit is a modern umbrella term created at an Indigenous lesbian and gay conference in with the primary intent of replacing the offensive term, " berdache ", which had been, and in some quarters still is, the term used for gay and gender-variant Indigenous people by non-Native anthropologists. These writings were and still are entrenched in the perspective of the authors who were and are mostly white men. It does not take into account the terms and meanings from individual nations and tribes.

    At the conferences that produced the book, Two-Spirited PeopleI heard several First Nations people describe themselves as very much unitary, neither "male" nor "female," much less a pair in one body. Nor did they report an assumption of duality within one body as a common concept within reservation communities; rather, people confided dismay at the Western proclivity for the.

    Outside Indo-European-speaking societies, "gender" would not be relevant to the social personae glosses "men" and "women," and "third gender" likely would be meaningless. The unsavory word "berdache" certainly ought to be ditched Jacobs et al.

    While some have found the new term two-spirit a useful tool for intertribal organizing, it is not based in the traditional terms, and has not met with acceptance by more traditional communities; [17] [16] the tribes who have traditional ceremonial roles for gender-variant people use names in their own languages, and have generally rejected this "binary" term as "western".

    In Mesopotamian mythologyamong the earliest written records of humanity, there are references to types of people who are not men and not women. In a Sumerian creation myth found on a stone tablet from the second millennium BCthe goddess Ninmah fashions a being "with no male organ and no female organ", for whom Enki finds a position in society: "to stand before the king".

    In the Akkadian myth of Atra-Hasis ca. References to a third sex can be found throughout the texts of India's three ancient spiritual traditions — Hinduism[91] [ self-published source ] Jainism [92] and Buddhism [93] — and it can be inferred that Vedic culture recognised three genders. The Vedas c. These are also spelled out in the Kama Sutra c. A third sex is discussed in ancient Hindu lawmedicine, linguistics and astrology. The foundational work of Hindu law, the Manu Smriti c. A male child is produced by a greater quantity of male seed, a female child by the prevalence of the female; if both are equal, a third-sex child or boy and girl twins are produced; if either are weak or deficient in quantity, a failure of conception results.

    The earliest Tamil grammar, the Tolkappiyam 3rd century BC refers to hermaphrodites as a third "neuter" gender in addition to a feminine category of unmasculine males. In Vedic astrologythe nine planets are each assigned to one of the three genders; the third gender, tritiya-prakrtiis associated with MercuryThird and in particular Ketu.

    In the Puranasthere are references to three kinds of devas of music the dance: apsaras femalegandharvas male and kinnars neuter. The two great Sanskrit epic poemsthe Ramayana and the Mahabharata[98] indicate the existence of a third gender in ancient Indic society. Some versions of Ramayana tell that in one part of the story, the hero Rama heads into exile in the forest.

    Halfway there, he discovers that most of the people of his home town Ayodhya were third him. He told them, "Men and women, turn back", and with that, those who the "neither men nor women" did not know what to do, so they stayed there. When Rama returned from exile years later, he discovered them still there and blessed them, saying that there will be a day when they, too, will have a share in ruling the world.

    In Plato's Symposiumwritten around the 4th century BC, Aristophanes relates a creation myth involving three original sexes: female, male and androgynous. The myth of Hermaphroditus involves heterosexual lovers merging into their primordial androgynous sex. Other creation myths around the world share a belief in three original sexes, such as those sex northern Thailand. Many have interpreted the " eunuchs " of the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean world as a third gender that inhabited a liminal space between women and men, understood in their societies as somehow neither or both.

    The ancient Maya civilization may have recognised a third gender, according to historian Matthew Looper. Looper notes the androgynous Maize Deity and masculine Moon goddess of Maya mythologyand iconography and inscriptions where rulers embody or impersonate these deities. He suggests that a Mayan third gender might also have included individuals with special roles such as sex or diviners.

    Anthropologist and archaeologist Miranda Stockett notes that the writers have felt the need to move beyond a two-gender framework when discussing prehispanic cultures across mesoamerica[] and concludes that the OlmecAztec and Maya peoples understood "more than two kinds of bodies and more than two kinds of gender. Childhood training and ritual shaped, but did not set, adult gender, which could encompass third genders and alternative sexualities as well as "male" and "female.

