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5ARD5-Alpha-Reductase Deficiency
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Gilbert Herdt has argued that what we see here is not so much a case of mistaken sex as a culture with a "third sex"; that the transition from female to male was unproblematic not because of male biology and a laissez faire attitude toward sexual identity, as the U.S researchers assumed, but because the local Dominican Republic culture into which these children were born recognizes a third-sex category: guevedoce.[3] Not all cultures code for two sexes the way Western cultures do, and in the areas of the Dominican Republic where 5-alpha-reductase deficiency is common, "the villagers have more than a simple word for hermaphrodite; they have a triadic sexual code" (p.
The issue dividing us and the Navajo, as Clifford Geertz suggests in one of his more dazzling turns, is one of commonsense judgments, our untutored, no-nonsense, matter-of-fact attitudes toward the world.[6] It isn't just that what the Navajo call nadleeh we call hermaphrodites or transvestites, or that what certain Dominican Republic villagers call guevedoce we call (some of us, anyway) 5-alpha-reductase deficiency syndrome.
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