Middlesex by Jeffry Eugenides

931 Words Feb 19th, 2018 4 Pages
Middlesex by Jeffry Eugenides is a book about Calliope “Cal” Stephanides. In the beginning of the book, Cal, as he likes to be referred to as, tells us about his condition. Cal has a 5-Alpha-Reductase pseudohermaphrodite which is, simply put, a condition that affects the sexual development of males before the birth of the child and also during puberty. In Middlesex, incestuous marriages were secretly accepted among the villagers which resulted in Cal being conceived by cousins. Before Cal’s birth, the tradition of his family was gender prediction by his grandmother, Desdemona Stephanides. It seemed to be a traditional thing for the family from the Greek roots. When it was time to predict Tessie’s, Cal’s mother, baby, Desdemona declared that the child would be a boy. Milton, Cal’s father, disagreed because there was no way the baby could be a boy scientifically. This could also be based on the fact that Tessie and Milton wanted a baby girl. Until the age of sixteen, Cal was raised as a girl even though he had a male brain biologically.
The fact that Calliope was a child of incest was a huge factor on why he was born with the condition he was born with. 5-Alpha-Reductace, as stated earlier, is a condition in which people are born male but their bodies fail to produce enough dihydrotestosterone (DHT). A shortage of DHT disrupts the formation of external sex organs before birth which is why it is understandable that Cal’s parents raised him as a girl. The thing is,…
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