Effects of prenatal hormone exposure versus pregnancy complications on sex-dimorphic behavior
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The existing literature on human subjects indicates demasculinization as an effect of prenatal exposure to various exogenous sex hormones, except for 19-nor progestogens. For the samples described in Ehrhardt et al.(1984), the current study examines whether the demasculinization can be explained by pregnancy complications. Corresponding covariates were constructed. In order to permit parametric analysis, the primary rating scales used previously were factor-analyzed and aggregated to form cluster scales where feasible. The factor analysis also demonstrated the existence of a general factor of sex-dimorphic behavior. Subsequent case-control comparisons by t test and by analysis of covariance for the general-factor and cluster scales showed that pregnancy complications do not explain the modest demasculinization effects of prenatal hormone exposure observed in females. A few paradoxical results emerged in males, likely to be due to chance.
Key wordssex-dimorphic behavior prenatal sex hormones pregnancy complications progestogens estrogens
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