Disorders of sex development

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Disorders of sex development (DSD), sometimes referred to as disorders of sex differentiation, are medical terms referring to "congenital conditions in which development of chromosomal, gonadal, or anatomical sex is atypical."[1] Lee et al. proposed a system of nomenclature based on "disorders of sex development" for clinical use, noting that "terms such as intersex, pseudohermaphroditism, hermaphroditism, sex reversal, and gender based diagnostic labels are particularly controversial," may be perceived as pejorative, and are confusing to practitioners and parents alike. In "We Used to Call Them Hermaphrodites," author Vilain makes clear that "DSD" is not a synonym for intersexuality; it replaces medical terms based on "hermaphrodite"[2].


Use of the term Disorder of sex development (DSD) is controversial among some activists.[3][4] Alternatives have been offered: Dr. Milton Diamond has suggested the use of "variation" [5][6] or of "difference" [7], and Elizabeth Reis has suggested "divergence" [8]; the latter two suggestions would retain the initial D in DSD.

See also



  1. Lee, P. A., C. P. Houk, S. F. Ahmed, and I. A. Hughes. 2006. Consensus statement on management of intersex disorders. Pediatrics 118 (2):e488-500. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/118/2/e488
  2. Vilain E, Achermann JC, Eugster EA, Harley VR, Morel Y, Wilson JD, and Hiort O. 2007. We used to call them hermaphrodites. Genetics in Medicine 9 (2):65-66.
  3. Why is OII not using the term DSD or Disorders of Sex Development?
  4. The largest Intersex organisation in the world. The End of a Movement.
  5. (2006) "Variations of Sex Development Instead of Disorders of Sex Development". Archives of Disease in Childhood (26 July 2006).
  6. (2007) "Managing variation in sex development.". Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology & Metabolism 20 (4): 552-553.
  7. (2008) "Changes In Management Of Children With Differences Of Sex Development.". Nature Clinical Practice: Endocrinology & Metabolism 4 (1): 4-5.
  8. (2007) "Divergence or Disorder?". Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 50 (4): 535-543.


*Some information provided in whole or in part by http://en.wikipedia.org/