Gendered Peer Involvement in Girls with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia: Effects of Prenatal Androgens, Gendered Activities, and Gender Cognitions
- 314 Downloads
A key question in understanding gender development concerns the origins of sex segregation. Children’s tendencies to interact with same-sex others have been hypothesized to result from gender identity and cognitions, behavioral compatibility, and personal characteristics. We examined whether prenatal androgen exposure was related to time spent with boys and girls, and how that gendered peer involvement was related to sex-typed activities and gender identity and cognitions. We studied 54 girls with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) aged 10–13 years varying in degree of prenatal androgen exposure: 40 girls with classical CAH (C-CAH) exposed to high prenatal androgens and 14 girls with non-classical CAH (NC-CAH) exposed to low, female-typical, prenatal androgens. Home interviews and questionnaires provided assessments of gendered activity interests and participation, gender identity, and gender cognitions. Daily phone calls over 7 days assessed time spent in gendered activities and with peers. Girls with both C-CAH and NC-CAH interacted more with girls than with boys, with no significant group differences. The groups did not differ significantly in gender identity or gender cognitions, but girls with C-CAH spent more time in male-typed activities and less time in female-typed activities than did girls with NC-CAH. Time spent with girls reflected direct effects of gender identity/cognitions and gender-typed activities, and an indirect effect of prenatal androgens (CAH type) through gender-typed activities. Our results extend findings that prenatal androgens differentially affect gendered characteristics and that gendered peer interactions reflect combined effects of behavioral compatibility and feelings and cognitions about gender. The study also shows the value of natural experiments for testing hypotheses about gender development.
KeywordsSex segregation Gender cognitions Gender identity Gender-typed activities Prenatal androgens Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
This research was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, HD057930. We thank the participants; members of the CARES and MAGIC Foundations and pediatric endocrinologists for help in recruiting participants; Diana Crom and Rob Schofield for coordinating data collection and processing; Chun Bun Lam, Elizabeth Beckerman, Timothy Groh, Erin Marshall, Erica Pawlo, and Emily Reitz for assistance with data management, scoring, and analysis.
- Berenbaum, S. A., & Bailey, J. M. (2003). Effects on gender identity of prenatal androgens and genital appearance: Evidence from girls with congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 88, 1102–1106. https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2002-020782.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Berenbaum, S. A., Martin, C. L., Hanish, L. D., Briggs, P. T., & Fabes, R. A. (2008). Sex differences in children’s play. In J. B. Becker, K. J. Berkley, N. Geary, E. Hampson, J. P. Herman, & E. A. Young (Eds.), Sex differences in the brain: From genes to behavior (pp. 275–290). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Blakemore, J. E. O., Berenbaum, S. A., & Liben, L. S. (2009). Gender development. New York: Psychology Press/Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
- Ehrhardt, A. A., & Baker, S. W. (1974). Fetal androgens, human central nervous system differentiation and behavior sex differences. In R. C. Friedman, R. M. Richart, & R. L. Vande Wiele (Eds.), Sex differences in behavior (pp. 33–51). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Endendijk, J. J., Beltz, A. M., McHale, S. M., Bryk, K., & Berenbaum, S. A. (2016). Linking prenatal androgens to gender-related attitudes, identity, and activities: Evidence from girls with congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 45, 1807–1815. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-016-0693-7.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Fridell, S. R., Owen-Anderson, A., Johnson, L. L., Bradley, S. J., & Zucker, K. J. (2006). The Playmate and Play Style Preferences Structured Interview: A comparison of children with gender identity disorder and controls. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 35, 729–737. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-006-9085-8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Hall, C. M., Jones, J. A., Meyer-Bahlburg, H. F. L., Dolezal, C., Coleman, M., Foster, P., … Clayton, P. E. (2004). Behavioral and physical masculinization are related to genotype in girls with congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 89, 419–424. https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2003-030696.
- Hayes, A. F. (2013). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis: A regression-based approach. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
- Hines, M., & Kaufman, F. (1994). Androgen and the development of human sex-typical behavior: Rough-and-tumble play and sex of preferred playmates in children with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). Child Development, 65, 1042–1053. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.1994.tb00801.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Hines, M., Pasterski, V., Spencer, D., Neufeld, S., Patalay, P., Hindmarsh, P. C., … Acerini, C. L. (2016). Prenatal androgen exposure alters girls’ responses to information indicating gender-appropriate behaviour. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B, 371, 20150125. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2015.0125.
- Leaper, C. (1994). Exploring the consequences of gender segregation on social relationships. In C. Leaper (Ed.), Childhood gender segregation: Causes and consequences (pp. 67–86). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Maccoby, E. E. (1998). The two sexes: Growing up apart, coming together. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Maccoby, E. E., & Jacklin, C. N. (1987). Gender segregation in childhood. In H. W. Reese (Ed.), Advances in child development and behavior (Vol. 20, pp. 239–287). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Martin, C. L., Kornienko, O., Schaefer, D. R., Hanish, L. D., Fabes, R. A., & Goble, P. (2013). The role of sex of peers and gender-typed activities in young children’s peer affiliative networks: A longitudinal analysis of selection and influence. Child Development, 84, 921–937.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- McHale, S. M., Shanahan, L., Updegraff, K. A., Crouter, A. C., & Booth, A. (2004b). Developmental and individual differences in girls’ sex-typed activities in middle childhood and adolescence. Child Development, 75, 1575–1593. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2004.00758.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Meyer-Bahlburg, H. F. L., Baratz Dalke, K., Berenbaum, S. A., Cohen-Kettenis, P. T., Hines, M., & Schober, J. M. (2016). Gender assignment, reassignment and outcome in disorders of sex development: Update of the 2005 consensus conference. Hormone Research in Paediatrics, 85, 112–118.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Meyer-Bahlburg, H. F. L., Dolezal, C., Baker, S., Carlson, A. D., Obeid, J. S., & New, M. I. (2004). Prenatal androgenization affects gender-related behavior but not gender identity in 5-12-year-old girls with congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 33, 94–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Nordenström, A., Servin, A., Bohlin, G., Larsson, A., & Wedell, A. (2002). Sex-typed toy play behavior correlates with the degree of prenatal androgen exposure assessed by CYP21 genotype in girls with congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 87, 5119–5124. https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2001-011531.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Pasterski, V. L., Geffner, M. E., Brain, C., Hindmarsh, P., Brook, C., & Hines, M. (2005). Prenatal hormones and postnatal socialization by parents as determinants of male-typical toy play in girls with congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Child Development, 76, 264–278. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2005.00843.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Pasterski, V., Geffner, M. E., Brain, C., Hindmarsh, P., Brook, C., & Hines, M. (2011). Prenatal hormones and childhood sex segregation: Playmate and play style preferences in girls with congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Hormones and Behavior, 59, 549–555. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yhbeh.2011.02.007.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Pasterski, V., Zucker, K. J., Hindmarsh, P. C., Hughes, I. A., Acerini, C. L., Spencer, D., … Hines, M. (2015). Increased cross-gender identification independent of gender role behavior in girls with congenital adrenal hyperplasia: Results from a standardized assessment of 4- to 11-year-old children. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 44, 1363–1375. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-014-0385-0.
- Ruble, D. N., Martin, C. L., & Berenbaum, S. A. (2006). Gender development. In N. Eisenberg (Ed.), Handbook of child psychology, Vol. 3: Social, emotional, and personality development (6th ed., pp. 858–932). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar