androgen-insensitivity syndrome (AIS): (also called testicular-feminizing syndrome): a congenital condition identified by a 46, XY sex chromosomal karyotype in girls or women who appear externally to be not sexually different from normal females, except in some cases for a swelling or lump in each groin, or for the absence or sparseness of pubic and axillary hair after puberty. The cells of the body are unable to respond to the male sex hormone, which is made in the testes in normal amounts for a male. They respond instead to the small amount of female sex hormone, estrogen, which is normally made in the testes. The effect before birth is that masculine internal development commences but is not completed. It goes far enough, however, to prevent internal female development. Externally, the genitalia differentiate as female, except for a blind vagina, which is usually not deep enough for satisfactory intercourse and needs either dilation or surgical lengthening in or after middle teenage. There is no menstruation and no fertility. Breasts develop normally. Incidence of occurrence is approximately one in 500 births. Synonym, testicular-feminizing syndrome.

Dictionary of Sexology Project: Main Index

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