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  1. Top | #61
    Veteran Member Treedbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emily Lake View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by J842P View Post
    I know all this, and we've probably discussed it before, largely agreeing on the facts, if I recall correctly. My point is simply you should be very careful to declare something as "impossible" in biology.
    Except that it IS impossible for a single individual to produce both ova and sperm. It IS impossible for a single individual to be both sexes, or to be a third sex. It IS impossible for a single individual to have both a normally functioning penis and a normally functioning vagina.
    How about the possibility of having neither. Or having some degree of both that are non-functioning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Treedbear View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Emily Lake View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Treedbear View Post
    I'll accept that as true, since it's well beyond my ability to know for sure. Nevertheless, I still see the need for a third category pronoun. That is unless we decide to eliminate gender pronouns entirely. But that's not going to happen. (IanSYK's experiences in the North of England notwithstanding. What were they thinking =/ what was he thinking.)
    Can you make an argument for why a third category of pronouns is necessary?
    Yeah I already did. Assuming we are going to keep using "him" and "her", and based on my explanation for why I believe singular "they" is improper grammar. But if wanted to we could eliminate him, her, and they and just refer to everyone as "the person" or "the persons".
    They is here. People are already actively using it. I think it's a perfectly fine gender neutral pronoun. I've never confused the singluar vs plural usage in the "wild".

  3. Top | #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emily Lake View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by J842P View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Emily Lake View Post
    YEs, I am 100% certain. "Intersex" doesn't actually mean that they're in-between the sexes. They may have ambiguous genitalia, but each individual is still ONLY male or female. There is LITERALLY no alternative among humans - a single individual cannot produce both egg cells and sperm cells. It's not possible.
    I'm not sure it's impossible. Suffice it to say, that true hermaphroditism, where both types of sexual tissue are present, is quite rare. The successful production of both types of gametes has never been observed in such individuals, as far as I know.
    Mmm... even in cases of true hermaphroditism, a person won't have two ovaries and two testes. They can't - ovaries and testes start out as the same tissue, and diverge during fetal development based on the chromosomal signals sent.

    True hermaprhoditism is extremely rare - 0.0012%. Most commonly among that incredibly rare population are people who either have two ovotestes (a sterile tissue formation stalled halfway through differentiation) or they have one ovary and one ovotestis. These are female people (XX chromosomes, other internal reproductive organs are female) and they frequently have a malfunctioning SRY gene. This formation is somewhere around 3/4 of the cases. These female people are only fertile if they have one functioning ovary.

    The remainder of the cases involve disorders that occur at conception: a single ovum ending up fertilized by two differently-sexed sperm, two ovum that fuse prior to being fertilized by a single male sperm, and vanishingly rare - two separate ovum, fertilized by two separate differently-sexed sperm that fuse after fertilization resulting in a true chimera.

    In none of these cases will the individual produce both ova and sperm. In the majority of cases, they produce neither and are sterile. In no cases does a person have both a fully functional penis and a fully functional vagina. And in all cases, the person with the disorder is still only male or female.

    One of the more common misunderstandings* is that "intersex" means the person is in between sexes, and thus that biological sex classifications in humans is a spectrum or is bimodally distributed rather than being binary. This occurs because people tend to conflate sexual characteristics with biological sex class.

    As a reminder...

    Biological sex class is based on gamete type, and is strictly binary. Disorders are possible that result in incompletely differentiated formation of the gametes, but they are vanishingly rare. In the very rare cases that it occurs, the person may have ambiguous external primary sexual characteristics, but don't have ambiguous internal primary sexual characteristics.

    Primary sexual characteristics are based on reproductive anatomy, and are technically binary from before birth. This includes penis, testes, as deferens, and prostate in males. In females this includes ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, vaginal canal, and pelvic bone in females. These structures are binarily different in males and females in normal formation. Medical disorders of sexual development can occur that interrupt or falsely trigger the sex-based differentiation process in utero in some very rare cases, resulting in external primary sexual characteristics that are ambiguous: formation of penis halted partway through development resulting in a structure that is either a very small penis (on a male) or a very large clitoris (on a female), or partial formation of scrotal sacks resulting in features that aren't standard formation labia or scrotum, or occasionally the urethral outlet doesn't transition into the penis and retains an secondary external opening near the base of the penis. Size and shape of these characteristics show variation among members of each sex, but there is no overlap between sexes, as the characteristics are sexually differentiated.

