Difference between Transgender and Hermaphrodite

Key Difference: A transgender is a person who wishes to be considered as a member of the opposite sex. On the other hand, a hermaphrodite is a person who has both male and female reproductive organs.

Transgender people may identify as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, polysexual, or asexual. It does not apply to any particular form of sexual orientation. Transgender is a state in which a person’s gender identity does not match with his/her physical sex. In this state, a person has a strong desire to get transformed into the opposite sex. The Free Dictionary defines transgender as:

  • Appearing as, wishing to be considered as, or having undergone surgery to become a member of the opposite sex.

The term Hermaphrodite defines an organism that has reproductive organs of both males and females. Hermaphrodite organisms can be seen in plants and animals. In humans, hermaphrodite a rare sex anomaly. A hermaphrodite has both ovarian as well as testicular tissue. Hermaphrodites have sex chromosomes showing male-female mosaicism. This means, a hermaphrodite individual has both the male XY and female XX chromosome pairs.

The differences between transgender and hermaphrodite are as follows:





A state where a person identifies oneself by gender orientation and not as a member of a community.

A person who has both male and female reproductive organs.


  • People who do not identify exclusively with either gender.
  • Cross-dressers.
  • Pre-operative, post-operative and non-operative transsexuals who generally feel they were born into the wrong physical body.
  • Others who feel they do not fit our society’s usual expectations of gender behavior or appearance.
  • Intersex persons.

People who have both ovarian and testicular tissue.

Applies to

Any sexual orientation; heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, polysexual, or asexual; and both the genders.

All the sexual orientations. Gender of hermaphrodites cannot be declared as they have reproductive organs of both males and females. They are usually raised in a particular gender, often chosen by their parents.


As gender is so outwardly visible; transgender people who are transitioning may be vulnerable to discrimination, and will have a strong need for the support of family and friends.

They face a lot of discrimination by other people. In fact, employment is not provided to hermaphrodites in many countries.

Sexual Relations

There is no particular sexual or gender orientation, so they can have sexual relationships with any person of their desire. Generally, sexual relationships are carried out with the original gender of the person. Example, a transgender male gets transformed into a female by the way of surgery. Now, the person being a female will have sexual relations with a male.

Hermaphrodite is a person with both male and female reproductive organs. Hence, they can have sexual relationship with both the sexes; depending upon their individual preference.


Like the rest of the population, there is a range of sexual orientations within the transgender community; and conceiving depends on the sexual orientation of a couple that can be natural or medical.

Many times hermaphrodites conceive with the help of ovarian tissue. However, if the dominance of testicular tissue is more, it becomes difficult from them to conceive. At last, they may have to treat themselves medically.


Transformation of transgender people is legalized in many countries but still there are a number of countries that doesn’t allow transformation of genders.

Legalization is allowed for the transformation of hermaphrodites into a particular sex in many countries. However, there is are large number of countries that do not allow such transformations.

Image Courtesy: queerstoryfiles.blogspot.com, commons.wikimedia.org

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