Prenatal testosterone levels in XXY and XYY males

Horm Res. 1994;42(3):106-9. doi: 10.1159/000184157.


It has been postulated that behavioural differences between normal males and those with an additional X or Y chromosome may be related to pre- or postnatal hormonal variations. The prenatal hormone status was investigated using amniotic fluid obtained at antenatal diagnosis between 16 and 20 weeks gestation from fetuses with sex chromosome abnormalities and from controls of the same gestational age. After log transformation, the (geometric) mean testosterone levels were XY 439.4 pmol/l, range 165-1,027 (n = 29), XYY 490.7 pmol/l, range 224-1,092 (n = 20); and XXY 419 pmol/l, range 87-1,021 (n = 20). There were no significant differences between the three male groups and all three were significantly higher than the XX fetuses at 147.0 pmol/l, range 41-474 (p < 0.001). These findings give no support to the hypothesis that prenatal testosterone levels contribute to later behavioural characteristics.

MeSH terms

  • Amniotic Fluid / chemistry*
  • Behavior / physiology
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Diagnosis
  • Reference Values
  • Sex Chromosome Aberrations / diagnosis
  • Sex Chromosome Aberrations / metabolism*
  • Testosterone / analysis*


  • Testosterone