OF BIOLOGICAL SEX: FEMALE, MALE, OR INTERSEX?
CRITERIA FOR DETERMINING THE SEX OF A HUMAN BEING
This chapter adapts the 7 criteria of John
Money from Venuses Penuses:
Sexology, Sexosophy, & Exigency Theory, Ch.12; The Adam Principle,
The 7 criteria for determining one’s sex are presented in developmental
1. CHROMOSOMAL SEX (XX, XY, or other)
If a fertilized egg has an XX sex-chromosome,
it will produce a female.
If a fertilized egg has an XY sex-chromosome,
it will produce a male.
If a fertilized egg has some other pattern of
it will produce an individual with some ambiguity of biological
Over 70 unusual patterns of sex-chromosomes have been identified
—along with the abnormalities they create.
The pattern of sex-chromosomes in the DNA of each individual
determines the other biologically-given sex-characteristics.
Some unusual patterns of sex-chromosomes result in individuals
who are nevertheless easily classified as either female or male.
2. GONADAL TISSUE (OVARIES or TESTES)
The first sexual structures produced by the
are the gonads—ovaries for females and testes for males.
These two kinds of tissue develop from a common source;
and sometimes the differentiation toward the male structure
(if the fetus is genetically male) is incomplete,
which results in ambiguous sexual structures.
And because the gonads are responsible for the hormones
that govern the rest of the sexual differentiation from female to male,
the differentiation might not be complete in some genetic
When everything develops according to the
normal females grow ovaries; and normal males grow testes.
3. HORMONAL SEX (ESTROGEN or TESTOSTERONE)
Before birth, the fetal gonads begin producing
that determine the other sex-characteristics of the fetus.
Normally ovaries produce mostly estrogens;
or testes produce mostly testosterone.
But sometimes the target tissues (normally shaped by these
are insensitive to them or some other hormonal problem occurs,
which results in babies of ambiguous sex or intersex.
4 VARIATIONS OF SEX & GENDER: SIX
PHENOMENONA FREQUENTLY CONFUSED by James Park