The external organs of reproduction. The term is usually applied to the external parts of the reproductive system: the VULVA in females and PENIS and SCROTUM in males. Rarely the sex of an individual may not be apparent from the genitalia. Genitals develop from a common embryonic structure, and disturbances in the hormone controls of the developing genitalia may produce an individual whose external genitalia are ambiguous. The condition is known as intersex. The individual may be HERMAPHRODITE or PSEUDOHERMAPHRODITE.
Article Categories:Medical Dictionary