Cosmetic Genital Surgery, Genital Integrity, Human Rights Violations, Intersex Awareness, Intersex Traits, Questions and Answers, Self-Determination

Eight Names for the SAME thing: Penis, Phallus, Clitoris, Phalloclitoris, Micropenis, Microphalus, Clitoromegaly and Pseudo-Penis.

Few realize this simple scientific fact: In the developing fetus, the same spot that develops into a typical clitoris or penis is called the Genital Tubercle.  As you can see below, the genitals are very much the same in appearance from 9 to 11 weeks gestation.  Below, I  share pictures for “Baby 2 See“.  Baby 2 See shows how similar the genitals are in fetal development.    Unless you have a very rare form of intersex, where no reproduction parts or gonads develop at all.  As you can clearly see below, it is a myth that all embryos start out as female.  We literally appear the same, but without the development of gonads (ovaries, testicles, or both), at this point.  The physical body at this point is very neutral and neither male or female.

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Above Images Borrowed from: Baby 2 See

Below, to show the similarities of these two structures,  I will share the picture of a typically developed clitoris and a penis:

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 Along with a glands and outer top, The typical clitoris has two sides, that wrap around the vaginal and urethral opening.   In many ways, it is just an internal penis.  Here is a typical penis, showing that it, too, is two-sided.  But this time these two sides have merged together, to form the shaft of the penis, instead of splitting in two like a wishbone.  The photo below borrowed from the article:  The Still-Misunderstood Shape of the Clitorislead_720_405

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As you can see both the clitoris and the penis have a Corpus Cavenosum or Copora Cavenosa (same thing) and a glans (the head).  The head of both, are known to have the same number of nerve endings (unless of course a person is circumcised, or undergoes clitoral reduction, or amputation).   On their own and without medical intervention, one is not superior over the other.  Making one superior to the other is a cultural invention.  You can read more about the clitoris here:  The Still-Misunderstood Shape of the Clitoris.

Both the penis and the clitoris can become erect, engorged with blood, and sexually aroused.  Obviously, one becomes erect to the outside world, for penetration.  While the clitoris becomes erect, internally with its outer glands,  for its normal sexual function.  

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As you can see above, the penis and the clitoris are very similar.

The above photo is borrowed from Free Global University: Penis Vagina

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Wikipedia.org Penile-Clitoral Structure

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Picture borrowed from: Med Scape: Corporal bodies of the penis.

White Genital Sculptures: Vielma Art www.vielma.at
Vielma Art: http://www.vielma.at

When does the name of a Genital Tubercle change?

Here is what happens with the development of the Genital Tubercle in some forms of intersex:

With intersex, there are eight names for the same thing.  The name mostly dependent on the gender of the person and what “authorities” or “medical experts” decide.  The naming of this part is very subjective and often even based on “expert” opinion.

Both the clitoris and the penis,  have the capability to orgasm as normal sexual function.  I repeat to make a point, that these two structures (the clitoris and penis) develop from the SAME SPOT in a developing fetus (the genital tubercle).

In some people with intersex variations, the name of this SAME structure, the Genital Tubercle, in their developing fetus, at birth can later be named:  

  1. Penis
  2. Phallus
  3. Clitoris
  4. Phaloclitoris
  5. Micropenis
  6. Microphallus
  7. Clitoromegaly   
  8. Pseudo-Penis 

These differences in humans are naturally occurring and are NOT a defect.  Intersex variations are as common as redheads.  That is as common as 1 in 1500 births (if not possibly more).   The United Nations statistics indicate that Intersex effects 1.7% of the world’s population.  If the world’s population is 7.6 Billion, this would mean 129 million people are born intersex.  We are not “rare”.  

The Prader Scale: Image borrowed from: Intersex Roadshow and Emerick, 2012.

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The above diagram shows the Prader Scale of virilization of some forms of intersex.  Sad to say, all too often an infant’s  body born with a vagina, and who are also prader 1 to prader 4, they are called a “disorder”, or a “psychosocial emergency”.  Surgery is often done to correct the “problem”.   In our past, culture used to celebrate the birth of such a child. Needless to say, now in many cultures, this is called a “curse”.

Pseudo-Penis: A word used by Scientists

Pseudo-penis is a word that is used by scientists who are describing what they label “females” in the animal kingdom that have a penis like structure. Pseudo means false. This word ‘pseudo-penis’ is used to describe the penis seen in ‘female’ Hyenas, spider monkeys, and other species assumed to be ‘female’ who have one. I put ‘female’ in air quotes to make the point that what we are looking at is an intersex variation. The way that I see it these scientists are missing the actual sex here; the sex could be considered “intersex” and not “female.” I also doubt if these animals who have a penis think it is a false penis. Conflating sex with gender is once again a problem if we look at these animals as all girls just because they have ovaries and a uterus. The animal can not  voice their gender identity, if animals even have such a thing.

