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Si los sexos son siete... entonces qu soy?

Seven Sexes! Then What Am I?


Self-Determination and Accepting Responsibility for Being Who
We Wish to Be
1

Manuel Antonio Velandia Mora Ph. D.


Espaa, 2008-12-19
Translator, 2Curtis E. Hinkle

Se afirma cientficamente que el lenguaje genera mundos. Con ello se quiere decir que mientras
algo no exista en la palabra, no existe como realidad y, por extensin, que mientras una
personas no se identifique positivamente con la palabra que define su sexualidad o parte de
ella, tiene problemas de identidad.
Hermafrodita es una palabra que a muchos se les antoja extraa. Bueno, debo decir que
igualmente la naturaleza es extraa: en ella el "deber ser" socializado de la sexualidad no se
afirma tal y como sucede en el discurso; mejor dicho, el discurso cientfico de la sexualidad no
haba logrado salir del texto literario a la realidad experiencial de algunos cuerpos humanos o,
ms concretamente, a la de la vivencia del cuerpo de algunas personas.
La figura del o la hermafrodita surgi de la figura mtica que fusiona al hijo de Hermes y
Afrodita con la ninfa Salmacis que durante siglos ha representado la unin de lo femenino y lo
masculino en un mismo cuerpo. Esta idea sirvi de fundamento a Theodor A. Edwin, para
introducir en el siglo XIX las primeras clasificaciones de la condicin en la que una sola persona
tiene rganos sexuales de macho y de hembra, tambin a estudios posteriores como los del
espaol Gregorio Maran, quien contribuy a establecer la relacin entre la psicologa y la
endocrinologa.
Ms recientemente se ha usado el trmino intersexual. Existe un amplio nmero de
variaciones sexuales que se solapan unas con otras en diferentes grados a lo largo de un
continuo cuyos extremos son el macho y la hembra de la especie. Sin embargo, en los seres
humanos los extremos de dicho continuo son el hombre y la mujer. Esto quiere decir que
nuestra identidad sexual adems de la parte biolgica est signada por las relaciones sociales,
la cultura, y por la relacin que yo mismo tengo conmigo mismo como ser masculino o
femenino, o en los diferentes grados a lo largo de un continuo cuyos extremos son la
masculinidad y la feminidad. Recordemos que la morfologa fue durante siglos el elemento
principal para definir dos sexos.
La intersexualidad no es slo una cuestin de nuestros cuerpos, afirma Curtis E. Hinkle, "sino
tambin una cuestin de cmo nos percibimos dentro de nuestros cuerpos y la identidad de
gnero es una parte crucial de cada individual. Borrar la importancia del gnero a l*s
intersexuales l*s reducen solamente a los aspectos fsicos de sus cuerpos, pasando por alto la
parte ms importante de esta cuestin, sus propias percepciones de sus cuerpos y de s
mismos, en comparacin a la percepcin de l*s otr*s en nuestro ambiente social".
Es muy frecuente considerar que la intersexualidad significa que una persona tiene ambos
rganos genitales. Curtis E. Hinkle, considera que esa es probablemente una de las ideas falsas
1

Velandia Mora, Manuel Antonio. Socilogo, Filsofo, Sexlogo, Especialista en Gerencia de proyectos
educativos institucionales, Mster en Educacin, Mster en Gestin de la Poltica pblica y la
Interculturalidad, Diploma de Estudios avanzados DEA- y Doctorando en Psicopedagoga, DEA y Doctor
en Enfermera y Cultura de los Cuidados.
2
Curtis E. Hinkle. Universit Paul Valry (Montpellier III). Organisation International des Intersexes,
Quebec, Canada

ms comunes sobre la intersexualidad. La intersexualidad no tiene generalmente nada que ver


