Objectives: Many concerns have been raised regarding the treatment and long-term outcome of infants born with complex genital anomalies. Debate among clinicians, psychologists, ethicists, and patient advocate groups regarding the optimal management of these individuals is ongoing. Although determining the most appropriate gender is a difficult task, this review will help clarify some of the issues at hand. Methods: A literature review which addresses the challenges of advising families about gender identity in infants and children with disorders of sex development. Results: The evidence for endocrine effects on neurobiological development with regard to sexual behavior is compelling, although the existing outcome studies are largely anecdotal and somewhat contradictory. Conclusions: Gender assignment in infants born with a disorder of sex development remains only one of the many difficult decisions faced by both the treatment team and the family. Improved long-term follow-up of these patients will provide much needed feedback on previous and contemporary management.
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