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Chapter 11 - Differences in Sex Development

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 January 2023

Naomi S. Crouch
St Michael's Hospital, Bristol
Cara E. Williams
Liverpool Women's Hospital
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Differences in Sex Development (DSD) is an umbrella term which covers conditions arising from a difference in observed and expected sex development. This could include karyotype, gonadal tissue, or genital appearance. Previously alternative terms were used, such as intersex, pseudo-hermaphrodite and testicular feminisation, but these were inaccurate and generally disliked by patients. A consensus was reached in 2006 to change the terminology to disorders of sex development, with individual conditions referred to by their genetic basis [1]. This has been largely accepted in the medical literature, with older more pejorative terms falling from use. Whilst more accurate, the term DSD has not been without its critics, and there is a move towards describing this group of conditions as differences in sex development, which would seem to fit more appropriately with the increased understanding in anatomical variance in those with no known medical condition.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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