How odd

“I was born with male genitalia with no testicles, but I also have a uterus and no ovaries,” she explains to Radar Online.

This is all about Michael Phelps and the bird he’s been shagging. And it’s all really rather odd.

No, not intersex (and the way that differs from gender identity, yadda yadda). There’s all sorts of fun things that can happen in foetal development, genetics and so on. X and or Y can be turned on or not, clitori can develop in to peni and so on. Testes end up where ovaries usually are: vaginas not appear as they don’t in (most) men but be backed up with entirely functional ovaries and uteri and all sorts of stuff.

But usually it’s about development of what’s there into one or the other. Most of the basic building blocks are there (as with men having nipples), labia and scrotal sacks are the “same part”, glans and clitoris and so on. To be actually missing, rather than to have develop differently, one of these building blocks is more different than the normal differences. To have neither testes nor ovaries is odd odd, if you see what I mean. To have non-functional either is depressingly normal, to have one or the other in the “wrong place” or for them to have developed “inappropriately” isn’t all that odd. But to have neither is odd odd.

3 thoughts on “How odd”

  1. Not so odd really.

    XX triggers primary sex organs ovaries to be produced, XY triggers primary organs testes.

    Until testes start to develop and produce testosterone in an XY, the foetus is in effect female due to influence of mother’s oestrogen, and whether XX or XY unless testosterone intervenes the foetus will develop as a female.

    In an XY when the testes release testosterone this causes secondary characteristics, penis, musculature, hair distribution etc.

    There is a trigger on the Y which says make testes. If it does not fire, neither testes nor ovaries get made.

    If the are not present, the secondary female characteristics will develop, uterus, vagina, skeleton under the influence of maternal oestrogen.

    This explains the uterus. The fact that in this case there is a penis, suggests either the influence of maternal testosterone (both sexes do produce both hormones) or perhaps testes did form, were malformed but produced enough testosterone to trigger some secondary male sex characteristics, then were absorbed into the body tissue or are undescended and defunct.

    There are some individuals who are ‘women’ who are biologically male due to the lack of the Y ‘make testes’ trigger firing. They tend to be tall, very feminine, beautiful, have vagina, uterus whole or part formed, due to maternal oestrogen, but no ovaries.

    They are attracted to men, often married and only find out they are XY when they go for fertility checks because they cannot conceive.

    Funny old World innit?

  2. There’s more than that out there John B, you’ve left out all the XXY, XXX, XYX etc combos that can happen. Quite apart from Down’s Syndrome (I can’t remember which causes it and I’m not going to look it up), this often leaves doctors in a very difficult situation with partial development of both sex characteristics, and having to basically pick a gender through surgery and hormone treatments at a young age. Sometimes they fuck up and get it wrong. Sad.

    It is a funny old world.

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