Mike Ko Personal Portfolio


Home-School Education
Hong Kong

University of Durham
Bachelor of Science
United Kingdom

2017 - 2018
United Kingdom

    Crumbling Gender Boundaries from Surgical Advances

         Gender reassignments are becoming somewhat less frowned upon as Western societies acceptance of transgender people slowly grow. The hormone treatments and reassignment surgeries that aid these transitions can now recreate the desired external human anatomy with fairly decent results. Aspects related to sexual function, however, are generally harder to replicate. Transgender people who have gone under the knife are still waiting for the day they can get the complete set of functional sex organs and characteristics of their desired gender.

         Whether this surgical feat is actually possible is unknown, but there are signs that we may be inching our way towards achieving it. Consider the case of a transgender woman who has successfully breastfed her partner’s baby after receiving a specialised hormone treatment in America. Previously a man, she produced enough milk to healthily feed her baby for six weeks. While this is admittedly a change in secondary sexual characteristics, it does show that certain biological functions can be induced. Perhaps one day further advances will allow for full reconstructions? Our current understanding of gender, which has already grown vague, may become even more fluid.

         This prospect leaves us with the obvious question of just how far we should take this? Should we respect the wishes of transgender people and allow them to fully transform into the other sex (or even a mix of sexes)? Or do we need to avoid ‘messing with nature’? It is probably safe to say that nobody has worked out the ethics or even the core aspects of the issue. Indeed, the current debate around the issue sometimes resembles a battle between raw innate instinct and liberal thought. So it is just as well that we have a long way to go before humanity can attain full gender fluidity.


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