Archives for category: Intersex

As we talked about in class, pansexual means people who are attracted to other people regardless of their gender. This was something I personally never knew the word for or knew existed. I started to research more about the specific terms we would talk about or briefly touch and was very interested in this one. So, I decided to try something new and I put pansexual in the search bar on google to see what I would come up with.

Of course it the first things it came up with were definitions from Wikipedia and other dictionaries about what the word meant. Wikipedia stated “Pansexuality (also referred to as omnisexuality or polysexuality) refers to the potential of sexual attractions, sexual desire, romantic love, or emotional attraction, towards people of all gender identities and biological sexes. Self-identified pansexuals may refer to themselves as gender blind- that gender and sex are insignificant or irrelevant in determining whether they will be sexually attracted to other.” This definition is very much the same as the one we went over in class and what students considered to be pansexual.

There was also a website that popped up about Pansexual Pride, and it was for those who are pansexual to blog about themselves and their experiences. It was actually created three hours ago it said and there is a picture of a bigger man wearing a short red dress with a pair of boots with heels on them. Below the picture is the person sharing their views and letting off some steam about being pansexual and why they choose to identify with pansexual over bisexual and transgender.

Another interesting link that came up was the pansexual flag. I really had no idea there was such thing, or that pansexual was a big deal. I always think of the Gay Pride flags and the colors they are, but never did I see a pansexual flag until now. The flag is bright pink, yellow, and blue and has a big P on it with the gender symbol, but that symbol does not recognize to be female or male, but both.  There is also evidence of the history of making this flag as there are sites that help decide the color of the flag and what people think it should look like. This signifies the big community of pansexual people there are and that it is just as much of a big deal as Gay Pride and the other gender and sexual preferences. The flag is shown below…

What I learned about Pansexual is that there are many groups and a lot of people that are pansexual that like to show their pride. There is a large pansexual community and people with a lot of pansexual pride. I am happy we briefly discussed this in class because I researched on my own and now have more awareness and information on pansexuality I never would have had.

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Throughout history, the existence of intersex individuals has puzzled scientists, medical doctors, geneticist, gender theorists, psychiatrists, etc. Perhaps this topic captures so much attention, whether positive or negative, because it conflicts, at its very core, with the permeating and ever-present model of sexual dimorphism in heteronormative western cultures. These androgynous individuals shatter the belief that there is something huge and impervious separating male and female bodies. To compensate for the instability brought on by this group, medical doctors began the search for the ultimate determinate and cause of sex. When the genitalia and anatomy of these ambiguous bodies failed, doctors were forced to base their claims on sex in such minuscule evidence as gonadal tissue. This allowed scientist to name and assign a true sex based on one’s molecular make up. Fortunately for scientists, these results allowed for 90% of all ambiguous bodies to be stamped with a sex and a gender and eliminated their confusion around sex. Unfortunately, however, this view of sex and categorizing the body only furthered the impression of sexual dimorphism as an ultimate reality and fortified the wall dividing male and female bodies. Later on, when scientists began examining chromosomes, they once again thought they had discovered a sure, clear-cut way of determining the sex of any individual in what they deemed, “sex chromosomes”.
Viewing the diversity of sex and chromosomal make up of intersex individuals through this one gene on trait model, however, was problematic. Women, like Helen discussed in Rosario’s essay titled “Quantum Sex: Intersex and the Molecular Deconstruction of Sex”, for example, have two X chromosomes, deeming them female, but they are born with some aspects of male anatomy, including testis. Based on work done with mostly intersex individuals, several genes on different autosomes (chromosomes that are not the two “sex chromosomes”) have been linked to production of sex and control of sex determination. These and other results have led scientists to view sex and all other genetic traits as complex and multifaceted results brought about by the interactions of several genes in conjunction with the environment and socialization.
Through these new scientific advancements and discoveries, social scientists like Rosario hope that the differences between female, male, and intersex individuals can be blurred and viewed in terms of a bimodal rather than dimorphic model.
Furthermore, examining the history of science as it deals with sex, demonstrates some of the major shortcomings of science as a production of knowledge. As theory after theory about sex have been developed and then disproven, it is important that we consider our own limitation of understanding. Certainly the one gene one trait theory of gene expression was not the pinnacle of genetic science, and our current understanding is certainly not complete. Knowing this, we must continuously and actively challenge our current understanding and open them to criticism across discourses. If this peer review across discourses was properly employed, I believe it could act as a system of checks and balances, identifying subjective reasoning, results, and research agenda, and helping scientists make more informed decisions.

Jennifer L. Peper

In class, we spoke about the Age of Gonads, followed by intersex and determining the sex of intersex children. This lead our discussion to the topic of the Intersex Society of North America. This site highlights intersex issues, and actions families may take to directly deal with their situation at hand.

After briefly talking about this site in class, I decided to follow-up this discussion by analyzing the site in order to answer questions of curiosity that occurred to me during our discussion. I found this site to be nothing but helpful, educating, and more than anything calming to those that may be dealing with an intersex situation. I found that all questions that I had about intersex were on the site with helpful solutions. A few specific questions I thought of are: What is intersex? How common is intersex? What do doctors do now when they encounter a child with intersex?

I clicked on all of these links on the side and after reading all the pages, I felt fully educated on the subject. For example, when explaining what intersex is, it gave the definition of intersex which is: “a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male.” It then continued to give an example of what this may mean stating that a person may look female on the exterior, but really internally they have male-typical anatomy. It also continued to explain that intersex is an inborn condition but is not always visible at birth.  I found this tab the most educating as it was the one that explained intersex and broke it down so that anybody could interpret it. It was also soothing for the INSA to state that they are open and caring and are trying to create a world free of shame, secrecy, and unwanted genital surgeries.

Next how common is intersex? The site began to breakdown the different types of intersex births followed by the probability that one would be intersex. For example, For Not xx and Not XY it said one in 1,666 births. This among many other variations is what this page consisted of.  It was based off of statics from Brown University researcher Anne Fausto-Sterling. In my eyes this page was important to include because it shows research and evidence of the rarity of the case, yet the possibility t at it can happen and if it does, it is okay.

Lastly, What do doctors do now when they encounter a patient with intersex? It states that doctors are willing to “cut now and worry about the quality of life later.” This is important, because the whole purpose of this site is to not just go ahead and do that. There is not much information or writing on this page as they state their concern and drive to implement their patient-centered model of care through visits to medical centers. Hopefully, this makes a difference for intersex people as it should be their decision.

This site fights for freedom of the intersex patients and is nothing but education and supportive to those that have this diagnosis. It gives these people hope and knowledge when dealing with their situation so they are able to make the best decision in what they want to do regarding their sex. This site is helpful, and whoever started it is a very smart person, as they have helped many people.

-C. Praljak