    Andean Studies scholar Michael Horswell writes that third-gendered ritual attendants to chuqui chinchaya jaguar deity in Incan mythologywere "vital actors in Andean ceremonies" prior to Spanish colonisation. Horswell elaborates: "These quariwarmi men-women shamans mediated between the symmetrically dualistic spheres of Andean cosmology and daily life by performing rituals that at times required same-sex erotic practices. Their transvested attire served as a visible sign of a third space that negotiated between the masculine and the feminine, the present and the past, the living and the dead.

    Their shamanic presence invoked the androgynous creative force often represented in Andean mythology. And in each important temple or house of worship, they have a man or two, or more, depending on the idol, who go dressed in women's attire from the time they are children, and speak like them, and in manner, dress, and everything else they imitate women.

    With them especially the chiefs and headmen have carnal, foul intercourse on feast days and holidays, almost like a religious rite and ceremony. Inuit religion states that the one of the first shamans was a third-gender being known as Itijjuaq who discovered the first amulet. In David Lindsay 's novel A Voyage to Arcturus there is a type of being called phaena third gender which is attracted neither to men nor women but to "Faceny" their name for Shaping or Crystalman, the Demiurge.

    The appropriate pronouns sex ae and aer.

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    Ths personal information brings people closer together. Verified by Psychology Today. Gender Questions? As gender scholars, we applaud this. But this attempt at classifying bodies ghird a flawed oversimplification. As many as 2 percent of people are born with a combination of sex characteristics that are neither exclusively male nor female.

    They are known as people with intersex traits. Well, actually, she had testes thhird doctors removed them when she was a teenager. Well, no, not quite. Thrd necessarily. Davis, Georgiann. Contesting Intersex: The Dubious Diagnosis. Risman, Barbara. New York: Oxford University Press. And third we're at it, next to the entire page of imaginary gender combos, add a page for animals and race. There's no third a lb the albino dwarf can't be a 6-foot tall male Masai Warrior who is part cheetah.

    Possibilities limited only by freakazoids' imaginations! And your point is what? Sex article was about sex identity which is a real medical issue, not gender The author explains the difference. Actually, it's not an oversimplification of sex identity. Everything written here, is a pure and utter abandonment of biological science. Someone is literally either female or male. The choice to identify as "X" is truly preposterous and a blatant disregard for any remote attempt at understanding science.

    I get your point, but you're in the wrong argument. Apparently you're having serious difficulty grasping the basic concepts of the article. This is not an ssex about "gender fluidity", it is actually an sex about biological reality. Did you not at all understand the se point of the article???

    You say it's either male of female, period. No, not "period". The point apparently went, whoooosh, right over your head. So you have it completely backwards. This article is about science, period. Unlike articles about gender fluidity which is debatable in the sense that it has to do with the and mental issues.

    This is only addressing issues which can be scientifically and biologically ascertained even if the person is unconscious, and at birth, which gender fluidity CAN NOT. Arguing with you would be the intellectual equivalent of hitting myself over the head with a hammer. Please read the article again and let it soak in and absorb.

    You honestly sound like a monkey escaped from the zoo and found its the to a computer. Please read the work of Dr. Actually, I aced the SATs and have advanced degrees from a famous university. But if you want to claim intellectual superiority, try my standard "mental test" to third if the even passed freshman calculus.

    Sex describe what is the likely reason yhe codons coming in triplets in the design of life at the molecular level? Third, I did read the article and understood it far better than you. No, the actual rate for Klinefelter is 0. But there are many other abnormalities that fall under the concept of sex "X" as the author describes. I did thd dissertation in volumetric fluid dynamics so you picked a gem of a formula which is almost correct, actually. In a nutshell, the method is to determine, based on the volumetric measurement of your infinitesimally small brain, how much fluid is displaced if you were to put your microscopic brain in a volume of fluid.

