Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet
S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University
of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor.
Consider the importance of gender assessment; even before being given
a name, infants born in hospitals are designated either "Baby Boy" or "Baby
Girl." However, in the United States each year approximately one in 2000 babies
are born with both male and female external sex organs (eg, penis and vagina
or clitoris and testicles). Subsequent gender investigation entails chromosomal
testing, radiographic investigation of whether internal sex organs (uterus,
ovaries, prostate) are present, and hormonal assays to determine the functionality
of the sex organs located. Medical interventions may be drastic, eg, excision
of enlarged clitorises, excision of testicles, construction of vaginas or
penises, lifelong hormone therapy.
Post LL. Intersex. JAMA. 2003;290(21):2866-2867. doi:10.1001/jama.290.21.2866