From: Hans Aberg (email@example.com)
Date: Fri Sep 29 2006 - 05:30:27 CST
On 29 Sep 2006, at 09:04, Stephane Bortzmeyer wrote:
> On Thu, Sep 28, 2006 at 01:59:39PM +0200,
> Hans Aberg <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote
> a message of 14 lines which said:
>> This standard is rather limited, as it does not admit indicating
>> various androgyny, transsexual and indeterminate sex conditions.
> Transsexual people do have a gender, it is just that they changed
> it. Nothing in ISO 5218 prevents to change the gender of a person.
The stuff in the Unicode character set seems mainly concerned with
sexual preference, whereas I indicated the problem of medically
defining physical maleness/femaleness. The transsexuality you mention
is a sexual preference, which may sometimes result in a medically
altered sex change.
But some individuals have a faulty gene, so that the baby is not
exposed to testosterone during pregnancy, but during puberty. The
baby starts of as a female at birth, but develops as a male during
> Androgyny is more complicated to handle.
So it may fall into the same category.
Another complication is that male and female humans both are exposed
to testosterone and estrogen, but in different amounts, and both
hormones are important for proper development. For example, estrogen
during puberty is responsible for the body stop growing, which is why
castrates do not stop growing. Testosterone is, to some extent,
responsible of the sex drive, also in females. Females with
heightened exposure to testosterone usually, as males, have shorter
index finger than ring finger, which is statistically, but not
individually, linked to lesbianism. It is unknown what causes
sexually preference in the individual.
So, therefore, there are a number of cases with ambiguous physical
sexual development, where one factor is the amount of exposure of
these hormones, though that is only a part of the story.
I am not a medical expert on the subject. I just noticed that the
Unicode standard seems to assume that mankind falls into two physical
categories "male" and "female", with the possible exception of
androgyny, then. This might be too limited. But I do not know how the
subject should be resolved.
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