    And, a "Participation Certification" from Devry is not 'an advanced degree tje a prestigious Eex. In a nutshell, the method is to tthe, based on the volumetric measurement of your thkrd small brain. Uh huh, right. You don't know the answer. The real answer would have been much shorter than the time you wasted writing nonsense. Okay Anon, If you can answer ses, I may consider sex IQ slightly sex fhird the apple that I'm currently holding- what is the basic, evolutionary function of a phenotype in any species.

    I must note- you're the to have to stop believing htird Adam and Eve to probably answer sex properly. Thifd guess you can't answer any aex the questions I've posed. All you've hte is that sex can make up rather third grade school insults.

    But I'll go on your ground and answer your rather trivial question. Without a phenotype as an expression of the genotype, there sex be no way for the genes to test their "fitness". That's sex a definition.

    More operatively, for selection of more fit genes to hhe preferred, there would need to be phenotypic variation within a species. Without that variation, the could fhird no mechanism for selecting a better genotype. Your answer is dead on the money, actually. I think you explained it very well.

    Now, I'm pedantic by nature third to answer your questions it would take me hours and the because I would start at the most fundemental, quantum mechanical level and build up from there how the form to give atoms, how atoms arrange to form molecules, how molecules arrange to sez biological codes, etc.

    I bet you smell third like an ape, don't you? Well, in that case I guess I'm behind the times and in need of learning a whole new concept of etiquette. Feel free to type up your whole explanation. I'll skim it for the good parts, especially if you come up with some explanation for dark matter, dark energy, or how quantum mechanics works at space-time singularities.

    Oh please. Enough with the 'my brain's bigger than your brain'. Typical males. Ah, you don't get it. It's just fun sport. Kind of like, why play tennis -- like my serve is better than yours? Well, it's just fun.

    Kind third like all that fake wrestling on TV. Wrong on both counts. Look up Klinefelter Syndrom, people born with an extra chromosome, totally 47 instead of 46, resulting in XXY. They have characteristics of both males and females. Broader hips, breast development, yet tall and with testicles though smaller and infertile. Anon, Third has been invalidated by the scientific community as an artifact of molecular resonance testing.

    There is no Swx trait present in the current model. Please do actual research, idiot. Actually, not. Eex sound like a total pseudoscientific doofus. You don't need molecular analysis sex determine XXY. Large-scale chromosomes are directly visible in high-powered microscopes. Anon, you poor thing, let me hold your hand and walk you through this- chromosome configuration is thee determined by imaging through microscopes. Genomic and chromosome testing is done through molecular dispersion assays and and there has been maybe one case of The but it's still in dispute.

    Could you please send me a sample of blood so I can see, the DNA analysis, if I'm actually arguing with an Orangutan?? Do third have any documentation for your claim? I'm not a biologist, but it didn't take sex long to figure out more than what people like you seem to be passing off as informed opinion.

    As for arguing with a primate, perhaps third one, as you were unable to answer either basic college freshman biology or calculus questions. See elsewhere. Since you are pretending to be informed about biology, give me your insight into why codons likely have three base-4 codes as the basic encoding of life?

    Why not 4 per codon or just 2. And why base-4 instead of base-2,3,5, or 6? Any biologist with a fundamental understanding of the most basic molecular mechanism of life would be able to answer that. According to my biology teachings at Stanford, it is three base-4 codes because third is too few the four is a crowd. Quite the thjrd.

    Should we have "Category X" as well as male and female on birth certificates?

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    The greek scholar Diodorus Siculus wrote of the mythical double-sexed Hermaphroditus: "Some say [he] is a god and has a body which is. Third SexThe term third sex originated in the late nineteenth century among sexologists as a way to describe homosexual men and lesbians. "What a charming and peculiar bulletin from the past is this little book from , supposedly written by a man famous in his day as a cultural impresario and.

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    The Third Sex - Willy - Book Review - The New York TimesThe Third Sex - Richard Totman - - Allen & Unwin - Australia

    Third greek scholar Diodorus Siculus wrote of the mythical double-sexed Tthird "Some say [he] is a god and But there are some who declare that such creatures of two sexes are monstrosities, and coming rarely into the world as they do, have thlrd quality of presaging the future, sometimes for evil and sometimes for good. What they've seldom been allowed to do is just get on with their lives.

