Anybody else heard of this? I just wrote a short research critique on this topic. Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome is a disorder that affects people with XY chromosomal composition (karyotpe). Notice I don't say "males." Either there is a mutation in the testosterone receptors that makes them unable to respond to the hormone, or these subjects lack the receptors completely. In either case, people with AIS develop with female bodies, but male gonads and levels of testosterone that are normal compared to normal men.
So where does this put the person with AIS? Is the person male by virtue of genetic makeup? or is the person female because the the form of the body? How does a person react to their diagnosis -- people with AIS are raised as girls, and often don't find out that they have AIS until puberty when they go to the doctor to figure out why they cannot menstruate. How do people around them respond? What legal quandries arise for people with AIS?
Just something for your brains to chew on. I recall once a long time ago, someone posted about their experiences with AIS in Support Groups, but nothing else was said.
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Actually, I remember something about this showing up in the Vital Signs section of a Discover (magazine) sometime relatively recently (within the last year or two. I have a terrible sense of time.) It is apparently hereditary, as the AIS person in the story came from an area of South America renowned for it, although they (the people living there) didn't know what it was.
Remember that Klinefelter's syndrome involves being XXY... there are definitely mroe than two sexes, but we don't have really adequate words for them, or a good way to separate sex and gender.
------------------ -- Sapphire Cat
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I don't use the term "straight". It implies its opposite is "crooked".
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