A pseudohermaphrodite differs from a true hermaphrodite in that its internal sexual organs are those typical to the gender ordinarily determined by its chromosomes (XX for female and XY for male), but its external genitals are of the opposite sex. In other words, the gonads are consistent with one another but not with the organism's physical appearance.

Pseudohermaphroditism is generally more common than true hermaphroditism. Female pseudohermaphrodites, with normally functioning ovaries but masculine genitalia, are most often caused by overexposure to androgens during gestation. Male pseudohermaphrodites, somewhat less common than the female veriety, have testes which usually do not descend, since external organs are female and there is no scrotum.