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Real/Fake Organs

  1. Dec 23, 2009 #1
    Someone recently asked me why I didn't consider surgically constructed vaginas to be "real" vaginas. I said that a vagina was a biological organ, and that the discipline of biology included an implicit definition of biological organs as being products of nature only (as opposed to surgery, through which they could only be altered, not created).

    Do you guys think that is an accurate characterization of the biological conceptualization of bodily organs?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 24, 2009 #2
    I can't agree with that. So long as the organ is made of biological tissue (and not of, say, aluminum) and it is fully functional, why shouldn't we consider it a real organ? There were stories of scientists growing and then implanting fully functional bladders. People are working on hearts, livers and pancreases.

    The real problem with your example is that transgender vaginas are not fully functional. Surgeons try to make something that resembles "the real thing", but nerve endings will not be in the right places, some muscles will be wrong, self-lubricating function will be completely absent.
  4. Dec 24, 2009 #3
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