Male plus Female - Hermaphrodism in Humans

Published: 06th August 2010
Views: N/A

Unique by nature; hermaphrodite is a species that is found in both human, animal and plant world. Such hermaphrodite species is the one that contains both male and the female reproductive system. Flowers that produce both sperms and eggs are the best example of such species.

Biological Features

In biological terms, hermaphrodite is a living being that has both male and female reproductive organs. Enabling a rare form of sexual reproduction where the partners can both act as male or female, hermaphrodism is most prominent among pulmonate snails. At the same time it is also present in various other life forms on the earth.

Hermaphrodism in Humans

People with ambiguous genitalia as well as gonadal mosicism are considered hermaphrodite by species. Such hermaphrodites may have sequential or simultaneous hermaphrodites. In sequential form the individual is born in one sex but subsequently changes to other sex. Simultaneous hermaphrodites on the other hand contain fully functional male as well as female gonads.

Sequential Hermaphrodites Types

Broadly speaking the sequential hermaphrodites can be classified into two categories; protandry and protogyny. Protandry is the type of organism where the person is born as male but changes the sex to female. On the other hand the protogyny form of organism starts an s female but thereafter changes his sex to male. An example is the Wrasses where a couple of male morphs exist with the initial or terminal phase male. As initial phase do not look like the males they spawn in group with other females. Terminal phase males have bright coloring. Initial phase male or females can become terminal phase males.

Simultaneous Hermaphrodites Types

Simultaneous, also known as synchronous hermaphrodite is nothing but adult organism that contains both male and female sexual organs but no self fertilization occurs in such cases. Pulmonate land smalls are one of the best examples of such simultaneous hermaphrodites but in case of human beings the occurrence is less common.

Originally the term hermaphrodite was used for describing persons that are incompatible with biological gender binary. Today it is used to explain intersex in medical science. While people with intersex often choose to live as exclusively one sex, sometimes they adopt methods like hormone replacement therapy to merge with their preferred sex.


Jrank is a site that offers exhaustive and educative information on various topics including unique traits relating the health issues like Hermophrodism . You can get valuable insight on hermaphrodites and their types at the science section of the site.

Report this article Ask About This Article


Loading...
More to Explore