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Gender Bender Nasal Passage Discovered ::

Reported by Tristan Ingram on January 3, 2008

A new study by Harvard scientists published in August suggested that some mammals’ sexual orientation and behaviour is determined by an organ in their nose, called the vomeronasal organ.

"These results are flabbergasting," study author Professor Catherine Dulac told United Press, "Nobody had imagined that a simple mutation like this could induce females to behave so thoroughly like males."

The Harvard biologists said the organ is found in ‘all terrestrial vertebrates except higher primates’ and claimed humans don’t possess it (though numerous websites disagree), suggesting the phrase ‘cutting off his nose to spite his face’ might be inappropriate for British builder Howard Shelley who made the papers in the same week by castrating himself.

Reportedly frustrated with the two year waiting list for gender reassignment surgery, Mr Shelley downloaded instructions from the net on DIY castrations and carried them out with a kitchen knife in his loo.

"It was very painful, but the moment I cut them off I felt all woman,” Howard told the Sun, “The worst bit was steeling myself for the first cut. The whole thing took six minutes. It was agony, but I knew I couldn't stop."

Howard returned to work 3 days later calling herself Holli and told the tabloid she was hoping to save up for additional TV surgery in Thailand.

Sharp/ Nose Links: (Human Vomeronasal Organ . . .’) (‘A function for the human VNO has been both dismissed with ridicule and averred with conviction. This question of VNO function has been needlessly tied to the separate question of whether there is any place for pheromone communication among humans, a topic that is itself bogged down in conflicting definitions . . .’) (Long-Term Consequences of Castration in Men . . . includes VERY SQUEAMISH PICTURES!!!!!!) (‘The Skoptzy, the Russian sect of the castrated: ‘A sect in Russia, which began this practice in 1757, and which continues to the present day, is described. Proselytizing among unsuspecting peasants, the leaders of this sect promised converts that redemption would follow mutilation. The underlying motivation for castration was that sexuality led to damnation . . .’)