“There’s such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why I’m such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn’t be half so interesting.”—L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables (1908)
“You must clear your mind of the fancy with which we all begin as children, that the institutions under which we live are natural, like the weather. They are not. Because they exist everywhere in our little world, we take it for granted that they have always existed and must always exist. That is a dangerous mistake. They are in fact transient makeshifts. Changes that nobody ever believed possible take place in a few generations.”—George Bernard Shaw
South Africa’s apartheid army forced white lesbian and gay soldiers to undergo ‘sex-change’ operations in the 1970s and the 1980s, and submitted many to chemical castration, electric shock, and other unethical medical experiments. Although the exact number is not known, former apartheid army surgeons estimate that as many as 900 forced ‘sexual reassignment’ operations may have been performed between 1971 and 1989 at military hospitals, as part of a top-secret program to root out homosexuality from the service.
Army psychiatrists aided by chaplains aggressively ferreted out suspected homosexuals from the armed forces, sending them discretely to military psychiatric units, chiefly ward 22 of 1 Military Hospital at Voortrekkerhoogte, near Pretoria. Those who could not be ‘cured’ with drugs, aversion shock therapy, hormone treatment, and other radical ‘psychiatric’ means were chemically castrated or given sex-change operations.
Another unusual adaptation in anglerfish is their sexual dimorphism. The males are very small in comparison with the females, and live as permanent parasites on the female. The male attaches himself, by biting, to the body of the female. His mouth fuses with her skin, and the bloodstreams of the two fishes become connected. The male is now totally dependent on the female for nourishment. In fact, the male begins to degenerate. His eyes grow smaller and he eventually loses them. His internal organs disappear. The male becomes simply a source of sperm.