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J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2005 Feb;46(2):198-210.

Foetal testosterone, social relationships, and restricted interests in children.

Author information

1
Autism Research Centre, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, UK. rk250@cam.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Sex-differences exist in some areas of human social behaviour. In animals, foetal testosterone (fT) plays a central role in organising the brain and in later social behaviour. fT has also been implicated in language development, eye-contact, and spatial ability in humans.

METHODS:

Fifty-eight children (35 male and 23 female), whose fT was analysed in amniotic fluid, were followed up at age 4. Their mothers completed the Children's Communication Checklist, a questionnaire assessing language, quality of social relationships and restricted interests.

RESULTS:

fT was negatively correlated to quality of social relationships, taking sex-differences into account. fT was also positively correlated with restricted interests in boys.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings implicate fT in both social development and attentional focus. They may also have implications for understanding the sex ratio in autism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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