Psychopathological aspects of cryptorchidism in children and adolescents

Gabriele Masi, Stefania Millepiedi, Paola Brovedani, Letizia Favilla, Maria Mucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the male sexual and aggressive drives are mostly centered on the penis, whose real or fantasied features strongly affect the way children and adolescents build up their own personal and gender identity. In some clinical conditions a shift of genital centrality from penis to testicles is evident. The most frequent is abnormality in the descent of testicles, especially cryptorchidism, characterized by an arrested descent of one or two testicles that remain in the abdomen. The aim of this paper is to define mechanisms by which cryptorchidism increases psychological vulnerability. Time of diagnosis and treatment, restoration of genital integrity, personality stability and familial interactions are considered as elements affecting psychopathological outcome. Behavioral and psychological features in children and adolescents with cryptorchidism are reviewed. A case report of an adolescent with unilateral cryptorchidism is reported and discussed, as an example of pubertal distortion in bodily and gender identity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-85
Number of pages11
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Body Image
  • Cryptorchidism
  • Gender Identity
  • Psychopathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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