Pseudohermaphroditism, or pseudo-herrna-phroditism, is the condition in which an organism is born with secondary, sex characteristics or a phenotype that is different from what would be expected on the basis of the gonadal tissue (ovary or testis). The most common cause of male Pseudohermaphroditism is an inherited sexual disorder testicular feminization. In male pseudohermaphrodite (XY), a testis is present, but the individual display a normal feminine appearance and behaviour. These individuals are sterile but are possessed by female secondary sexual characters. The vagina is blind and testes is located in the abdominal area instead of its normal location scrotum.
The testes produce estrogens, the female hormones responsible for the secondary sexual characteristics. The condition arises due to the malfunctioning of Y chromosome by a defective gene. Some male Pseudohermaphrodites produce testosterone, but they lack testosterone receptors, which are necessary for normal masculinisation. While some male Pseudoher-maphrodites have normal testosterone receptors but they fail to produce testosterone. Some male Pseudohermaphrodites have an opening under the penis that appears like vagina, The normal male sex organs are usually small. The male Pseudohermaphrodites do not show a Barr body and have the normal male sex complement of XY.
The female pseudohermaphrodite has the normal-XX chromosome, but their sexually characters do not develop properly. Female Pseudohermaphroditism is a recessively inherited condition, which results due to the Congenital Androgenital Syndrome. In this syndrome, the excessive production of testosterone by hyperactive adrenal glands creates disturbance in the differentiation of the female duct system and promotes the development of male sex organs and secondary sexual characters.
The presence of recessive gene in an XY embryo leads the development of precocious male, in which the adult male characters appear at a very early age in the child. If the condition is identified during the early in embryogeny, then the treatment is possible.