Friday, February 25, 2011

The Hermaphrodite: Mokhoda

Mokhoda, age 22, a low class Bengali Hindu, was admitted in the Campbell Hospital on 13th November, 1904. In deportment, the patient was shy and modest. She gave me the impression that she has some secret to reveal, but was not at all communicative. With some coaxing, I obtained the following facts from her. She has no friends or relatives and lives by working as a maid-servant in a Bengali household. She was married as a girl, at the age of nine. The husband, however, died in two years. She never lived with her husband. There was never anything like menstruation. She complained of some irritation about the genitals and said, that, with the slightest provocation “that thing” (pointing her finger towards the small penis-like body) troubled her. She wanted something done to relieve her...After a few days stay in the hospital, during which time I managed to get the photographs, I amputated the penis and also extirpated the genital gland from the left labium majus. The latter on microscopical examination proved to be a testis. She left the hospital after a few days, happier than before and absolutely believing herself to be a woman...

Story Continues...


  1. 1599, for example, at the very end of the sixteenth century, there is a case of the punishment of someone convicted as a hermaphrodite apparently without anything else being involved other than the fact of being a hermaphrodite. It was someone called Antide Collas, denounced as a hermaphrodite. He/she lived in Dole and, after examining him/her, the doctors concluded that this individual really had both sexes, but that he/she could only have both sexes because he/she had had relations with Satan and it was this relationship that had added a second sex to his/her orginal sex. When interrogated, the hermaphrodite confessed to having had relations with Satan and was burnt alive in Dole in 1599. It seems that this is one of the last cases in which a hermaphrodite was burnt for being a hermaphrodite.

    Abnormal: Lectures at the College de France, 1974-1975

    By Michel Foucault, Valerio Marchetti, Antonella Salomoni

    Page 67

  2. Throughout the Hellenistic-Roman period, hermaphrodites were depicted on gems, vases and mural paintings, and references to hermaphrodites can be found in the works of the Greek and Roman historians Herodotus and Pliny. The first medical writings attempting to detail actual case histories appeared in the 16th century. However, until late in the Middle Ages, human hermaphrodites were considered monsters.

    In affected individuals ovaries and testicles are both present, and the external genitalia and internal reproductive structures are highly variable in form. There may be both ovarian and testicular tissue on one side and either an ovary or a testis on the other; or ovaries and testes may be on both sides (bilateral).

    Affected individuals have often been diagnosed in early infancy as the result of efforts to determine their sex in cases of Ambiguous Genitalia. Diagnosis is made by a variety of methods, including physical examination, endocrine studies, karyotyping and a variety of imaging techniques involving the genitals and reproductive system. Gynecomastia develops in about 80% of affected individuals.

    True hermaphroditism is rare in humans; little more than 525 cases have been documented. Much more common are conditions of ambiguous genitalia in which individuals appear to be of indeterminate gender, due to lack of development of external genitalia, such as pseudohermaphroditism, a form of ambiguous genitalia with the presence of only a single type of gonadal tissue.

    The term hermaphrodite is falling into disfavor, as it is felt to be stigmatizing and clinically problematic; the term intersex is preferred.

    Page 200

    The Encyclopedia of Genetic Disorders and Birth Defects

    By James Wynbrandt, Mark D. Ludman

  3. If you are reading a article about a person who had or want a sex change operation and they mention a doctor telling them that they have one of the Syndromes listed below, please understand that that person was born as a hermaphrodite.

    Five varieties of pseudohermaphrodites:

    Turner’s Syndrome
    Klinefelter’s Syndrome
    Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome
    Fetally Androgenized Females
    DHT-deficient Males

  4. This is interesting story, Nicely post I am very impressive in this post.

  5. Its about time a lady with guts and an open mind such as yourself encourages everybody to be true to themselves!

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