As medical experts dig deeper into the world of sexual orientation and gender identity, their research expands this field of knowledge in ways that are nothing less than bizarre. Case in point is the work of Dr. Vilayanur Ramachandran, Director of the Centre for Brain and Cognition at the University of California, San Diego, who claims to have discovered a new gender which is neither male nor female, but bi-gender.
The condition identified by Dr. Ramachandran, called “alternating gender incongruity” or AGI, occurs when people involuntarily switch between male and female. Individuals with AGI experience phantom breasts or genitalia of the opposite sex, according to the highly respected neuroscientist.
His study considered 32 people who registered on an online bi-gender forum, 11 women and 21 men. One-third of the group said their gender switching was predictable; a majority switched weekly while 14 others said they switched once or more daily.
Dr. Ramachandran said that his findings to date indicate that between the extremes of male and female is a “spectrum of a poorly understood and poorly studied group of ambiguously defined sexual identities that are very much part of the human condition.”
He did, however, caution that his results are suggestive, but not conclusive of his theory, and that he still needs to rule out multiple personality disorder or role-playing by his research subjects and ascertain whether there are biological indicators present, such as fluctuating hormone levels.
His research also revealed that those with AGI had a tendency to ambidexterity and bipolar disorder. Nonetheless, while admitting that more work is required, scientists are pushing for a new category of transgender or neuropsychiatric condition.
Ryan Wigley, age 22, also known as Ria Wigley, describes to The Mirror, a British publication, what it feels like to be bi-gender:
”It hit me that I was two genders, it’s so confusing…
“I have to guess which I’ll be the next morning to plan my day. I try to work out how I feel the night before.
“If I feel more feminine I’ll have a shower and set my alarm earlier so I have time to get ready.
“If I feel like a girl several days in a row, the upkeep is hard. I need to shave my face, chest and legs every day, wash my hair and keep my make-up in place.
“I feel like I prefer to be female but I’m much more relaxed in what I look like when I feel like a man.”
Ryan/Ria has an understanding girlfriend who accommodates his dual gender identity. Speaking of confusion, I can only imagine how baffled his acquaintances, friends and workmate are!
The medical exploration of strange phenomenon is nothing new for Dr. Ramachandran who earlier investigated “synaesthesia”, a condition affecting millions, where one’s senses are intermingled; people can taste words, hear colours and feel sounds.
Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang