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Sexual Development - Glossary of Terms

Adrenal glands:
a pair of glands in males and females, located above the kidneys, which produce a number of hormones, including androgens
Androgens:
the main hormones testosterone and dihydrotestosterone secreted from the testes
Estrogen:
the primary hormones produced by the ovaries
Genital folds:
common to both males and females early in development. In males the genital folds develop into the scrotum and in females develop into the labia majora
Genital ridges:
fetal tissue that can develop into either an ovary or a testis
Genital tubercle:
common to both males and females early in development. In males the genital tubercle develops into a penis and in females develops into the clitoris.
Intersexuality:
An alternative term for hermaphroditism
Karyotype:
A photograph of a person's chromosomes, arranged according to size
Mullerian ducts:
A system present in both sexes early in fetal development. Upon development this system differentiates into a uterus, fallopian tubes and posterior portion of the vagina.
Mullerian Inhibiting Substance (MIS):
Produced by the Sertoli cells, and inhibits Mullerian duct formation
Ovary:
female gonad which manufactures estrogens and eggs
SRY:
a gene on the Y chromosome whose product instructs the fetal germinal ridge to develop into a testis
Testes:
male gonad which manufactures testosterone and sperm
Urethral folds:
common to both males and females early in development, in males the urethral folds develop into the urethra and corpora and in females into the labia minora.
Wolffian ducts:
a system present in both sexes early in fetal development; upon development, this system differentiates into the epididymis, vas deferens, and seminal vesicles

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next: Articles on Intersexuality
~ all inside intersexuality articles
~ all articles on gender

Last Updated: 14 March 2016
Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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