What is a hermaphrodite? Well, the term commonly used to describe individuals who have both male and female genitals has changed over the past several years to now be known as intersex conditions. The term hermaphrodite is considered to be outdated because the actual meaning behind it implies a person is both equally male and female, and this fact is simply untrue because it’s not physically possible.
Nowadays, the term intersex is used to describe those who have both male and female genitals, but the shape of the genitals is no longer used to determine whether a person is male of female. In previous years, the genitals played a large role in determining if a person was going to be a male or female.
However, a hermaphrodite is no longer viewed the way they once were. Intersex genital integrity is now used instead of strictly focusing on the genital appearance. This is used for individuals whose genitals don't fit into the common stereotype appearance. In previous years, when a hermaphrodite was born, corrective surgery was used to correct the "defect," but this practice is far less common nowadays.
When a hermaphrodite is born, as few surgeries as possible are conducted, and only performed if it benefits the wellbeing of a patient, not just the appearance. For example, surgery will be conducted if a blocked urethra is present. This practice is much more acceptable now because in the past, a hermaphrodite was most often made a female, which wouldn't always accurately describe who the person truly was as an individual. As a result, the person would suffer years of ridicule, depression and social embarrassment. Because no one likes to feel this way, it's more common for genital correction surgeries to be performed during adult, after a person has decided what gender they wish to be appearance wise.
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