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Effects of prenatal sex hormones on behavioral sexual dimorphism.

Research paper by Takahiko T Mitsui, Atsuko A Araki, Chihiro C Miyashita, Sachiko S Ito, Tamiko T Ikeno, Seiko S Sasaki, Takeya T Kitta, Kimihiko K Moriya, Kazutoshi K Cho, Keita K Morioka, Reiko R Kishi, Nobuo N Shinohara, Masayuki M Takeda, Katsuya K Nonomura

Indexed on: 20 Dec '18Published on: 20 Dec '18Published in: Pediatrics International



Abstract

We investigated the association between the hormonal environment during the prenatal period using cord blood and gender-role play behavior in school-aged children. A total of 879 school-aged children (433 males and 446 females) in a prospective cohort study of birth in Hokkaido were enrolled in analyses of the relationship between the levels of sex hormones in cord blood and the results from the Pre-school Activities Inventory (PSAI) questionnaire. The sex hormones in cord blood include estradiol (E), testosterone (T), progesterone (P), and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). The PSAI evaluated sex-typical characteristics, the type of preferred toys and play activities. The PSAI consists of 12 masculine and 12 feminine items, and the composite scores were calculated by subtracting the feminine score from the masculine score. Higher scores indicated male-typical behavior. Composite and masculine scores from the PSAI were significantly higher in males. Meanwhile, feminine score was significantly lower in males. Although the hormone levels of T and P were significantly higher in males, the levels of E/T was significantly higher in females. A multivariate regression model, including covariates of social factors, showed that there was no correlation between any of the hormones and the PSAI scores in males. In females, only P and E/T were positively correlated with the feminine score. Prenatal sex hormone exposure may influence the dimorphic brain development and behavior in school-aged females. Furthermore, the hormone levels in cord blood may not fully reflect the hormonal environment during the prenatal period. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.