    Secondary sexual characteristics are sex-linked features triggered by hormones that begin at puberty. These mark the transition from immature to sexually mature individuals. This includes the onset of menarche, growth of breasts, and widening of hips in females. In males, this includes the descent of the testes, elongation of the penis, growth of facial hair, virilization of the vocal chords and adams apple, and the accretion of dense muscle mass. These characteristics show considerable variation among members of each sex, but virtually no overlap between the sexes. Overlaps that do occur are invariably the result of a medical disorder, although not necessarily a DSD. For example, hirsutism in females isn't considered a DSD. It can result from a variety of conditions, including PCOS, adrenal tumors, and rare genetic disorders like congenital general hypertrichosis (I had to go look that one up ).

    Tertiary sexual characteristics are sexually dimorphic features. These are features that vary between males and females, but are not directly tied to either biological sex class or to hormonal triggers. These tend to be evolutionary developments, and there's reason to believe that they are largely the result of sexual selection. This includes things like height difference, size of hands and feet, shape of eye socket, shape of jaw, etc. These are genetically determined and inherited, but there's a large variation within members of the same sex and considerable overlap between the sexes. For example, while it's generally true that males are taller than females, it's not rare to find a male who is shorter than an average female, nor to find a female that is taller than an average male.
    Can’t address all of this BUT: YES it IS possible to have both ovaries and testes or one of each. It’s extremely rare but possible and has been observed in at least 500 individuals.

    https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseas...ral-discussion

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    Veteran Member Treedbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J842P View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Treedbear View Post

    Yeah I already did. Assuming we are going to keep using "him" and "her", and based on my explanation for why I believe singular "they" is improper grammar. But if wanted to we could eliminate him, her, and they and just refer to everyone as "the person" or "the persons".
    They is here. People are already actively using it. I think it's a perfectly fine gender neutral pronoun. I've never confused the singluar vs plural usage in the "wild".
    I've never seen or heard it used. Can you reference something for me?

  5. Top | #65
    Tricksy Leftits Angry Floof's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treedbear View Post

    If you're so confident about that give me an example instead of just repeatedly asserting it.
    Sure. This is a pretty old meme, though "old" is a questionable term in regard to the internet.



    People talk like this all the time. If you're an American, there is no way you could have been shielded your whole life from this usage of their. You may have dismissed it as slang or incorrect, but you have heard it nonetheless and there's no reason your brain can't adapt to not only having no information about a person's gender, but also not knowing if the reference is to a non-binary person or not. Unless you have that information, there is no difference between hypothetical usage and using it for non binary people. The only way it is different is when you know it is a non binary person. This cannot possibly interrupt your ability to use and understand language!

    How is it possible that this isn't sinking in? "They" in the singular refers to a human PERSON regardless of you knowing whether they are non binary or sex/gender unknown. And knowing that a non binary person prefers this language doesn't suddenly change your ability to understand it.

    The only times we truly do not understand what someone is saying is when they are speaking an entirely different language or almost entirely gibberish, and not just a word or two here and there. And on the occasion when a word or two is truly not understood in context, we ask or we look it up. Again, there is literally no problem understanding "they" in the singular.
    If I read somewhere "Mary is going to the ballgame. They will be there around noon." it would be normal to assume that she is going with someone else.
    So what? You're perfectly capable of figuring it out or just asking. Because now you know that there are people who prefer the pronoun "they," and whether you agree with it or not, you know it's also a possibility that it could be singular and if you didn't already know, it's possible that Mary is non binary, and if confused, you would just ask, as you already also know how to do without even thinking about it.


    If instead it reads "She will be there around noon." then I wouldn't automatically assume that. There's a problem there. Also if I read "They is ..." I'd have to assume there's a typo. According to Merriam-Webster the definition of "is" is "present tense third-person singular of BE." Whereas "They are ..." would indicate the plural.
    And your point is? How many times do you need someone to remind you that you are perfectly capable of navigating these not at all unfamiliar ways of speaking?

