Letter | Published:

Prenatal exposure of human foetuses to synthetic progestin and oestrogen affects personality

Naturevolume 266pages561562 (1977) | Download Citation



THE offspring of mothers given steroid hormones for the maintenance of at-risk pregnancy provide a human population equivalent to experimental animals for investigating early hormone effects on behaviour and personality1. Although patients showing the genetically induced clinical endocrine syndromes2 associated with diminished or augmented prenatal hormone levels have been used as an alternative source of subjects, they are less useful, as results attributed to the altered hormone environment can also be attributed to genes linked to the primary source of the endocrine disfunction. Investigations using offspring of hormone-supported pregnancies are equivalent to the animal studies because in both cases the source of hormone intervention is exogenous. We report here that prenatal exposure to synthetic progestins and oestrogens affects later personality in humans.

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  1. Department of Psychology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 08903



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