con los rganos genitales de la persona, y mucho menos que una persona tenga ambos
rganos genitales. Segn este autor, hay personas intersexuales con un pene y una abertura
vaginal. Sin embargo, no hay casos documentados de una persona con ambos rganos
genitales masculinos y femeninos completamente desarrollados. La mayora de l*s
intersexuales tienen rganos genitales que son bastante tpicos y solo hay una minora que
tiene rganos genitales atpicos. De hecho, el trmino pintoresco seudocientfico
"hermafrodita verdadero" puede referir a una persona con rganos genitales masculinos o
femeninos totalmente tpicos.
En el uso corriente se utilizaban indistintamente las palabras hermafrodita e intersexual como
sinnimas. Esto preocupaba a los cientficos de la sexualidad y en octubre de 2005, en Chicago,
se realiz una reunin en la que se determin modificar la terminologa sobre los estados
intersexuales, e incluir el hermafroditismo en un concepto totalizador: desrdenes del
desarrollo sexual (DSD, por sus siglas en ingls).
En la conferencia, organizada por las sociedades Europea de Endocrinologa Peditrica, y
Lawson Wilkins de la misma especialidad, con sede en Estados Unidos, un grupo de 50
expertos decidi por consenso! abolir el hermafroditismo.
No es que hayan desaparecido los casos de lo que antes de ese acuerdo conocamos como
hermafroditismo verdadero (cuando una persona posee simultneamente testculos y
ovarios), ni los seudohermafroditismos (el femenino, en el que en una persona hay ovarios y
estructuras sexuales masculinas; o el masculino cuando hay testculos y rganos sexuales
femeninos), sino que ahora cambia la manera en que debemos referirnos a ellos, afirma Javier
Flores en su artculo "La muerte del hermafrodita".
El cambio sobre el concepto, segn Flores, muestra que en la medicina occidental del siglo XXI
hay un predominio de la gentica como criterio principal en la determinacin del sexo. Ser
mujer u hombre dependa de las formas. Luego, al arrancar el siglo XX, se incorporaron
criterios funcionales; las glndulas de secrecin interna y sus productos se colocaron en lugar
privilegiado. Ahora, la anatoma y las hormonas ocupan lugar secundario, pues todo se ve
desde el lente de un determinismo gentico.
Entonces el hermafroditismo verdadero no tiene razn de existir y ahora debemos referirnos a
l con el nombre de "DSD ovotesticular", trmino que desde la opinin de Flores es bastante
feo frente al hermafroditismo verdadero, para quien "la esttica tiene que ver con la verdad
cientfica". El peso de la gentica es ms claro en la nueva nomenclatura de los
seudohermafroditismos, pues al femenino hay que llamarlo ahora "46, XX DSD" y al masculino
"46, XY DSD", con lo que se elimina la carga endocrina y se le cuelga la gentica.
Siete sexos
En la nueva clasificacin surgen dos nuevas categoras independientes de los
hermafroditismos: se trata de los "hombres" que tienen dos cromosomas femeninos, a los que
debemos referirnos hoy como "46, XX DSD testicular", y los "hombres" que tienen
cromosomas masculinos pero fenotipo o formas femeninas, a los que a partir de ahora habr
que llamar "46, XY disgenesia gonadal completa". Esto es importante, pues en 1993 Anne
Fausto Sterling, especialista en biologa molecular, sacudi al mundo intelectual sealando que
no haba dos sexos (hombre y mujer), sino cinco, pues, en su opinin, era necesario incluir
adems a los hermafroditas verdaderos y los seudohermafroditas. Ahora, siguiendo el
razonamiento de Fausto, de acuerdo con la nueva clasificacin, habra no dos ni cinco, sino
siete sexos.
En estos momentos de la ciencia, cuando no se posee una evidencia cientfica de orden
gentico, cabe decirse que ya no sabemos si somos los machos o las hembras de la especie,
pues no todos(as) sabemos que tenemos dentro de nuestro cuerpo; pero si a ella sumamos
que somos determinados cultural y socialmente, pudiramos afirmar que el sexo es un
concepto tan amplio como el nmero de seres humanos que tratan de definirlo y que lo ms

importante no es el letrero que los dems nos impongan, sino aquello que decidimos estar
siendo, desde el ejercicio de autodeterminacin para asumirse y estar siendo lo que deseamos
ser.

Seven Sexes! Then What Am I?


Self-Determination and Accepting Responsibility for Being Who
We Wish to Be
Manuel Antonio Velandia Mora Ph. D.
There are scientific claims which maintain that language produces and constructs our world.
What this means is that if there is not a word for something, then it does not exist in reality,
and by extension, that if people do not identify in a positive manner with the word used to
define their sex and sexuality or an aspect of it, they have identity issues.
Hermaphrodite is a word that strikes many as strange. If so, then I would have to say that
nature is also strange: within the natural world the "necessity of being" socially sexed is not
reinforced and confirmed in the same manner as in our discourse; rather, scientific discourse
about sex and sexuality has not managed to go beyond the literary text to the experiential
reality of some human bodies or, more specifically, the reality as experienced by some people
as a result of their body.
The figure of the hermaphrodite originated from the mythical figure created by the fusion of
the son of Hermes and Aphrodite with the nymph Salmacis, and for centuries has symbolised
the union of the feminine and the masculine in one body.
This idea served as the basis of Theodor A. Edwin's introduction of the first classification
system in the twentieth century to describe the condition of a person with both male and
female reproductive organs, and also was the basis for later studies such as those of the
Spaniard Gregorio Maran, who contributed to establishing the links between psychology
and endocrinology. More recently the term intersex has been used. A rather large number of
sex variations exist which overlap one another in various gradations on a spectrum with male
at one end and female at the other. Nevertheless, in human beings, the male and female of
the species are the two extremes of a continuum. This means that our sexual identity
(including our gender and orientation) in addition to the biological component is symbolised
and denoted by our social relationships, our culture and by the relationship that I, myself, have
with my own self as being male or female, or at some other point on the continuum with male
at one end and female at the other. Let us remember that one's morphology (or phenotype)
was for centuries the main element which defined the two sexes.
Intersex is not just about our bodies, states Curtis E. Hinkle, "but also about how we perceive
ourselves within those bodies and gender identity is a crucial part of everyone's identity. To
erase the importance of gender to the individual intersex person is to reduce that person to
only the physical aspects of their body, neglecting the more important part of the equation,
their own perception of that body and themselves, as opposed to how others perceive them
within their social environment."
It is very common to consider that intersex means that a person has genital organs of both
sexes. Curtis E. Hinkle considers that that is probably one of the most common misconceptions
about intersex. Intersex usually has nothing to do with the genitalia of the person, much less
having two sets. There are intersex people with a penis and a vaginal opening. However, there
are no documented cases of a person being born with fully developed male and female
genitalia. The vast majority of intersex people have genitalia that look pretty typically male or
female with a small minority having atypical genitalia.

