As we all know, males and females are different, anatomically. A discussion of how chromosomes, genes and hormones contribute to development of these differences illustrates how intricate these processes are. It also illustrates how easy it is for one or more of these steps to become disrupted and for the embryo to develop in a way that is different from the typical male or female course of sex development.


  • Select topics in the sidebar to learn more about how sex development usually unfolds during fetal life.



Last updated: 4 August 2021

Edit history: Author P. Koopman 9/2009; revised PK 5/2011, 9/2012, 5/2013, 10/2013, 7/2015