The function relating phenotypic sex ratio to incubation temperature in reptiles can vary in a number of ways in addition to simple differences in the temperatures giving 50% of each sex. This paper offers terminology and definitions for describing these relationships. These definitions accomodate interactions between genetic and environmental effects on sexual differentiation, and variability within populations. The paper also discusses the concept of a sensitive stage/period within incubation during which temperature can affect the direction of sexual differentiation. Thermosensitive period has previously been assessed in a variety of ways. A suggestion for a more general way of defining thermosensitive stage/period is made.