    Anyway, I have yet to hear anyone using the pronoun "they" in the singular with "is" in that way, but even if some people do, again, you are as perfectly capable of adapting to that as you are the myriad other language changes you have adapted to throughout your life and continue to do. I don't even demand to see an example of someone using "they is" because I don't care if anyone uses it that way in regard to non-binary people. If you don't want to say "they is," then don't. Even if you had an example of someone demanding that you use "they is," which is doubtful but anything is possible I suppose, you still don't have to. You would just simply not do it. Whether you get into an argument with said hypothetical person making said hypothetical demand is also your choice that no one is actually infringing on.

    There is zero cognitive or psychological problem with using a familiar, 400-year old form of "they" in the singular. Acceptance of this form has ebbed and flowed, but has existed for centuries and is commonplace today.

    It's also acceptable to use "they" in the singular both in writing (most forms) and not just in casual language, which all of us use. It's very common and has been for centuries and certainly throughout your lifetime and mine. ...
    I don't believe I have. If you're so confident about that give me some examples.
    Just because it is largely considered informal language doesn't mean it's not used. The non binary use is not different enough to justify either your claim that you have trouble understanding it or that it is grammatically incorrect. How about you give some examples of the "proper rules" of grammar that can't be broken as you have asserted (in spite of having already been proved wrong)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Angry Floof View Post
    ...
    Please, you are no one’s authority but your own. No one's telling you what pronouns you should prefer.
    So it's fine with you that I go ahead and call some individual him or her rather then they? Then what's the problem and why are you calling that attitude "sick"?
    If you refuse purposely after they've let you know their preference, you're just being a dick. If you forget, and even if you keep forgetting but still try in good faith, you're not being a dick.

    No one's forcing you to do or not do anything. If another human being is speaking directly to you and asking you to do otherwise, at the very least, it would be impolite not to. But you still have that choice. I don't think you'd actually be so rude when speaking with them face to face in reality, but you do have the choice. No one's arguing with your choice to do or not do anything. We're arguing with the lame justifications and lack of facts you put forth in reaction to non binary people saying they prefer the pronoun "they" in the singular.

    ... And yes, “they” does apply to that person if that’s what they want.

    ...

    Again, something that doesn't seem to occur to most people - understandably, because in their world, it is never challenged - is that you are not inherently entitled to know anything personal about other people if they don't tell you just because you're used to automatically getting that information through words. Maybe that kind of makes you feel a bit confused and that’s not fair but that doesn't justify dictating to others what pronouns they prefer.
    I'm not uncomfortable with calling a women "Ms" instead of "Mrs" or "Miss" if they want the same anonymity granted to men by using "Mr". Somehow that's liberating because it's what's acceptable for men, and men have more liberty so it must be good. Whatever! It doesn't bother me or confuse me to do so. But I think that therefore a real need exists for the non-gender community to come up with the same type of solution and invent a convenient pronoun that is suitably gender-neutral rather than bastardizing the use of "they".

    Holy shit. No, marginalized people are not obligated to make life comfortable for you. They choose to "bastardize" the word "they" because that's what they want and it hurts no one to comply out of just ordinary human sensitivity and empathy and it is a very simple solution to a problem. Stamp your feet if you like, but it's just not a real problem for anyone to adjust to this usage.

    I think that a real need exists for the cis hetero mainstream, middle of the road, never having to be exposed to people not like us community to come up with a solution for both their inability to adapt to changes that no one controls and their belief that their opinions about people whose perspectives and voices they don't bother to get to know are somehow the gold standard of thought about anything whether they know anything about it or not.

    Either way, they will still be identifying themselves as non-gender.
    Excellent step toward accepting things you can't control. Well done! Non binaries gonna non binary, am I right? *high five*

    So I'm not sure what you hope to accomplish in terms of personal privacy.
    You really think I'm trying to accomplish something in terms of personal privacy?? That's what you think I'm doing? I find that hard to believe, but I'll attempt to explain again.