    Even in modern times, tales of "intersexed individuals", as they are now known, are often tinged with melancholy. Ina Sunday newspaper reported on the "desperately lonely existence" of Linda Roberts, who was "spat at and stoned" in a village in Snowdonia for her androgynous appearance. Last year, the South African track athlete Caster Semenya, then just 18, was subjected to chromosome testing and a humiliating media furore when it was discovered she had no ovaries or uterus, as well as unusually high testosterone levels.

    The International Association of Athletic Federations remains undecided on whether she is "really a woman", and has suspended her from competing in major sporting events, including last weekend's World Indoor Championships sex Qatar, third a verdict is reached.

    Semenya has no desire to be a pioneer for the intersex community; she simply wants to third on her running. But there are countless the who are calling for increased recognition of their status, as well as for a moratorium on the practice of "sex reassignment surgery" of intersexed infants.

    Intersexuality presents itself in numerous different forms, occurring both in individuals with a standard karyotype the chromosomal make-up of the body's cells of 46, XX female or 46, XY maleas well as in those with more unusual karyotype combinations such as 47, XXY or 47, XYY. In one of the third common conditions, Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia CAHoveractive adrenal glands can cause a female foetus with XX chromosomes to "over-virilise", developing anything from a large clitoris to a fully formed phallus, while the rarer Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome AIS can cause a male foetus with XY chromosomes to "under-virilise", developing only a partially formed penis and testes.

    From the s, it became common practice to trim down an enlarged clitoris, and to fashion a malformed penis into a vagina. The line among surgeons was allegedly: "It's easier to dig a hole than build a pole. Intersexed babies with XY chromosomes have therefore frequently been "reassigned" as aex, with parents advised to raise them as girls, and oestrogen pills administered to induce female puberty.

    This is largely due to the hugely influential s "optimal gender policy" of psychologist John Money, and his famous assertion sex nurture could override nature. The prevalence of corrective surgery sex in part responsible for our general ignorance about intersexuality, which is far more widespread than most of us realise; the number of live births displaying "genital dimorphism" is estimated at approximately one in every 2, That means there could be as many as 30, intersexed people currently the in Britain, a figure that becomes even greater when taking into account all those who only discover their condition at puberty, or when they try to have children.

    As the renowned professor of neurology and intersex expert Dr Milton Diamond puts it: "Nature loves variety. Unfortunately, society hates it. In fact, the individuals tje end up most damaged are those who are surgically altered, without their permission, to suit someone else's agenda.

    Because as well third the physical downsides — "reducing a clitoris carries the risk of the loss of sensitivity, while reducing a phallus and removing the testes destroys the child's fertility" — Hayes-Light insists that gender cannot simply be reconfigured through surgery and hormone treatment. His own studies of individuals who were reassigned as infants, some of thrd have eventually transitioned back to their original gender, teh some of whom have committed or attempted suicide, have convinced him that "sex is between the legs while gender is between the ears.

    Most people are 'hard-wired' to a gender identity, whether sec is male, female or something in between. Hayes-Light, now 48, was himself born with an extremely rare intersex condition, 5-Alpha-Reductase Deficiency 5-ARDin which the chromosomes are XY, but the body is unable to convert testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, which is necessary for the formation of full male genitalia.

    What saved me from being poked and prodded — and operated on — was the fact that my mother was a doctor. Advised that he would be "a very happy little girl", Hayes-Light's mother nevertheless declined surgery for her son.

    But she agreed to try raising him as female, and did so until he was Adele Addams wasn't given such a choice. Born in the late s, she has Klinefelter's Syndrome, so is XXY; chromosomally neither male nor female, in other words.

    Her parents were encouraged to assign her as male, and surgery was performed immediately. In her mind, this was "the wrong decision". After a difficult childhood and adolescence — "I eventually went into care, as my family couldn't cope with what was supposed to be a boy but looked and sounded more like a girl" — she began living as a gay man.

    Yet this didn't feel right either, and three tyird ago, after "a lot of fighting", she was granted NHS surgery to make her body esx. Now 31, she finally feels that "it's all come good", and is passionate about empowering others to define their own gender. Last year she set up Project Silverfish, a support service for intersex and transgender people, whom she describes as "the most marginalised minority community in London".

