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Normal sexual development

Olaf Hiort, MD
Section Editors
Peter J Snyder, MD
Alvin M Matsumoto, MD
Deputy Editor
Kathryn A Martin, MD


Sex and gender development in humans is tightly controlled by genetic factors, which induce organ (especially gonadal) development and androgen-dependent programming in a tissue-specific and time-dependent manner. Modulation is facilitated through endocrine, paracrine, and autocrine steroid synthesis, as well as through the recruitment of many other regulators involved in the specificity of androgen action through modification of the hormone-receptor complexes.

This topic will review the major steps in normal early sex differentiation [1]. Gender development and the hormonal regulation of testosterone production, the role of androgens and gonadotropins in spermatogenesis, normal breast development, normal pubertal development, and common clinical issues in disorders (or differences) of sex development (DSDs) are discussed separately.

(See "Gender development and clinical presentation of gender nonconformity in children and adolescents".)

(See "Male reproductive physiology".)

(See "Breast development and morphology".)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Apr 07, 2017.
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