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Ann Hum Biol. 2008 Nov-Dec;35(6):584-95. doi: 10.1080/03014460802337067.

Do women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) report differences in sex-typed behavior as children and adolescents?: Results of a pilot study.

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1
Anthropology & Ethnic Studies, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas 89154-5003, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The etiology of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is poorly understood, as is the impact of female hyperandrogenism on psychosocial and psychosexual behavior.

AIM:

The present study sought to test whether women with PCOS self-report more masculine sex-typed behavior in childhood, at adolescence, and as adults.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS:

Sixty-one women (34 women self-reporting a clinical diagnosis of PCOS and 27 control women not reporting a PCOS diagnosis) completed a questionnaire containing items on childhood sex-typed behavior, adolescent behavior, and present masculinity, femininity and mood.

RESULTS:

Results revealed significant differences (p<0.05) in retrospective self-reports of childhood sex-typed behavior and gender conformity according to PCOS status, with women in the PCOS group reporting less feminine childhood behavior, and less gender-typical behavior. A composite of sex-typed behaviors did not differ according to PCOS status at adolescence, although several individual items did. As adults, we found no differences between the groups in masculinity and femininity, although PCOS women reported lower happiness than controls (p<0.05), and trends toward a bisexual orientation and having changed sex orientation more often than controls (p<0.10).

CONCLUSION:

Results of this pilot study provide evidence of PCOS women self-reporting discrete psychosocial developmental patterns compared to non-PCOS women. These differences in retrospective self-reported accounts may be factual or biased by current psychosocial differences, such as depression.

PMID:
18720090
DOI:
10.1080/03014460802337067
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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