Prenatal exposure to synthetic progestins increases potential for aggression in humans

Science. 1981 Mar 13;211(4487):1171-3. doi: 10.1126/science.7466388.


Seventeen females and eight males exposed during gestation to synthetic progestins showed a significantly higher potential for physical aggression than their sex-matched unexposed siblings. Exposure to androgen-based compounds appeared to be most closely associated with aggressive responses. There were no differences in verbal aggression or IQ between exposed and unexposed siblings.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aggression / drug effects*
  • Behavior / drug effects*
  • Child
  • Embryo, Mammalian / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Fetus / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Progesterone Congeners / administration & dosage
  • Progesterone Congeners / pharmacology*


  • Progesterone Congeners