Why would these variations to the genital tubercle happen?

One cause of this form of intersex is Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia.  Another cause for growth could be Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (and there are different degrees to PCOS).  A third is that the person is taking, or being exposed to androgens, or testosterone.  This can happen to some transgender men even.  There are even more, causes like Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, both partial and complete, in a fetus, and other intersex variations.  Bottom line, the growth of the genital tubercle can grow to appear almost like a penis, and this can occur during fetal development, adolescence, or with exposure to androgens at any time in life.



THE WALL OF VAGINA:

Here is an interesting art exhibition (The Great Wall of Vagina) created to demonstrate the vast variety of people out there.  Some of these vaginas belong to women, and they say some belong to transgender men.   So just imagine the changes an intersex person can be born with, that are not shown on this wall.  The reason why they are not seen, nowadays, likely because very few intersex people are saved from “normalizing” surgeries.  Please note these vaginas are only is a reflection of external anatomy, and doesn’t share what is anatomically going on inside of that person.  For example: If one of these vaginas belonged to an XY intersex woman with androgen insensitivity, they could have internal testis.



Hypospadias

Last, there are also forms of intersex where the urethral opening does not always develop at the tip of the penis.  This is known as Hypospadias.  The urethra can occur anywhere on the shaft of the penis.   These babies often undergo surgery to simply be able to stand to pee, and for their penis look the model of “perfection”.   Which often leads to a lifetime of surgeries, pain, and suffering.   You can read more about Hypospadias at Intersex Roadshow: Hypospadias:  Intersexuality and Gender Politics.   In the video below you can hear  Tiger Devore, Ph.D., talk about his life story.  He has survived the horrific consequences of doctors fixing their hypospadias condition, simply so he could stand to pee:  Tiger Devore, Ph.D.: The Interface Project.

Here is a diagram of the different types of Hypospadias:

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Picture borrowed from Intersex Roadshow.


I will end this blog with

The Problem of HUMAN CULTURE

The biggest problem with human culture right now, and with the medical community,  is that we are considering these harmless natural variations of the human body as wrong.  And then they label these natural variations a  pathology, defect, syndrome, or a disorder.  So, at the birth of an intersex baby, this causes great social anxiety for the doctors and parents.  That leads to these natural variations undergoing unnecessary, damaging cosmetic genital surgeries.

Truth is, natural variations of the human body do not need “fixed”, and cosmetic surgery should never happen to a non-consenting child or person.

Once again, I also mention that gender has nothing to do with our genitals.  So it is a tragedy all around if they raise us the wrong gender, simply because our genitals did not live up to these perfect standards of “normal”.  When in reality, no one appears the same below.  Gender is like one’s personality, it cannot, nor can it ever be created by surgery.

There are thousands of intersex people, in this world, who are NOT happy about the medical and surgical interventions that have happened to them.  Can society change culture to allow the existence of intersex people again?  I think so.  

It is time to stop the genital mutilations of intersex babies.  It is time to end cultural dysphoria and to end the torture.  These ten human rights organizations say it is time to give self-determination to the intersex child and wait and see if they need surgery or not when they group up.  


A HUGE Thank you to Vielma for helping me to educate this world!

Human Genital Diversity is beautiful!  Vielma Captures this in her sculptures.


Stand To Pee

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Fix Society with Angel Feather

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My TEDx: “Born Intersex: We are Human!”

I am Proudly the First in Colorado to get an Intersex Birth Certificate

United Nations’ INTERSEX Fact Sheet

STOP! Surgery Does Not Create an Intersex Baby’s Gender

The FEMALE PENIS and the MALE VAGINA; and explaining this to our children

Poem: Why do I feel like A VISITING ALIEN?


Articles by others:

What’s more sensitive than a clitoris? By deviwardtantra|June 22nd, 2014

9 Interesting Things You May Not Know About the Clitoris written by Chiara Laurie Kinkly | February 11, 2013

12 Amazing Facts About The Clitoris 06/27/2015 02:22 |Updated Jun 27, 2016

~.V.~

20 thoughts on “Eight Names for the SAME thing: Penis, Phallus, Clitoris, Phalloclitoris, Micropenis, Microphalus, Clitoromegaly and Pseudo-Penis.”

  1. Have you ever considered writing a children’s book about being intersex? I’ve never been able to find one and it is definitely a need! That and an addendum to sex Ed books about intersex bodies, development, and function.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. No child should have to undergo genital mutilation. Female, Male or Intersex. Period. There are zero health benefits to putting a knife to an infant or child’s genitals.

    Liked by 1 person

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