Did you know that the same individual can have both sexes?

Living beings usually have separate reproductive devices, there are male and female individuals.

However, this condition is not static and there may be cases where the same individual has both sexes, male and female.

What is hermaphroditism?

The Hermaphroditism is a sexual malfunction in which an individual of a species dioica, which has separate sexes, has both female as male reproductive structure.

Hermaphrodite is the term used to call individuals who have this anomaly.

In which living beings can hermaphroditism occur?

Hermaphroditism can occur in plants, animals and humans.

Through chromosomal analysis, it is already known that hermaphroditism is not a genetic syndrome and can be caused by an embryonic malformation.

In plants, hermaphroditism is a common situation. Plants that have both reproductive devices are called monoecious.

There are hermaphroditic animals that perform self-fertilization, such as tapeworms. Usually, only one tapeworm parasites the individual thus avoiding competition, and it reproduces through hermaphroditism.

In some animals, hermaphroditism may occur insufficiently, that is, individuals have both sexes, but sexual maturity occurs at different times. This is the case with earthworms, which even though they are hermaphrodites, reproduce in pairs.

In humans, the hermaphrodite usually presents the male as an external organ and the ovary is only discovered at puberty due to hormonal changes.

Human hermaphroditism

The human hermaphroditism can cause many psychosocial disorders in the individual. This condition is called intersexuality and can occur in three ways:

True hermaphroditism

Usually these people are chromosomally female, but since birth they have all organs, external and internal, both female and male.

The formation of male organs is not yet fully understood, but it is believed that there was an anomalous fertilization parallel to normal fertilization and the sexes were incorporated into the same individual. Despite having both sexes, these individuals are sterile.

Male pseudohermaphroditism

This person is chromosomally male, but the external organs do not develop normally.

Female pseudohermaphroditism

This person is chromosomally female, however, the development of the clitoris is excessive and it takes shape similar to the penis, this condition is called clitoromegaly .

Female pseudohermaphroditism is the only type believed to be caused by malformation attributed to the use of drugs used during pregnancy for congenital adrenal hyperplasia.

Cause of hermaphroditism in humans

Several genetic studies have been carried out over the years to try to clarify the formation of hermaphroditic humans. One of these studies suggests that a sequence that should protect the Y chromosome from mutations, could stretch and form an attraction to the X chromosome, displacing the centromere of the gene.

According to the researchers, the greater the distance between the centromeres, the more feminized the individuals are, the shorter the distance, the more masculine they become.

Generally, human beings resort to surgery to remove organs from either sex and thus define their desired sex.

by Abdullah Sam
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