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Sex change


Additional recommended knowledge

Sex change in animals

Some species are known to change sex, including reproductive functions, in special circumstances, such as the clownfish. A school of clownfish is always built into a hierarchy with a female fish at the top. When she dies, the most dominant male changes sex and takes her place. See Hermaphrodite for more details.

Sex change in humans

Sex Change is a term often used for sex reassignment therapy, that is all medical procedures transgender people may pursue, or specifically to sex reassignment surgery, which usually refers to genital surgery only. It is also sometimes used for the medical procedures intersex people undergo, or, more often, are subjected to as children.

"Sex change" is sometimes also used for the whole process of changing gender role and the medical procedures associated with it. Since changing of gender role, i.e. living as a woman instead of living as a man, or living as a man instead of living as a woman, is much more important to almost all transgendered people than any medical procedures, this use is even more inaccurate. (Of course, medically induced changes and surgeries are often needed to make a change of gender role at all possible, both socially and legally. Also, they can have a very significant impact on the well-being of people having them.)

Many people also see "sex change" as factually inaccurate. [1] Sex in humans is usually determined by four factors:

Not all of these factors can be changed, however:

  • Chromosomes cannot be changed.
  • Gonads can be removed, but not replaced
  • Hormone status is easily changed
  • Existing sex characteristics can to some extent be changed; existing ones mostly through surgery, non-existing ones can be induced to grow through hormones.
    For example: Changing a male genital anatomy into a good or even excellent female appearing and functioning one is complicated, but entirely possible; changing a female genital anatomy into an even reasonably male appearing one however is extremely complicated and not successful very often; function is always limited.

See also: List of transgender-related topics

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Sex_change". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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