'The Five Sexes And' The Five Sexes, Revisited?

Good Essays
Much of society is based on, and influenced by, the ideas of sex and gender. While the two are dissimilar in many ways, they are often thought of as interchangeable and are in a way connected. While gender is the biological makeup of one’s physical body, including chromosomes, hormones, gonads, genitals, and a variety of secondary characteristics, such as facial hair or breasts, gender is a socially constructed concept that influences social roles and behavior. However, one must ask how society can function properly, when a factor which influences social structures so heavily is inaccurately represented.
Typically, it is understood that men are people with male bodies, and women are people with female bodies. However, these lines can get blurred when one’s gender identity does not coincide with their sex. An example of this is a transgender person, a person whose gender identity does not match their biological sex.
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In addition to the sexes male and female, Fausto-Sterling proposes we add three more categories including herm, (a true hermaphrodite) which has both testes and ovaries, merm (a male pseudo-hermaphrodite), which has testes and no ovaries, although some aspects of female genitalia, and fem, (a female pseudo-hermaphrodite) which has ovaries and some aspects of male genitalia but no testes. The reason for the addition of these sexes is to be more accurate and inclusive for all persons. Fausto-Sterling’s arguments for having at least five sex categories are valid because only having two categories is biologically inaccurate, and exclusive to people who do not fit into either category perfectly, both contributing to societal
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