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Elimination Disorders: Gender and Sex Differences

Elimination disorders refer to the repeated elimination of urine or feces in inappropriate places and are divided into two categories: (1) enuresis (i.e., involuntary urination) and (2) encopresis (i.e., involuntary defecation). Enuresis involves the inappropriate elimination of urine either during the evening (nocturnal) or during the day (diurnal). Encopresis is further subcategorized through the presence or absence of constipation and overflow incontinence. As noted by the American Psychological Association, sex refers to one’s biological status at birth, whereas gender refers to the characteristics a culture or society associates with sex. This entry focuses on the prevalence of elimination disorders, particularly by gender or sex, and provides a brief description of the evidence-based interventions for treatment of elimination disorders.

Elimination disorders, especially enuresis, are fairly commonly occurring. ...

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