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Dev Psychol. 2003 May;39(3):440-50.

Prenatal androgens and gender-typed behavior: a study of girls with mild and severe forms of congenital adrenal hyperplasia.

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Department of Psychology, Uppsala University, Sweden.


Gender-typed behaviors and interests were investigated in 26 girls, aged 2-10 years, affected with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) and in 26 unaffected girls matched for age. Girls with CAH were more interested in masculine toys and less interested in feminine toys and were more likely to report having male playmates and to wish for masculine careers. Parents of girls with CAH rated their daughters' behaviors as more boylike than did parents of unaffected girls. A relation was found between disease severity and behavior indicating that more severely affected CAH girls were more interested in masculine toys and careers. No parental influence could be demonstrated on play behavior, nor did the comparison of parents' ratings of wished for behavior versus perceived behavior in their daughters indicate an effect of parental expectations. The results are interpreted as supporting a biological contribution to differences in play behavior between girls with and without CAH.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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