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ⓘ Hermaphrodite is a term which comes from Hermaphroditus, the son of Hermes and Aphrodite. It is used as a scientific term in biology. In zoology, an animal whic ..




Hermaphrodite
                                     

ⓘ Hermaphrodite

Hermaphrodite is a term which comes from Hermaphroditus, the son of Hermes and Aphrodite. It is used as a scientific term in biology.

In zoology, an animal which can produce both sperm and ova is a hermaphrodite. As an example, most earthworms are hermaphrodites. A simultaneous hermaphrodite has both sets of sex organs throughout life. A sequential hermaphrodite has ovaries at first, replaced by a testis later, or the other way round.

In botany, hermaphrodite is used for complete flowers with both male and female parts, and for plants which have bisexual reproductive units. See flowering plant sexuality for details.

With people, the term hermaphrodite is not correct, because true functioning hermaphrodites are not possible in humans. What sometimes happens is errors in development which lead to intersex persons. A definition of intersex is:

". individuals of a bisexual species that have characteristics intermediate between the male and female".

People who are intersex may have a very small penis and no testicles, or a very small and short vagina and a large clitoris that looks like a penis.