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the presence of characteristics of both sexes in a dioecious organism. These characteristics are not fully developed, that is, they are of intermediate character and are manifested jointly in the same parts of the body. The embryonic development of such an organism, which is called an intersex, begins normally, but from a certain moment it proceeds according to the pattern of the other sexual type. The earlier the organism’s direction of development changes, the more sharply expressed is its intersexuality. Several types of intersexuality are distinguished.

Zygotic, or genetically conditioned, intersexuality is the result of deviation from the norm of the set of sex chromosomes and genes, which are predetermined at the moment of fertilization, when the gametes were combined in the zygote. Depending on the type of disorder, one may distinguish triploid (or aneuploid) intersexuality, which is produced by a deviation from the norm in the number of chromosomes in the zygote, and diploid intersexuality, which is caused by a disruption of the interrelationship of the genes that are brought to the zygote. Triploid (aneuploid) intersexuality was first studied in Drosophila. It was shown that in Drosophila intersexes the interrelationship between the number of sex chromosomes and autosomes is disrupted; the degree of intersexuality of the individual is determined by the chromosome (or gene) balance—that is, by the ratio of the number of sex chromosomes to the number of autosomes (and the sex-determining genes included in them).

The various forms of intersexuality, or so-called pseudohermaphroditism, found in humans are also caused by a disruption of the normal number of sex chromosomes. Depending on which of the chromosomes determining (respectively) the male or female sex are found in excess, one distinguishes “male” or “female” pseudohermaphroditism. Diploid intersexuality is observed in the gypsy moth after the interbreeding of various geographic races. Depending on the type of interbreeding, the intersexuality is noted either in the females or the males. Since in such cases no disruption of the normal number of chromosomes has been discovered, the German biologist R. Goldschmidt put forward the theory in 1912 of the varying “strength” of the genes that determine sex in different races (possibly determined by the qualitative differences in alleles or by the presence of other sex-determining genes).

Hormonal intersexuality is observed in animals, in which the sex glands secrete female or male sex hormones that determine the development of the secondary sex characteristics. When such an animal is castrated and the gonads of the other sex are transplanted to it, a respective masculinization or feminization occurs—that is, the animal becomes an intersex. Similar phenomena are observed in the so-called parasitic castration of crustaceans (found, for example, in the crab Inachus, which is parasitized by the cirripede Sacculina).


Miasoedov, S. V. Iavleniia razmnozheniia i pola v organicheskom mire. Tomsk, 1935.
Ryzhkov, V. L. Genetika pola. Kharkov, 1936.
Liberman, L. L. Vrozhdennye narusheniia polovogo razvitiia. Leningrad, 1966.
Goldschmidt, R. Die sexuellen Zwischenstufen. Berlin, 1931.
Die Intersexualität. Edited by C. Overzier. Stuttgart, 1961.
Ashley, D. J. Human Intersex. Edinburgh-London, 1962.
Teter, I. Gormonalńye narušenija u mužčin i ženščin. Warsaw, 1968;


References in periodicals archive ?
The group of Disorders of Sex Development (DSD) with 46XY karyotype can be due to several etiologies and require more extensive diagnostic evaluation.
Lee, "Update on disorders of sex development," Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity, vol.
Ethical principles for the management of infants with disorders of sex development.
These policies may not be ideal, as Dreger points out, but they reflect significant effort and consensus-building within the athletic community to achieve fairness for all women athletes, including those afflicted with disorders of sex development.
Rosario is a child and adolescent psychiatrist in Los Angeles, and the psychiatrist attending in the Disorders of Sex Development Clinic at UCLA.
Frader recalled, training manuals and textbooks for general pediatricians or pediatric endocrinologists referred to the problems now called disorders of sex development (DSD) as psychological emergencies.
Contributed by specialists from Europe, Israel, the US, and South America, chapters cover gynecological examination of the child and adolescent, normal female puberty, endocrine evaluation of reproductive function, diagnostic methods, disorders of sex development, vulvovaginitis and other common vulvar disorders, precocious and delayed puberty, ovarian cysts, sexual abuse, menstrual disorders, dysmenorrhea, hyperandrogenism, ovarian masses, breast diseases, cervical cancer prevention, chronic pelvic pain, congenital developmental defects of Mullerian derivates, eating disorders, contraception, teen pregnancy, sex education, high-risk sexual behaviors, and culturally sensitive care.
When those at the meeting settled on "Disorders of Sex Development," ISNA followed that usage for the handbook (see Consortium on the Management of Disorders of Sex Development, "Clinical Guidelines for the Management of Disorders of Sex Development in Childhood," 2006, www.
Understanding Differences and Disorders of Sex Development (DSD)
of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center) provide parents, families, and their physicians with a guide to the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders of sex development (DSD).