Organizing action of prenatally administered testosterone propionate on the tissues mediating mating behavior in the female guinea pig

Horm Behav. 2009 May;55(5):566. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2009.01.004. Epub 2009 Jan 23.


Our "Organizing Action" paper published in 1959 put forward the concept that prenatal exposure to testosterone masculinized the behavior of genetic female guinea pigs. Specifically, we proposed that testosterone or some metabolite acted on the central nervous tissues in which patterns of sexual behavior are organized. We later went on to demonstrate similar effects in rhesus monkeys by showing that play behavior by female monkeys prenatally treated with testosterone was masculinized as well. These findings support the organizing actions of androgens as a general process of sexual differentiation.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Female
  • Guinea Pigs
  • History, 20th Century
  • Male
  • Neuroendocrinology / history*
  • Sex Differentiation / physiology*
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Testosterone / physiology*
  • Virilism / physiopathology


  • Testosterone