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XX, XY, and the rest

Via MathGeneRation’s blog comes this interesting story from the New Scientist (emphasis added):

A seven-year-old girl with a Y chromosome is providing new clues about a possible “master switch” of maleness.

The girl has the normal chromosome count – 46 – and should be male. Other children who have the male sex chromosome but do not appear to be boys have been found to have gene mutations that temper the Y chromosome’s effects. However this child doesn’t have ambiguous gonads, shrivelled testes or other developmental defects. She instead has a normal vagina, cervix and set of ovaries.

It is situations such as this, and other forms of intersexuality, that show why we should allow any two adults with legal capacity to get married. Under the current situation, it is possible for one jurisdiction to define a person’s gender via (say) their genitalia, and for a different jurisdiction to define a person’s gender through (say) their sex chromosomes. This could result in a situation where a person one sex in one jurisdiction and the opposite sex in another jurisdiction. From a legal standpoint, this is a confusing gray area. Simply allowing any two adults to marry would avoid situations like this.


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