As a matter of fact, the quaint, pseudo-scientific term "true hermaphrodite" can refer to a
person with totally typical male or female genitalia.
In current usage the words hermaphrodite and intersex were synonymous and used
interchangeably. This worried scientists who specialised in sex variations and in October 2005,
a meeting took place in Chicago in which the decision was made to change the terminology for
intersex conditions, and to include hermaphroditism within a more generalised and all
encompassing concept: disorders of sex development (with D.S.D. as the English acronym). The
conference, organised by the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology, the Lawson
Wilkins Paediatric Endocrine Society (its counterpart with headquarters in the United States),
and a group of fifty experts, decided - by consensus! - to abolish hermaphroditism.
This has nothing to do with the disappearance of what we formerly agreed to call true
hermaphroditism (when a person has both testicular and ovarian tissue). Nor have pseudohermaphrodites disappeared (a female pseudo-hermaphrodite being a person with ovaries
and a more male phenotype and a male pseudo hermaphrodite being a person with testicles
and a more female phenotype). What has changed is the manner in which we must refer to
them, according to Javier Flores in his article "La muerte del hermaforidta (Link in Spanish)"
(The death of the hermaphrodite).
According to Flores, this conceptual change proves that twenty-first century Western medicine
is predominately responsible for the use of genetics as the main criterion for determining the
sex of an individual.
Being a woman or a man was originally based on the form of the body. Then, with the
beginning of the twentieth century, functional criteria were incorporated; the gonads with
their internal secretions were given a privileged place. Now, both the anatomy and the
hormones secreted by the gonads have taken a back seat, and everything is seen through the
lens of genetic determinism.
Therefore, true hermaphroditism has no reason to exist and we must refer to it with the name
"ovo-testicular D.S.D.", a term which, in Flores' opinion, is rather ugly when compared with
true hermaphroditism, for whom "aesthetics is also about scientific truth".
The weight of genetics is even clearer in the new nomenclature for pseudo-hermaphrodites
since a female pseudo-hermaphrodite must now be called "46XX D.S.D." and the male pseudohermaphrodite must be called "46XY D.S.D.", thereby eliminating the endocrinological
connotation and linking them with genetics.
Seven Sexes
In the new classification two new independent categories arise from hermaphroditism: one
deals with "men" who have XX chromosomes which we must now refer to as "46XX testicular
D.S.D.", and "men" who have XY chromosomes but a female phenotype, which are now to be
referred to as 46XY complete gonadal dysgenesis". This is important because in 1993 Anne
Fausto-Sterling, a specialist in molecular biology, shook up the academic community by
indicating that there were not just two sexes (male and female), but five, and therefore, in her
opinion, it was also necessary to include true hermaphrodites and the two categories of
pseudo-hermaphrodites. Therefore, if one follows the reasoning of Fausto-Sterling, and agree
to the new classification, there would neither be two nor five sexes, but seven.
At this stage of science, if there is no scientific evidence for something which can be explained
by genetics, then we are led to wonder if we are males or females of the species, since not all
of us know what we have in our bodies; and if we add to this that our identities are
determined culturally and socially, we would be able to affirm that sex is a concept which is as
all-encompassing and vast as the number of individual human beings trying to define it and
that the most important point is not the label that others impose on us, but the one that we
decide we are, which involves an exercise of self-determination and taking on the
responsibility of being who we wish to be.
Disponible en:

http://www.gendercentre.org.au/resources/polare-archive/archived-articles/seven-sexes.htm
https://es.scribd.com/doc/248021318/Seven-Sexes-Then-What-Am-I-Si-Los-Sexos-Son-Sieteentonces-que-soy