Intersex is a group of conditions where there is a discrepancy between the external genitals and the internal genitals the testes and ovaries. The older term for this condition is hermaphroditism. Although the older terms are still included in this article for reference, they have been replaced by most experts, patients and families. Increasingly, this group of conditions is being called disorders of sex development DSDs. Each one is discussed in more detail below. Note: In many children, the cause of intersex may remain undetermined, even with modern diagnostic techniques.
Duke Embryology - Urogenital Development
Intersex conditions, also known as disorders of sex development DSD , occur when infants are born with a mix of male and female genitalia. The disorders cause a mismatch in the external and internal reproductive organs. The child's body may not be completely male, nor totally female. For example, a person may appear female, but have male XY chromosomes and testicles; or a person may have female internal organs such as ovaries and a uterus, but have a clitoris that is enlarged to resemble a penis. In some children, the exact cause of their intersex condition may not be known, but in others the defect lies within the chromosomes, gonads, or anatomical sex.
Disorders of Sex Development
The chimerism arises in utero from the combination of an XX zygote and an XY zygote which otherwise would have developed into twins into a single embryo. Physical symptoms vary widely from individual to individual. Symptoms range from ambiguous genitalia to true hermaphroditism to normal genitalia. Due to the variation, genetic testing is the only way to reliably make a diagnosis.
That ruling, which requires these athletes to take hormone-suppressing drugs and goes into effect Wednesday, began a week unlike any other in track and field history when it was delivered on May 1. The debate has centered on a conflict between gender identity and athletic fairness, in part because it comes at a time when biology is no longer seen as the sole determinant of gender. But the ruling is not about social norms. And it is narrowly constructed, focusing only on athletes with a rare chromosomal makeup. The decision , issued last week by the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport, applies only to those defined by the International Association of Athletics Federations, or I.