Toronto: Besides confronting physical challenges, children born with disorders of sex development (DSD) may also find it more difficult than their peers to form positive relationships, affecting in the process their socialisation, self-concept and confidence, says a new study.
The term "disorders of sex development" covers a range of conditions, from physical malformations of the genitalia to hormonal conditions like complete androgen insensitivity syndrome, which results in people having external sex characteristics of females, but not a uterus and, therefore, they do not menstruate and are unable to conceive a child.
"If you're not like other people, then the likelihood of forming positive relationships is lower," said William Bukowski, psychology professor at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.
"I always feel that I should apologize for that finding, but it is the way things are," Bukowski said.
The researchers examine the potential effects that these disorders can have on children's and adolescents' peer relationships.
The reviewed existing studies that explore adjustment in individuals with DSD.
The creation of support groups where people with DSD can share information and get to know each other is a positive move that is becoming more frequent and effective through the use of social media, Bukowski noted.
The study was published in the journal Hormone and Metabolic Research.