    Just because you are used to automatically getting certain information, such as sex/gender or marital status, without ever having to think about it, doesn't mean you can demand it when you don't. "They" in the singular for non binary people is not to hide or obfuscate anything from you. It's just, for some of them, the most fitting pronoun, both because it conveys nothing of sex/gender, and they have lived their entire lives being forced into one or the other, and it is already in use, so even in spite of conservative discomfort, it's quite easy for English speakers to get used to.

    And also to note again that people all over the English speaking world are simply making that adjustment as a matter of habit.

    I do audio transcription and the content of the files I transcribe covers anything you can imagine being recorded and involving speech. Over the years, and especially this past year or two, I'm noticing more businesses, government organizations, non-profits, and more are doing two things that are fairly new in formal settings: using "they/them" when talking about anyone, even someone whose sex/gender is known, and making a point of asking for and giving preferred pronouns in meetings, interviews, and legal proceedings. These are not obscure entities or organizations that are "activists." They're just ordinary organizations around the English speaking world that are adapting to a new awareness of inequality, prejudice, privilege, and of the perspectives of marginalized people.

    I have also mentioned in various threads on this board that in Australia, media events from unknown Youtubers to business conferences to government meetings, often start off with a statement of respect for the original owners of the land. What a wonderful way to help establish in white minds that respect for the original owners of the land they live on.

    This is just humans being human when they become aware of things they didn't know before because their experiences didn't inform them except maybe from a safe distance in periphery. But now in a highly connected technological world of information and social media, we're all experiencing more of the voices and perspectives of people not like us, and these companies and people have recognized how easy it is to allow prejudices to harden instead of making the conscious effort to understand people who are not white or male or Christian or cis-gender or heterosexual or any number of things that mainstream Wester world is used to perceiving as the norm.

    But I'm perfectly fine with it if we need to recognize a third category.
    That's good because that third category exists and is not at all difficult to adapt to. The only thing different is that you know the "third category" person referred to with the singular "they" is non binary.

    You have no trouble understanding the singular "they" when you don't know the sex/gender. You've already said that. But you want me to believe that you knowing they are non binary and not just unknown sex/gender short circuits the many and deep neural pathways and layers of brain function that support your ability to use language. Right.

    I'm not rigid and certainly not a conservative with regard to changing social conventions.
    You do speak as if you are, though. If you don't want to be mistaken for a rigid conservative, why would you speak like one?

    ...

    That's a pretty sick thing to do to someone, really, like the handmaids in The Handmaid's Tale being given their master's names with the explanation that this practice "honors them."

    "I will decide what is dehumanizing to you or not and I will feign sadness when my made up premise is challenged by you saying you prefer the pronoun "they". I care a lot!"

    ...

    No one’s forcing you to say “they” in the singular. Some people are just telling us it’s what they prefer, and in reality there is literally no problem with that outside of the reactions of conservative minds.
    ...
    Then please stop calling my views sick and denigrating my sentiments.
    If you sit here trying to say that you should decide what is dehumanizing to people who are fucking telling you what is dehumanizing to them, yes, I will call your views sick and I absolutely denigrate that entitled and oblivious mindset. Absolutely. Listen to people who are telling us about what is dehumanizing to them and what is not. Listen openly and generously. Spend the weekend seeking out the voices and stories and perspectives of non binary people. That's the least you can do before you have the nerve to say that what they are asking for to help humanize them, people who have been and still are dehumanized to a great extent, is dehumanizing.

    "It's dehumanizing to me that my society needs to cram me into a binary choice. It's painful, and I'd like to do this one small thing that will help society stop dehumanizing me in this way."

    "Well, I say it's dehumanizing to you to do the very small and easy thing you ask for to help society learn to humanize non binary people. Now you go on back to your closet and learn proper grammar!
    "

    I cannot refer to an individual as "they" simply because it conflicts with my understanding of the meaning of the word.
    You certainly can. You would not have the language skills to participate in this forum if you could not use this term in this way regardless of your previous understanding of the word! I mean, do you hear yourself?


    I explained to you why using logic and reasoning that you haven't yet disputed.
    You haven't explained anything about logic and reason, only rigidity and ignorance.

