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Neuropsychologia. 1989;27(7):987-98.

Unexpected sex-ratios in families of language/learning-impaired children.

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  • 1Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neurosciences, Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey 07102.


There is a well-documented propensity of males affected with developmental language/learning impairment. Results from this study demonstrate, unexpectedly, that this sex-ratio difference of males to females with developmental language/learning disorders was found to occur significantly only in families with a language/learning-impaired mother. In addition, a remarkably aberrant offspring sex-ratio was found in families of language/learning-impaired children who had an affected mother, but not father. Mothers who were developmentally language/learning-impaired had three times as many sons as daughters, and five times as many language/learning-impaired sons as daughters. Genetic and hormonal influences that might affect both sex-ratio and neuroanatomical development and disorders are discussed.

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