Table of contents
About this book
When Richard Goldschmidt' coined the term "intersexuality" in 1915, he intended it to apply to normally dioecious species which exhibit some kind of mixture between male and female characters. However, as knowledge of the bewildering variability present in the sexual orga nization of members of the animal kingdom has increased, the original meaning of the word has changed. Today many authors define inter sexuality as "the presence of both male and female characteristics, or of intermediate sexual characteristics, in a single individual".2 This more extensive and widely accepted concept justifies the title of our book •. Among all the anatomical and physiological features of living organisms the reproductive system has a unique importance for the perpetuation of the species. Conversely, reproductive processes are of little or no account for the viability of the individual. Therefore, within the framework of general biology reproduction has all too often been looked at solely from the point of view of genetics. Lively discussions about genotypic versus phenotypic sex determination long dominated the sci entific literature on sexuality in animals; this one-sided emphasis has tended to obscure many important facets of an organism's ability to reproduce. Recent developments in current biological research have brought the classic problem of sex differentiation into focus again, and the rapid progress being made in comparative endocrinology has added a new di mension to the study of reproductive biology.
biology endocrinology genetics reproduction reproductive system system