How sexually dimorphic are we? Review and synthesis

  title={How sexually dimorphic are we? Review and synthesis},
  author={Melanie Blackless and Anthony Charuvastra and Amanda Derryck and Anne Fausto-Sterling and Karl Lauzanne and Ellen Lee},
  journal={American Journal of Human Biology},
The belief that Homo sapiens is absolutely dimorphic with the respect to sex chromosome composition, gonadal structure, hormone levels, and the structure of the internal genital duct systems and external genitalia, derives from the platonic ideal that for each sex there is a single, universally correct developmental pathway and outcome. [] Key Method We surveyed the medical literature from 1955 to the present for studies of the frequency of deviation from the ideal male or female. We conclude that this…

Embryology and Disorders of Sexual Development

  • T. A. Marino
  • Medicine
    Perspectives in biology and medicine
  • 2010
If those who teach embryology to health-care professionals remain unaware of the controversies associated with the old terminology and continue to use it, they will perpetuate a nomenclature that can be destructive.

Ambiguous Genitalia And Disorders of Sexual Differentiation

DSDs are defined as congenital conditions characterized by atypical development of chromosomal, gonadal, or anatomic sex, and can include; bilateral undescended testes, severe hypospadias (scrotal or perineal), clitoromegaly, and sex chromosomes.

The Complex Relationships between Sex and the Brain

It is concluded that co-analysis of several (preferably, many) features and going back from the group level to that of the individual would advance the understanding of the relations between sex and the brain in health and disease.

Expanding the evolutionary explanations for sex differences in the human skeleton

Evolutionary explanations for skeletal sex differences that focus too narrowly on big competitive men and broad birthing women must account for the adaptive biology of skeletal growth and its dependence on the developmental physiology of reproduction.

One Tool for Many Jobs: Divergent and Conserved Actions of Androgen Signaling in Male Internal Reproductive Tract and External Genitalia

In this review, the existing knowledge of the cell type-specific, organ specific, and conserved signaling mechanisms of androgens are synthesized and focused on mouse model studies.

True Hermaphroditism (Ovotesticular DSD)

A summary of the most important data on the following topics is given in this chapter: karyotype, pathogenetic theories, phenotype, gonadal types, types of true hermaphroditism, biological behavior of the gonads, and patient management.

Population variation in second metacarpal sexual size dimorphism.

  • R. Lazenby
  • Environmental Science
    American journal of physical anthropology
  • 2002
The higher sexual sizeDimorphism in the 19th century settler sample belies the notion that technological progress inevitably leads to reduced dimorphism, and is interpretable in light of proximate causal models.

Regulation of male sex determination: genital ridge formation and Sry activation in mice

Recent progress that has provided new insights into the mechanisms underlying genital ridge formation as well as the regulation of Sry expression and its functions in male sex determination of mice are reviewed.

Divergence or Disorder?: the politics of naming intersex

It is argued that using disorder is problematic, because it implies medical conditions in need of repair, when some intersex anatomies, though atypical, do not necessarily need surgical or hormonal correction.

VIII. Captured in terminology: Sex, sex categories, and sex differences

The question of whether the effects of sex result in dimorphic systems is discussed, focusing on the case of sex effects on the brain, and it is shown that although there are sex/gender differences in brain and behavior, humans and human brains are comprised of highly variable ‘mosaics’ of features.



XX true hermaphroditism in southern African blacks: an enigma of primary sexual differentiation.

The aim of the study on 11 families with histologically proven XX true hermaphroditism was to determine whether a common genetic or environmental etiology could be identified and whether a constant environmental factors could be implicated.

Abnormalities of sex differentiation. Classification, diagnosis, selection of gender of rearing and treatment.

The relative incidence of the various types of abnormalities of sex differentiation are shown and it is pointed out that among 242 patients of all types, there were only 20 cases in which the assignment of a male role would have been preferred.

An autosomal or X linked mutation results in true hermaphrodites and 46,XX males in the same family.

A family in which four related 46,XX subjects with no evidence of Y chromosome DNA sequences underwent variable degrees of male sexual differentiation is reported, indicating that the critical genetic defect is most likely to be an autosomal dominant mutation, the different phenotypic effects arising from variable penetrance.

Gender Self-Reassignment in an XY Adolescent Female Born With Ambiguous Genitalia

There have been few reports of long-term follow-up on the stability of gender reassignment for XY children born with functional testes and androgen receptors.

Prenatal predisposition and the clinical management of some pediatric conditions.

  • M. Diamond
  • Psychology
    Journal of sex & marital therapy
  • 1996
Theoretical understanding of psychosexual development, particularly in regard to sexual identity, has undergone several historical changes, but a comparable shift has not occurred in the clinical management of individuals where sex assignment or reassignment is a real issue.

Defects of the testosterone biosynthetic pathway in boys with hypospadias.

Male reproductive health and environmental xenoestrogens.

The growing number of reports demonstrating that common environmental contaminants and natural factors possess estrogenic activity presents the working hypothesis that the adverse trends in male reproductive health may be, at least in part, associated with exposure to estrogenic or other hormonally active environmental chemicals during fetal and childhood development.

The Effect of Provera on the Fetus

The authors report a case of transient masculization of a female infant born with an enlarged clitoris which persisted until age 6 months and up to 18% masculization using exogenous hormones with abnormalities as extreme as labial fusion and cloacal formation necessitating surgical correction.