* * *in human beings, a condition in which the individual has a single chromosomal and gonadal sex but combines features of both sexes in the external genitalia (reproductive system, human), causing doubt as to the true sex. Female pseudohermaphroditism refers to an individual with ovaries but with secondary sexual characteristics or external genitalia resembling those of a male. Usually at puberty the female secondary sex characteristics develop. If the condition is identified at birth, the child may be raised as a female with a minimum of social readjustment. Administration of certain corticosteroids prevents further development of the condition, and surgery may be used to correct any residual genital defects.Male pseudohermaphroditism refers to individuals whose gonads are testes but whose secondary sexual characteristics or external genitalia resemble those of a female. In this disorder the fetal target organs are unable, for unknown reasons, to react to testosterone produced by the fetal testes. The most common type is testicular feminization, wherein the external genitals are entirely feminine, and at puberty female secondary sex characteristics appear, yet the gonads are testes, and the sex-chromosome pattern is male. The disorder is sometimes recognized at puberty when menstruation fails to begin. In testicular feminization, because there is little or no response to male hormones and because the external genitalia are female, the child is raised as a female. Other forms of male pseudohermaphroditism can be altered to become “complete” male, and such children may be raised as males.
* * *