Chapter 1. A Brief Description of The Problem
Virtually all societies recognize only two sexes -- male and female. Nature, on the other hand, appears to distribute the characteristics normally associated with being male or female along with our gender identity, (masculine or feminine) in various amounts on a one by one basis. We now know that some people, although assigned one sex at birth based on the shape of their genitalia, (our sex) grow up feeling themselves (i.e. our gender identity) to be that of the other. How can that be and what can we do about it? In this chapter, I try to answer these questions by referring to recent studies in fetal brain development and the complex procedure the embryo goes through in becoming male, female or intersexed and what role that plays in creating a potential state of sex/gender incongruence.