Meaning of Hermaphroditism (What it is, Concept and Definition)

What is Hermaphroditism:

Hermaphroditism is a term from biology and zoology that serves to refer to all those organisms that contain both genders, male and female, in the same individual.

The word comes from the term hermaphroditewhich in turn comes from the name of the Greek god Hermaphroditus, son of Hermes and Aphrodite.

Hermaphroditism in botany and zoology

There are various species of plants and animals in which each of their individuals has both sexes. This type of living beings has the ability to produce gametes of both genders at the same time.

In the case of hermaphrodite flowers, they have stamens with anthers and stigma, sexual organs of both sexes. This type of plant reproduces by itself, that is, it does not need pollination by an external factor. For example: chili and tomato.

In the case of animals, as a general rule, this type of organism does not reproduce itself, but also requires fertilization through a pair. For example: snails and frogs.

An exception to this rule are tapeworms, which are capable of reproducing themselves.

Hermaphroditism in humans

When a person is born with sexual organ traits of both sexes at the same time, it is said to be hermaphrodite or who suffers from hermaphroditism.

Unlike plants and animals with this characteristic, where hermaphroditism is typical of their nature, in humans this condition is exceptional and is the result of a disorder of sexual development.

Even though a hermaphrodite person may have ovaries and testicles, they are not capable of reproducing eggs and sperm at the same time, since some of the sexual systems develop poorly.

For this reason, today specialists have displaced the use of the term hermaphroditism by intersexualitysince in reality the affected person does not have the genitals of both sexes, but only features with unequal development, which implies that one of these does not fulfill its function.

This occurs when there is a contradiction between chromosomal sex and their genitals. Therefore, the hermaphrodite condition is congenital although it can manifest at any time from birth. In no case should it be confused with gender dysphoria or transsexuality.

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