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 "Mixed" feelings on Hermaphrodites (yes, pun inten 
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I don't know about y'all, but our discussion and discoveries in class the other day about hermaphrodites was extremely interesting and intriguing to me. From the reactions of everyone else, I took it that most of us were being introduced to something very new. I mean, I knew what a hermaphrodite was and knew that they actually existed, however I did NOT know that about 4% of live births can be classified as hermaphrodites! Obviously, this happens way more often than we think.

Of course, there is the moral issue of what to do if you are a parent or physician who delivers a child who possesses both male and female genitalia. Then one step close to our potential situations: What do we do when a parent has decided to leave a hermaphrodite as they were born, they are in our class, and the teacher is very aware of it? I'm thinking more at an elementary level...simply, what do you do when it's time for a bathroom break? Do you let the child decide where to go?

I was just wondering what everyone's thoughts were on any of the questions mentioned above.

Also, I did a little google search on this. As expected...there are not many pictures of this. haha However, I did find an interesting story of how this affected one individual and his story. It can be found at http://www.angelfire.com/ca2/BornHermaphrodite/ if you're interested.

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Emily Fox :)


Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:56 pm
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So while we were discussing hermaphrodites I was doing some quick math. If the 4 percent statistic is true then there should be approximately 0.84 hermaphrodites in the class. For a class of thirty there would be 1.2 per class, 3 classes per semester (block schedule with one planning period) that's 3.6 per semester. If you taught 30 years then that would be 60 semesters and you would have taught 216 hermaphrodites. As for the moral issues associated with assigning gender I would have to go with the come as you are theory.

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Zach Yokley


Mon Nov 17, 2008 7:37 pm
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Emily this is a really great question. It never occurred to me to think about something like this. I am going to say that this is an issue that needs to talked about with the parents of the child. However, that is really just a guess.


Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:49 pm
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I'm going to go out on a limb and say that these births are usually because of something that happened during the pregnancy or some medical abnormality that happened to the fetus. With this said I am hesitant but feel I should point out that these people are medical abnormalities. I'm not that comfortable agreeing with that snipping off genitalia is the right way to go to make them man or woman, but I think I am more partial to agreeing with letting them choose their sex at adolescence. But I do feel that it is necessary to choose one.

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~Natalie Wolfe


Tue Nov 18, 2008 10:59 pm
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Natalie I think you raise a valid issue about medical abnormality. I also think that a choice must be made as to which sex an individual is identified with. A doctor altering genitalia at birth without dissicussion from the parents seems to be the most dramatic choice and the one hardest to deal with at adolence. Letting the child choose at the onset of puberty makes the most sence to me.

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Thomas Lloyd Walker


Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:04 am
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