Sexless is an umbrella term for anyone who lacks one or more sexed characteristics or qualities and/or has an absent or null sex body or identity. This can include lacking any aspects of sex including genitals, gonads, hormones, or chromosomes. The term includes intersex people who were born sexless as well as people who became sexless later in life (desired/planned or not) and people who desire to be sexless. Examples of people who may identify as sexless include:
- People born without genitals (agenital), and people who have had their genitals removed or people who desire to not have genitals (angenital).
- People born without gonads or functioning gonads (gonadal agenesis), and people who have had their gonads removed or people who desire to not have gonads (angonadal).
- People with Turner syndrome (X0 intersex).
- People who are hypohormonal or have hypogonadism.
- People who are indifferent about their sex (apagenital).
- Headmates whose sex cannot be described as male, female, or intersex in the innerworld (aivotsex or neisex).
Sexlessness does not correspond to any particular gender, and does not require any corresponding feeling of genderlessness. Agender people are not necessarily sexless and sexless people are not necessarily agender.
This term may or may not overlap with teresex.
Culturally Specific Terms
some cultures distinguished between gender and sex, and classified nonreproductive persons as a third sex, which could change their legal status. In medieval Europe the category of "eunuchus" referred to "spado" and "castratus." Spadones were naturally sterile, but had not been assigned "hermaphroditus" (having ambiguous genitals) at birth. They could marry, adopt children, and inherit property. "Castrati" were surgically sterilized for religious, slavery, and administrative purposes. They were forbidden to marry, but usually could adopt and inherit.
In pre-colonial India "tritiya prakriti" was an umbrella term encompassing all sterile, non-heterosexual, and transgender people. "Napumsa(ka)" and "nastriya" specified men and women, respectively, who were sterile for some physical reason. They could enter unions using the gandharva form of marriage, but rarely were allowed to inherit property, and were not required to perform the sraddha and huta sacrifices.
Other words translated as "eunuchos" or "spado":
caillteanach or callach: Gaelic
kazheniku or skopici: Old Church Slavonic
afyryda: Old English
geldingr: Old Norse
2. "Castration under Roman Law: A Study of the Codification during the Reign of Justinian I (527-565)," Yuki Konkani, in Ancient Society 48 (2018), p.321ff
3. Tritiya Prakriti: People of the Third Sex: Understanding Homosexuality, Transgender Identity and Intersex Conditions Through Hinduism, Amara Das Wilhelm, pp.10, 17, 45-46
4. Made by varsex-pride on December 27, 2019.