: In animal species with separate sexes, abnormal individuals with a mix of phenotypically male and phenotypically female body parts are generally indicated as gynandromorphs, whereas individuals with intermediate sexual phenotypic traits are generally indicated as intersexes. However, this distinction, clear as it may seem, is neither universally agreed upon, nor free of critical issues. In consideration of the role of sex anomalies in understanding normal development, we reassess these phenomena of abnormal sexual development, taking into consideration the more recent advances in the study of sex determination and sexual differentiation. We argue that a distinction between gynandromorphism and intersexuality, although useful for descriptive purposes, is not always possible or sensible. We discuss the conceptual and terminological intricacies of the literature on this subject and provide reasons for largely, although not strictly, preferring a terminology based on descriptive rather than causal morphology, that is, on the observed phenotypic patterns rather on the causal process behind them.

Descriptive versus causal morphology: gynandromorphism and intersexuality

Fusco, Giuseppe
;
Minelli, Alessandro
2023

Abstract

: In animal species with separate sexes, abnormal individuals with a mix of phenotypically male and phenotypically female body parts are generally indicated as gynandromorphs, whereas individuals with intermediate sexual phenotypic traits are generally indicated as intersexes. However, this distinction, clear as it may seem, is neither universally agreed upon, nor free of critical issues. In consideration of the role of sex anomalies in understanding normal development, we reassess these phenomena of abnormal sexual development, taking into consideration the more recent advances in the study of sex determination and sexual differentiation. We argue that a distinction between gynandromorphism and intersexuality, although useful for descriptive purposes, is not always possible or sensible. We discuss the conceptual and terminological intricacies of the literature on this subject and provide reasons for largely, although not strictly, preferring a terminology based on descriptive rather than causal morphology, that is, on the observed phenotypic patterns rather on the causal process behind them.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
s12064-023-00385-1.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Published (publisher's version)
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 1.06 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.06 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri
Pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3466453
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 0
  • Scopus 4
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 4
social impact