Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 479–495

Effects of prenatal hormone exposure versus pregnancy complications on sex-dimorphic behavior

  • Heino F. L. Meyer-Bahlburg
  • Judith F. Feldman
  • Anke A. Ehrhardt
  • Patricia Cohen
Article

Abstract

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 words

sex-dimorphic behavior prenatal sex hormones pregnancy complications progestogens estrogens 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heino F. L. Meyer-Bahlburg
    • 1
  • Judith F. Feldman
    • 1
  • Anke A. Ehrhardt
    • 1
  • Patricia Cohen
    • 2
  1. 1.New York State Psychiatric Institute and Department of PsychiatryCollege of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.New York Office of Mental Health and Columbia University School of Public HealthUSA

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