In some true hermaphrodites the testis and the ovary grow separately but bilaterally, in others they grow together within the same organ, forming an ovo-testis. Not infrequently, at least one of the gonads functions quite well, producing either sperm cells or eggs, as well as functional levels of the sex hormones, androgens or estrogens. Although in theory it might be possible for a true hermaphrodite to become both father and mother to a child, in practice the appropriate ducts and tubes are not configured so that egg and sperm can meet. Pseudohermaphrodites, on the other hand, possess two gonads of the same kind along with the usual male (XY) or female (XX) chromosomal makeup. But their external genitalia and secondary sex characteristics do not match their chromosomes. Thus merms have testes and XY chromosomes, yet they also have a vagina and a clitoris, and at puberty they often develop breasts. They do not menstruate, however. Ferms have ovaries, two X chromosomes and sometimes a uterus, but they also have at least partly masculine external genitalia. Without medical intervention they can develop beards, deep voices and adult-size penises. (Fausto-Sterling, Anne, professor. The Five Sexes: Why Male and Female Are Not Enough. The Sciences March/April 1993, p. 20-24.)

Hermaphrodites are defined as true bisexuals: one active ovary and one active testis. Theoretically they could impregnate themselves, but are usually raised as either girls or as boys. (Durden-Smith, Jo, and Diane deSimone. Sex and the Brain. p 90-186. NY: Arbor House Publishing, 1983.)

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