    I find it dehumanizing to characterize another human being in that way and therefore degrading to my own humanity.
    Well, isn't that convenient? It degrades your humanity to listen to the voices and perspectives of people who are not like you. Are you typing this shit with a straight face? It's not about you, and that is obvious bullshit anyway. You're in a corner in this conversation and don't have the humanity to do anything but double down on lame, made up nonsense.

    Show that you give a shit about the people you're talking about before you cry about your imaginary "dehumanizing" of them!

    Honestly, that is the lamest and most callous response I've heard on this entire topic.

    It's not just a matter of what they might or might not want. It concerns my own status as a human being. And I as an individual cannot under any understanding of the word be a they.
    Yeah, like Data can't use contractions. Like right wingers think their inhumane and vile ideology is magically made humane by their pretense of caring about fetuses. Thank goodness you're so compassionate. No need to think about any of that other stuff. What a relief!

  6. Top | #66
    Might be a replicant Emily Lake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J842P View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Emily Lake View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by J842P View Post
    I know all this, and we've probably discussed it before, largely agreeing on the facts, if I recall correctly. My point is simply you should be very careful to declare something as "impossible" in biology.
    Except that it IS impossible for a single individual to produce both ova and sperm. It IS impossible for a single individual to be both sexes, or to be a third sex. It IS impossible for a single individual to have both a normally functioning penis and a normally functioning vagina.
    Ok, then we don't agree. None of those things is impossible, at least, we cannot make that claim. You can claim, correctly, that they are unobserved. But they are not impossible as in contradicting some fundamental aspect of reality. That a species could use echolocation was unobserved, until it wasn't, and claiming it was impossible would have been unjustified. This is the thing, with biology, you are working with systems whose properties are contingent. That might make things highly unlikely, but impossible is almost always too strong of a word, unless you mean something like the property of the biological system would contradict some fundamental physical law. Then it might make sense to say "it is impossible".

    Until then, you do yourself a great disservice by saying "impossible" instead of "unobserved". That word by itself speaks volumes in the context of biology, especially human biology.

    Take it as a piece of advice for how to make your arguments stronger. You don't require impossible, so why use it?
    Please yourself, I guess.

    I will stand by my position though. It is impossible for a feline to be a kitten and an adult cat at the same time. It is impossible for a nasal bulb to be a pituitary gland at the same time. It is impossible to walk uphill both ways.

    A single human literally cannot produce both ova and sperm at the same time. The tissue that forms ovaries and testes is the same tissue prior to differentiation - there are not two sets of tissues. Differentiation is a result of a hormone wash at a particular stage - it can be an incomplete or unexpected hormone wash, but it cannot be both a full masculinizing wash and a complete lack of masculinizing wash at the same time. The production of gametes by reproductive organs is a result of pituitary governing signals and hormone production... and those hormones are produced by organs that start out as the same thing, and are differentiated in their development path during gestation.

    A thing cannot be itself and not itself at the same time. You cannot use a lump of clay to make a cup and use that same lump of clay to make a plate. There is only one lump of clay - it can be made into either a cup or a plate, but it cannot simultaneously be both things at the same time. This actually *is* a result of fundamental physical laws.

    For reference, also mildly entertaining:
    Both Sets of Genitals . . . Not
    All we humans started off, early in the womb, the same in terms of sex development. From there, most people’s bodies developed down one of two paths, either male-typical or female-typical. ...

    Some people’s genitals develop in-between the male-typical and female-typical....

    As these drawings show, the penis and the clitoris are the same organ developmentally. Thus you can only have a penis OR a clitoris OR one organ that is in-between.

    Similarly, the labia majora and the scrotum are the same organ, developmentally. Thus you can only have a scrotum OR labia majora (OR one somewhat divided scrotum, OR one set of somewhat fused labia majora).

    To have “both sets of genitals,” you’d have to have two bottoms. Because you’d have to have a bottom that had both a penis AND a clitoris, a bottom with a scrotum AND labia majora, a perineum with a vaginal opening AND a perineum with no vaginal opening.

    This would be like saying you have both male-typical and female-typical breast development: it would require four breasts, and maybe two chests. Or it would be like saying you have both male-typical and female-typical Adam’s Apple development; you’d have to have two necks.

