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February 16, 1957


JAMA. 1957;163(7):538-542. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02970420020007

• The term "intersexual" should be restricted to those with congenital anatomic variations. It refers to individuals in whom abnormalities of sexual development have led to a confusion of the exact sex; to those with some of the reproductive organs of both sexes; and to patients whose anatomic appearance is one sex, but whose somatic chromatin is opposite. Intersexual should not be used when referring to those showing the endocrine phenomena of postnatal virilization or feminization; the person with an abnormal psychosexual drive; or the individual with just any form of bisexual manifestation. The correct diagnosis of intersexual problems may be difficult, but with the routine careful inspection of the genitals of all infants at birth, disastrous errors may be prevented. Where there is doubt, an oral or vaginal cytological smear is probably the simplest method for determining the chromosomal sex.