"Our history suggests that we haven't always imagined that humans come in only two sexes, and that things far removed from what we might call facts have played major roles in determining our thoughts about sex. Even today, several human societies believe in more than two sexes. In truth, humans come in an amazing number of forms, because human development, including human sexual development, is not an either/or proposition. Instead, between 'either' and 'or' there is an entire spectrum of possibilities."
Thus begins a new book by Gerald N. Callahan, Ph. D. called: "BETWEEN XX AND YY: Intersexuality and the Myth of Two Sexes."
This book is particularly timely considering the controversy raging right now over Caster Semenya, track star from South Africa, who gender tests have revealed has both male and female organs.
Nine years ago, in preparation for a class I was teaching on sexuality and the variations of sexual identity, I was quite startled to find in my research that large numbers of infants were born hermaphroditic, with both male and female genitals. Even more shocking, however, was the fact that as a matter of course, doctors would decide, sometimes with, sometimes without parental knowledge, which gender the child "should" be, and would surgically alter the child to fit the mold of one gender or another.
I won't go into here the scandalous, downright and utter evil of such an action on the part of medical practitioners, literally altering our evolution. Ugh! The list of crimes by doctors just keeps growing exponentially, but that's not what this entry is about.
The question that was raised for me back in 2000, when I taught that class, was if hermaphroditism is a common variation in gender make-up, genetically and anatomically, then where are we heading in our evolution as human beings?
"Oneness" is understood in most spiritual practices as the place towards which we are heading in our spiritual evolution. And it is likewise understood that oneness with all others must first begin with oneness with ourselves, that all aspects of ourselves must ultimately become integrated, like the Yin and the Yang. Wouldn't it follow then, since the physical always follows the spiritual, that in an ultimate state of physical oneness, we would be neither male nor female, but male and female. In other words, might we be evolving towards a kind of hermaphroditic unity as a species?
Imagine the shifts that would occur if we all could know what it truly feels like to be both man and woman, if we could all experience the masculine outward "thrusting" energy and the feminine "receptive" energy, simultaneously, within ourselves. Imagine if we could all bear children and experience motherhood and fatherhood!
Anyway, just thought I'd throw something provocative out there to think about on a sleepy Saturday morning to get your juices flowing.