  7. Top | #67
    Might be a replicant Emily Lake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treedbear View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Emily Lake View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Treedbear View Post
    I'll accept that as true, since it's well beyond my ability to know for sure. Nevertheless, I still see the need for a third category pronoun. That is unless we decide to eliminate gender pronouns entirely. But that's not going to happen. (IanSYK's experiences in the North of England notwithstanding. What were they thinking =/ what was he thinking.)
    Can you make an argument for why a third category of pronouns is necessary?
    Yeah I already did. Assuming we are going to keep using "him" and "her", and based on my explanation for why I believe singular "they" is improper grammar. But if wanted to we could eliminate him, her, and they and just refer to everyone as "the person" or "the persons".
    I think I missed it, can you link me to it please?

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    Might be a replicant Emily Lake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treedbear View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Emily Lake View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by J842P View Post
    I know all this, and we've probably discussed it before, largely agreeing on the facts, if I recall correctly. My point is simply you should be very careful to declare something as "impossible" in biology.
    Except that it IS impossible for a single individual to produce both ova and sperm. It IS impossible for a single individual to be both sexes, or to be a third sex. It IS impossible for a single individual to have both a normally functioning penis and a normally functioning vagina.
    How about the possibility of having neither. Or having some degree of both that are non-functioning.
    I suppose it's possible to have neither, in the same way it's possible to be born without arms or legs.

    It's not possible to have some degree of both as separate organs. It's possible to have external genitalia that are in-between developmentally, as I said previously - a very small penis on a male that didn't fully differentiate from clitoral tissue during gestation, or semi-formed scrotal sacks that unexpectedly formed from the tissue that would normally for labia majora. But no single person can have both organs at the same time.

  9. Top | #69
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    In our modern mass marketing culture it is bi business and culture that shapes what we wear. One feeds the oter.

    T shirts have become acceptable daily dress. When I was a kid men wore causal sport jackets.

    Why do people pay 100s of dollars more for shoes that are no more functional than regular shoes.

    Ask yourself, if you are honest with yourself, why you buy one piece of clothing out of all the options? Could it be how it coincides with a particular marketing image? Marketing is subliminal.

    There s a Pacific island culture where men and women go bare chested without any sexual connotation.

    There are Asian cultures where both men and women wear simple wrap around clothes.

    Clothes beyond practicality are cultural.

    The hard part is figuring out you are conditioned by culture and today marketing.

    If amajor pro athlete started wearing kilts and doing commercials surrounded by women, what do you think would happen? Some people would start wearing them.

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    Might be a replicant Emily Lake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toni View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Emily Lake View Post
    True hermaprhoditism is extremely rare - 0.0012%. Most commonly among that incredibly rare population are people who either have two ovotestes (a sterile tissue formation stalled halfway through differentiation) or they have one ovary and one ovotestis. These are female people (XX chromosomes, other internal reproductive organs are female) and they frequently have a malfunctioning SRY gene. This formation is somewhere around 3/4 of the cases. These female people are only fertile if they have one functioning ovary.

    The remainder of the cases involve disorders that occur at conception: a single ovum ending up fertilized by two differently-sexed sperm, two ovum that fuse prior to being fertilized by a single male sperm, and vanishingly rare - two separate ovum, fertilized by two separate differently-sexed sperm that fuse after fertilization resulting in a true chimera.

    In none of these cases will the individual produce both ova and sperm. In the majority of cases, they produce neither and are sterile. In no cases does a person have both a fully functional penis and a fully functional vagina. And in all cases, the person with the disorder is still only male or female.
    Can’t address all of this BUT: YES it IS possible to have both ovaries and testes or one of each. It’s extremely rare but possible and has been observed in at least 500 individuals.

    https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseas...ral-discussion
    That's what I was addressing above. Those 500 people do not have two ovaries AND two testes. They may have one ovary and one testis, or more commonly they have one ovary and one ovotestis, a sterile organ that did not complete sex-based differentiation. Of those that develop one ovary and one testis, both cannot be functional at the same time - they cannot produce both ova and sperm.

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