The basis of gender assignment in disorders of somatosexual differentiation

Olaf Hiort*, Ute Thyen, Paul Martin Holterhus

*Corresponding author for this work
14 Citations (Scopus)


Sex assignment of patients with disorders of somatosexual differentiation is a controversial topic. The aim is to enable the patient to develop a stable gender identity during childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Enormous advances have recently been made in our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of sexual differentiation and it is understood that long-term outcome may depend on the underlying diagnosis. There is increasing evidence that genital development is dependent on the action of androgenic steroids; moreover, both androgens and oestrogens may have an impact on other developing organs including neuronal structures such as the brain. Long-term outcome studies on the various intersexuality disorders are desperately needed in order to establish a basis for evidence-based medicine regarding sex assignment and treatment options. Premature decisions leading to irreversible interventions before an accurate diagnosis has been established must be avoided.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHormone Research
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
Pages (from-to)18-22
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 11.2005

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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