DSD/intersex: Historical context and current perspectives

Peter A. Lee, Tom Mazur, Christopher P. Houk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Intersex/Disorders/Differences of sex development conditions have been recognized for millennia. An organized approach was adopted in the 1960-70s using the philosophy that gender identity was fluid and malleable. Consequences of this approach were the lack of disclosure, stigmatization, and excessive surgery to "normalize"the genitalia. Often this led to quality of life issues for those patients. There have been many modifications in approach since then to avoid the problems noted. There is consensus on many of these changes (e.g. disclosure) but continued controversy on others (e.g. the benefits of early surgery). This review summarizes the historical context and the current areas of consensus and controversy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-241
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2023


  • DSD
  • gender identity
  • genital surgery
  • intersex
  • tumor risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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