Back to Health A to Z. Differences in sex development DSD is a group of rare conditions involving genes, hormones and reproductive organs, including genitals. Some adults and young people with DSD prefer to use the term intersex. You or your child may have sex chromosomes bundles of genes usually associated with being female XX chromosomes or usually associated with being male XY chromosomesbut reproductive organs and genitals that may look different from usual.
Intersex people are individuals born with any of several variations in sex characteristics including chromosomesgonadssex hormonesor genitals that, according to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights"do not fit the typical definitions for male or female bodies".
Jim Bruce was born with XY male chromosomes but ambiguous genitals. Doctors couldn't be sure if he had a large clitoris or a small penis and were convinced he could never live a "satisfactory life" as a man. So shortly after his birth inBruce's external organ and testes were surgically removed and he was raised as a girl. When he was 12, Bruce was given female hormones so his body would feminize.
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