February 13, 2004
Psych Class: Neutered 
Last night, my Loyola psychology class viewed a five-minute videotaped interview with "Toby," a genetically neuter person.

Toby was not a hermaphrodite - an individual having both male and female genitalia in some form - but a true neuter, born with neither male or female gonads, and had no secondary sex characteristics to speak of.

Lacking both androgenic and estrogenic hormones, Toby's appearance was generally what you or I would consider "female," but his/her facial structure and voice had a slightly male 'edge' resembling that of some M-F transgendered individuals. S/he also self-reported to be completely lacking a sex drive throughout life. (Our language at this time simply does not have a pronoun that will adequately and respectfully refer to a gender-neutral person) Toby did not desire fitting into the role of either "man" or "woman," an successfully fought a lengthy legal battle to be declared neuter on 'her' birth certificate (in Kansas, of all places), something that must have taken far more courage and intestinal fortitude than I can imagine. Here is an actual, out-loud conversation three students had after we watched the tape:

"You know who I think is a neuter? Michael Jackson!" said a young lady, who happened to be African-American.

One (Caucasian) wiseacre quipped, "Are you kidding? He has sex with all those kids. And monkeys!" The overcrowded classroom erupted in nervous laughter.

"He's the King of Pop, for God's Sake!!' yelled another goateed, bespectacled young man who appeared to have sprung from a Los Bros Hernandez page, fingers adorned with no less than eight bulky silver rings.

There's nothing like sex - of the threatened lack thereof - to bring out the inner adolescent in people...

posted by Lenka Reznicek  [link] | |

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February 13, 2004
Psych Class: Neutered by Lenka Reznicek



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