Prenatal female hormone administration and psychosexual development in human males.

Kester P; Green R; Finch SJ; Williams K
Psychoneuroendocrinology. 1980 Dec; 5(4):269-85.

A follow-up study was conducted on 62 adult males prenatally exposed to exogenous sex hormones. 58 of the study group were matched against nonhormone-exposed controls. Of those exposed, 17 were exposed to DES (diethylstilbestrol), 22 to DES and natural progesterone, 10 to natural progesterone only, and 13 to synthetic progesterone. Subjects were interviewed to ascertain their psychosexual development during boyhood and adolescence and sexual functioning during adolescence and adulthood. The specific drug, total dosage, and time of drug administration, i.e., the trimester of exposure, were significantly associated with several aspects of psychosexual behavior and development. The behavior of subjects exposed to each substance was compared to the control behavior and to behavior of those exposed to other substances. The femininity scale was elevated for 3 of the 4 drug regimens but not for the natural progesterone group. DES-exposed subjects had the most conventionally "masculine" childhood behaviors; progesterone-exposed subjects exhibited the most "feminine" childhood behavior. The rate of overt homosexual behavior did not differ between drug-and nondrug-exposed subjects. The study illustrates that human personality is associated with prenatal hormone exposure.

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