Fetal testosterone and sex differences

Early Hum Dev. 2006 Dec;82(12):755-60. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2006.09.014. Epub 2006 Nov 1.


Experiments in animals leave no doubt that androgens, including testosterone, produced by the testes in fetal and/or neonatal life act on the brain to induce sex differences in neural structure and function. In this article, we argue that prenatal and neonatal testosterone exposure are strong candidates for having a causal role in sexual dimorphism in human behaviour, including social development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Fetus / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Testosterone / analysis
  • Testosterone / physiology*


  • Testosterone