Marriage is between one man and one woman, but what if someone is born a hermaphrodite? Are they allow to marry? And if so, who decides which gender theyre allowed to marry?

You’re referring to intersexed people, and I suspect it depends on the specific situation. There isn’t just one “type of intersexed people.”

At first I thought you were asking whether they could marry themselves. :eek:

Lol. No, another person. What does the Church say about that?

If we’re discussing hypotheticals, how would the church address conjoined twins and marriage?

Good question. I don’t know.

They can’t have kids, right? Therefore, they probably shouldn’t get married. I may be wrong, I dont know what the Church teaches on this subject.

Infertility is not a barrier to marriage. Impotence is.

Oops, I just read that hermaphrodites CAN get pregnant. I guess they can marry men then.

I thought that hermaphrodite could not get pregnant. 0% chance. I thought the same reasoning that was applied to gay men would be applied to hermaphrodites.

The OP may still be referring to biological hermaphrodites which is a specific type of intersex condition. I’m not familiar with the socially inoffensive terms used by individuals to describe themselves so substitute whichever word is agreed upon to refer to humans with hermaphroditism. I would imagine that at least historically true hermaphrodites were refused marriage since in most cases sexual organs are ambiguous or nonfunctioning. I have no doubt that some intersex individuals have historically married, especially in the case of genetic intersex (pseudohermaphroditism) since there’s no way of knowing except through a DNA test or surgically examining internal sex organs.

You’re still missing Sarcelle’s point. The Catholic Church’s position has been that impotence has disqualified individuals from marriage since the subsequent consummation of the marriage is impossible. Infertility doesn’t prevent consummation and so those who are infertile may marry. Whether those with hermaphroditism can get pregnant is irrelevant to whether they may marry in the eyes of the Catholic Church.

I thought that hermaphrodite could not get pregnant. 0% chance. I thought the same reasoning that was applied to gay men would be applied to hermaphrodites.

True hermaphroditism involves ambiguous genitalia and usually the presence of both testicular and ovarian tissues. Fertility ranges are quite wide among individuals, and in any given case societal reaction to the hermaphroditism can impact whether the individual is fertile. Up until the mid-60s it was common practice to surgically assign those with such conditions to a female sex. If the individual was actually chromosomally male or had a preponderance of testicular tissue such that the male gonads were functioning but the female ones were not, then the individual would be infertile (due to the surgical assigning of sex).

So if a hermaphrodite gets his/her/its male genitals cut off, and they can have sex and consummate the marriage, their marriage is recognized by the Church? Is this possible? I’m not too familiar with hermaphrodite anatomy.


Why are people dwelling on this stuff?

Unless you are one, or marry one, it’s not your business!

While you are at it, find out how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Yes, I know, ya made me look too!

Why should we discuss anything? Is that what your asking? Should we not discuss the evil of homosexual sex because we are not gay? Should we not discuss the absurdities of the religion of Islam because we are not Muslim? Hermaphrodite marriage is an interesting topic, and this forum can help people learn about the morality of it. Stop being so darn sensitive.

It sounds like there are all kinds of “hermaphrodites”. I guess if they can find a partner who fits them, let them marry. In a way it is a very private issue.

I have no idea what the Church’s judgements have been (if there are even any) concerning hermaphroditism and marriage. I was merely pointing out that your appeal to fertility is a non sequitur. Whatever the Church’s judgement is I’d assume it has something to do with what she teaches about a perceived ‘inherent sex’ of individuals. Ascertaining the ‘inherent sex’ of an individual may be problematic. I’m not even sure the Catholic Church has come out explicitly and defined what makes males male and females female.

It looks like the term hermaphrodite is considered quite offensive with respect to humans at least, so I think it best that we go with the broader ‘intersex’ label here on out.

In any case, as I mentioned earlier, intersex conditions are highly variable. The anatomy of intersex individuals will be extensively varied and quite confusing given the thousands of molecular variables that give rise to sex characteristics during development.


Hermaphrodite is, as far as I know, the correct term.

Apparently the word is considered outdated and offensive if used to refer to a human whether you’re talking about “true hermaphroditism” or the broader category of inter sex.

While we’re on the topic of defining terms, and since you’re the OP, may I ask you to clarify what you meant by ‘hermaphrodites’ in your first post?

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