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Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2004 Jul;13(3):591-607, viii.

Sex, gender, and identity over the years: a changing perspective.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy and Reproductive Biology, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, Manoa, 1951 East-West Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA.


This article attempts to put changing terms, emphases, and views on the interrelated, but separate, concepts of sex, gender, and identity into perspective. Often, these facets of a person's life are intermingled and confused. To understand individuals whose lives are touched by any aspect of sexuality that is of interest to the medical community, knowledge of how these terms have developed and changed over the years seems of particular value. The article also tries to show the relevance of certain concepts in dealing with the specific issues of intersex. Here, medical management and ethical thinking about dealing with such conditions also have undergone change. It is probable that the terms and treatment modalities that are associated with sex- and gender-related conditions will continue to evolve as we learn more about them.

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