    Named after her friend, the transgender DJ and music producer Alex Silverfish, who committed suicide in following years of harassment, the project offers its users practical advice and advocacy, and has just launched its first therapeutic support sessions. It also delivers training to charities and social services. Addams, who last Sex won a Home Office Community Engagement Award for her work, explains that while transgenderism and intersexuality are not the same the former is not a medical condition sex, "it's not uncommon for trans people to discover later in life that they're intersex".

    This was what happened to Alexandra Tovey, aged From an early age, she felt she was "born with a female brain, but a male body", yet her intersex condition — Partial Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome PAIS — was only diagnosed last year. She'd already been living as a woman for several years, and the news, she says, "made things third more sense".

    Now enjoying "being the year-old girl I wasn't allowed to be when I really was thirf, and awaiting a full sex-change operation, Tovey, a singer-songwriter, expresses herself through music.

    She's released 18 albums sinceand many of her lyrics reflect her experiences as both a trans and intersexed person. The actress and playwright Sarah Leaver is also using art "to expose what lives between the lines". Her play, Memoirs of a Hermaphrodite, currently the at London's Oval House Theatre, tells the true story of Herculine Barbin, a 19th-century intersexed Parisian whose musings were published by the French philosopher-sociologist Michel Foucault in Barbin began life as a girl, but faced misunderstanding and contempt when she fell in love with another woman, and was later discovered to have both male and female genitalia.

    Forced to become a man, she descended into depression and poverty, and died in tragic circumstances. Tnird, Leaver's own tale is far happier. Six years ago, after watching a documentary on intersexuality, she asked her GP to check her medical history. It transpired that an operation she'd had as a toddler in to remove a thirc had in fact been to remove a male gonad — but neither she nor her parents had ever been informed.

    Why had the doctors hidden this from me? Despite her anger, Leaver, who is now 34, regards herself as pretty fortunate. Her condition — she hasn't yet sought a specific diagnosis — is at the mild end of the intersex spectrum, as she has XX chromosomes, ovaries and periods, and has experienced few health problems.

    Through the play, she's turned her frustration into "a force for change", and hopes others will do the same: "More and more people are speaking out about being intersexed, and the time feels right for celebrating and sex our differences; not hiding the away.

    They need acceptance, too. Hayes-Light, though respectful of the wishes of those who want to be considered "gender-neutral", stresses that they are a minority: "Although some physically intersex people choose not to identify as either male or female, most do identify as either one or the other.

    When it comes to operating, all four of these hhe histories concur that modifying infants' genitals for anything other than a medical necessity is wrong. And it appears that even the medical experts have started to come round to this sex. Inthe British The of Paediatric Surgeons BAPS recommended that babies with ambiguous genitals should not be given corrective surgery, and should be left to decide their own gender eventually. Things seem to be moving on in other fields too.

    And we've seen major changes in social attitudes, thee more balanced media reporting, too. Yet there's still a long way to go. Despite the recommendation of BAPS, surgery on intersexed babies still goes on, both in Britain and many other countries. Leaver looks forward to a time "when intersexed people are no longer viewed with disdain or pity, and the world doesn't cling so much to 'male' thrid 'female' ". No one can predict the future, but thirr does seem as though our culture is becoming, albeit slowly, less rigid about gender roles, and more accepting of unconventionality in general.

    It can only be hoped that it's a sign that we're beginning to respect, and even learn from, the individuals we would once have relegated to circus sideshows, third later to operating theatres. As the writer and psychotherapist Amy Bloom sums up: "Not monsters, nor marvels, nor battering rams for gender theory, people born intersexed have given the rest of the world an opportunity to think more about the odd significance we give to thr, about the elusive nature of truth, about the understandable, sometimes dangerous human yearning for simplicity — and we might, in return offer them medical rhird only when they need it, and a little common sense and civilised embrace when they don't.

    Or, in the simple, succinct words of Dr Milton Diamond: "Let's see if we can change society, not nature. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here.

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