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Arch Sex Behav. 1997 Apr;26(2):143-57.

Anthropometrical measurements and androgen levels in males, females, and hormonally untreated female-to-male transsexuals.

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Department of Sexual Medicine, Medical School, Christian Albrechts University Keil, Germany.


To elucidate the relationship between body build, androgens, and transsexual gender identity, anthropometric measurements were assessed in 15 hormonally untreated female-to-male-transsexuals (FMT). Nineteen healthy women (CF) (X = 22 years; 2 months), and 21 healthy men (CM) (X = 23; 7) were enrolled as controls. Baseline levels of testosterone (T; ng/dl), androstenedione (A4; ng/dl), dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS; ng/ml), and sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG; microgram/ml) were assessed in 12 FMT, 15 CF, and in all CM. No control was under hormonal medication (including contraceptives). Absolute measurements in FMT were in accordance with their biological sex: they showed only small differences from the CF. However, FMT differed from CF in 7 of 14 sex-dimorphic indices of masculinity/femininity in body build. Of these 14 indices, 9 did not show a difference between FMT and CM. Hence, FMT presented a more masculine body build, particularly in fat distribution and bone proportions. Levels of T and A4 were significantly higher in FMT than in CF (T: 54.0 +/- 13.8 vs. 41.1 +/- 12.8; A4: 244.8 +/- 73.0 vs. 190.5 +/- 49.3), while DHEAS was higher in CM (3335 +/- 951) than in CF (2333 +/- 793) and in FMT (2679 +/- 1089). Altogether, 83.3% of FMT and 33.3% of CF were above normal values for at least one measured androgen. SHBG in FMT (1.21 +/- 0.70) and CF (1.87 +/- 0.91) was higher than in CM (0.49 +/- 0.18) and tended to be higher in CF than in FMT. Unbound T (T/SHBG ratio) was higher in FMT (72.0 +/- 67.6) than in CF (26.4 +/- 15.1) and correlated positively with manly body shape. Findings are discussed in relation to etiology of transsexualism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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