(redirected from Intersexuals)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the presence of characteristics of both sexes in a dioecious organism. These characteristics are not fully developed, that is, they are of intermediate character and are manifested jointly in the same parts of the body. The embryonic development of such an organism, which is called an intersex, begins normally, but from a certain moment it proceeds according to the pattern of the other sexual type. The earlier the organism’s direction of development changes, the more sharply expressed is its intersexuality. Several types of intersexuality are distinguished.

Zygotic, or genetically conditioned, intersexuality is the result of deviation from the norm of the set of sex chromosomes and genes, which are predetermined at the moment of fertilization, when the gametes were combined in the zygote. Depending on the type of disorder, one may distinguish triploid (or aneuploid) intersexuality, which is produced by a deviation from the norm in the number of chromosomes in the zygote, and diploid intersexuality, which is caused by a disruption of the interrelationship of the genes that are brought to the zygote. Triploid (aneuploid) intersexuality was first studied in Drosophila. It was shown that in Drosophila intersexes the interrelationship between the number of sex chromosomes and autosomes is disrupted; the degree of intersexuality of the individual is determined by the chromosome (or gene) balance—that is, by the ratio of the number of sex chromosomes to the number of autosomes (and the sex-determining genes included in them).

The various forms of intersexuality, or so-called pseudohermaphroditism, found in humans are also caused by a disruption of the normal number of sex chromosomes. Depending on which of the chromosomes determining (respectively) the male or female sex are found in excess, one distinguishes “male” or “female” pseudohermaphroditism. Diploid intersexuality is observed in the gypsy moth after the interbreeding of various geographic races. Depending on the type of interbreeding, the intersexuality is noted either in the females or the males. Since in such cases no disruption of the normal number of chromosomes has been discovered, the German biologist R. Goldschmidt put forward the theory in 1912 of the varying “strength” of the genes that determine sex in different races (possibly determined by the qualitative differences in alleles or by the presence of other sex-determining genes).

Hormonal intersexuality is observed in animals, in which the sex glands secrete female or male sex hormones that determine the development of the secondary sex characteristics. When such an animal is castrated and the gonads of the other sex are transplanted to it, a respective masculinization or feminization occurs—that is, the animal becomes an intersex. Similar phenomena are observed in the so-called parasitic castration of crustaceans (found, for example, in the crab Inachus, which is parasitized by the cirripede Sacculina).


Miasoedov, S. V. Iavleniia razmnozheniia i pola v organicheskom mire. Tomsk, 1935.
Ryzhkov, V. L. Genetika pola. Kharkov, 1936.
Liberman, L. L. Vrozhdennye narusheniia polovogo razvitiia. Leningrad, 1966.
Goldschmidt, R. Die sexuellen Zwischenstufen. Berlin, 1931.
Die Intersexualität. Edited by C. Overzier. Stuttgart, 1961.
Ashley, D. J. Human Intersex. Edinburgh-London, 1962.
Teter, I. Gormonalńye narušenija u mužčin i ženščin. Warsaw, 1968;


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Morgan Holmes (2008, 64) reflexiona sobre la responsabilidad inherente al doble rol academico-activista en una investigacion sobre experiencias de personas intersexuales, desde el cuestionamiento de "intentar abrir sus/ nuestras vidas, permitiendo una aun mayor curiosidad voyerista y academica de acceder a los cuerpos ya sobreaccedidos de las personas intersex".
Within the Greco-Roman tradition, the intersexual and the transsexual have their own foundation myths that explore the origins of the organization of sexual identity in ways that have implications for the present and future of our own societies.
E nesse sentido, alguns estudos tem analisado tal satisfacao a partir da vivencia intersexual, incluindo o conhecimento, aceitacao e satisfacao quanto: a condicao intersexual, o tratamento e o desempenho sexual (Meyer-Bahlburg et al., 1996; Morgan, Murphy, Lacey & Conway, 2005; Schober, 1999b).
While the divide was never clear, as intersexuals have always existed, the rapid growth of transsexual sex changes will perhaps provide the critical mass necessary to alter the ways in which sex as a biological reality is considered.
That is one estimate of the number of intersexuals (Fausto-Sterling, 51).
Today the ethical considerations, based on recent research and new information from intersexuals, might favor the parents' decision to do nothing and wait.
A heterogeneous group, Type III intersexuals may have either XX or XY chromosomes, or even a mosaic expression with some cells containing XX chromosomes and others XY.
"All intersexuals are now asking," notes Dreger, "is to be treated according to the same ethical principles as everybody else" (p.
Even within heterosexuality, a rich array of sexual practices is reduced to vaginal penetration."[22] Not surprisingly, feminists and intersexuals have invariably objected to these presumptions that there is a "right" way to be a male and a "right" way to be a female, and that children who challenge these categories should be reconstructed to fit into (and thereby reinforce) them.
Kessler shows that researchers' depictions of the ugly, obtrusive "big" clitoris, and the doomed, heartbreaking "tiny" penis do not reflect the attitudes of untreated adult intersexuals, but always those of professionals who seem revulsed by deviance and stimulated by the challenge to "restore" normalcy.
According to this logic, intersexuals are deceived not simply because they can't handle the truth, but because deception is thought to be a necessary part of the treatment.