London, Apr 21 (ANI): In a new study, led by an Indian-origin researcher, scientists claim to have discovered a new gender of humans that is neither male nor female.
It leaves those with the condition sensing 'phantom genitalia' of the opposite sex.
A group of people with the previously undiagnosed 'alternating gender incongruity' (AGI) said they can switch involuntarily from male to female and vice versa instantly.
"The majority of bigender individuals experience phantom breasts or genitalia corresponding to the non-biologic gender when they are in a trans-gender state," the Daily Mail quoted the astonishing survey by a respected neuroscientist.
Vilayanur Ramachandran, director of the Center for Brain and Cognition at the University of California, San Diego, and student Laura Case, interviewed 32 people from an online bi-gender forum for their study.
"If I'm in male mode and I see someone crying, I'll think more along the lines of "Man up..." while if I'm in girl mode I'll think more long the lines of "Oh sweety"," the Huffington Post quoted one of those affected by the condition as telling the researchers.
"I sometimes wake up thinking I have a penis or that I have no breasts," another female respondent said.
"I usually end up in tears and I can't get out of bed because once I get up I'll know for sure it's not really true and it's just my mind playing tricks on me, so I just lie there and cry.
"It's strange though because I normally don't even want to have a penis," she said.
Of those surveyed - 11 of whom were women, 21 men - about a third said that gender switching was predictable.
A majority said they switched weekly and 14 said the transformation occurred once or more a day.
The authors said their preliminary study found that "between the two extreme ends of human sexuality - male and female - lie a poorly understood and poorly studied spectrum of ambiguously defined sexual identities that are very much a part of the human condition but defy rigid classification".
"These results are suggestive but not conclusive," Ramachandran said.
"We need to rule out the possibility that this is just a variant of dissociative identity disorder (multiple personality disorder) or the subjects are simply "role-playing".
"Without the "smoking gun"- physical evidence in the form of fluctuating hormone levels or brain imaging data - we don't know what we are dealing with.
"It's something we are currently working on," he added. (ANI)
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