What if gender was not a permanent state of being, but an ongoing process within the body that could be altered by "switching off" one gene within the body? You may scoff but scientists believe that may be the case.
The theory comes after researchers managed to inhibit the FoxL2 gene in fully-grown female mice, resulting in ovary cells changing into fully developed, testosterone-producing cells found in male testes, increasing their levels of testosterone 100 times higher than the average female level - the level of fully grown males, in fact. The international team of scientists, led by the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, believe that this discovery could be used to remove the need for gender reassignment surgery in humans, according to the team's Robin Lovell-Badge:
We take it for granted that we maintain the sex we are born with, including whether we have testes or ovaries, [b]ut this work shows that the activity of a single gene, FoxL2, is all that prevents adult ovary cells turning into cells found in testes. If it is possible to make these changes in adult humans, it may eventually remove the need for surgery in gender-reassignment treatment... It's still very speculative, but it's possible that this approach could produce an alternative to surgery and the removal of gonads – ovaries and testes.
From Minnie to Mickey (and all they did was turn off a gene) [Independent.co.uk]