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Biochemical Determinants in Gender Identity

  • William Hamilton
  • P. H. Chapman
Part of the Pädiatrie und Pädologie book series (PÄD SUPPL, volume 5)

Summary

The purpose of this communication is to report cognate studies which suggest that the nature of the peripheral metabolism of testosterone may impart gender direction to thought construction and motive.

In patients with the complete testicular feminizing syndrome [4], the XO/XY syndrome [4], female trans-sexualism [4] and testicular agenesis [5] HCG-tests of 3 days duration were performed, and plasma and urinary testosterone, urinary excretion of 5α-androstane, 3α,17β-diol (5α-diol), 5β-androstane, 3α,17β-diol (5β-diol) and epiandrosterone before and after stimulation were measured. In addition steroid transformation was examined by incubation studies with human fetal brain tissue. The results of the latter method presented here are in agreement with published work.

It seems clear therefore that the peripheral levels of androgens, oestrogens and their metabolites combine with cerebral steroid transformation, metabolism and possibly also synthesis in order to establish gender identity. Exploration of the role of peripheral hormones as stimulators of both gender identity and gender function has dictated the need for a new approach to therapy for gender abnormalities in psyche and soma.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Hamilton
    • 1
    • 2
  • P. H. Chapman
    • 1
  1. 1.University Department of Child HealthGlasgowUK
  2. 2.Royal HospitalYorkhill GlasgowUK

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