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March 1957

Imprinting and the Establishment of Gender Role

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Psychiatry, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1957;77(3):333-336. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1957.02330330119019

Introduction  Psychologic study of hermaphrodites sheds some interesting light on the venerable controversy of hereditary versus environmental determinants of sexuality in its psychologic sense.Human hermaphrodites of whatever variety are persons born with some degree of sexual ambiguity, anatomically and physiologically. Since they are neither exclusively male nor exclusively female, hermaphrodites are likely to grow up with contradictions existing between the sex of assignment and rearing, on the one hand, and various physical sexual variables, singly or in combination, on the other. These physical sexual variables are five in number, namely, (1) chromosomal sex, (2) gonadal sex, (3) hormonal sex and pubertal feminization or virilization, (4) the internal accessory reproductive structures, and (5) external genital morphology.In view of the various ambisexual contradictions that may be found in hermaphroditism, one may ask whether the gender role and orientation that a hermaphrodite establishes during the course of growing up is concordant

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