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Khanith or Khaneeth (Arabic: خنيث, variant transcription Xanith) is a vernacular Arabic term for both standard written Arabic mukhannath and khuntha. The Arabic word Mukhannath مخنث (literally "effeminate") refers to individuals with a gender identity other than that of their legally assigned identity. They are characterized as "effeminate", "not clearly male," and as people who were "born as a male" and who nevertheless feel, behave, and (in most cases) dress like a female. The Arabic word khuntha خنثى (literally "hermaphrodite") refers to intersex people
John Money summarizes material presented by U. Wikan in an article entitled "Man becomes woman: Transsexualism in Oman as a key to gender roles." According to that account, the Mukhannath is a 'bottom' in a homosexual relationship.[a] These individuals may retain his public status as a man, despite his departure in dress and behavior from a cisvestite[b] role of a person expressing hegemonic-masculinity, providing that he also gives proof of a legal marriage to a woman and proof of having consummated that marriage. The clothing of these individuals must be intermediate between that of a male and a female.
The word is also widely used as an insult in the Middle East; it is roughly equivalent to the word "faggot" in the American English vocabulary.
- Man (N.S.) 12:304-319, 1977.
- Mosby's Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. © 2009, Elsevier.
- Money, John (1988). Lovemaps: Sexual/Erotic Health and Pathology, Paraphilia and Gender Transposition in Childhood, Adolescence and Maturity (reprint ed.). Irvington. ISBN 0-87975-456-7. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
- Roscoe, Will; Murray, Stephan (1997). Islamic Homosexualities: Culture, History, and Literature (illustrated ed.). New York University Press. ISBN 9780814774687. Retrieved 5 March 2015.