Chapter

The Effects of Sex Steroids in Humans

Jacques Balthazart

in The Biology of Homosexuality

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199838820
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919512 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199838820.003.0029
The Effects of Sex Steroids in Humans

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Chapters 3 and 4 reviewed many of the principles highlighted in various animal models on the effects of sex steroids on the expression of reproductive behavior, on sexual differentiation during development, and on the sexual orientation. This chapter examines the available data suggesting that these mechanisms are still active in the human species. It reviews available evidence that demonstrates in many cases that the effects of steroid hormones that have been identified in animals are also present in humans, although they are sometimes partially masked by other mechanisms. It considers first the biological mechanisms of sex determination that are identical in animals and in humans. It then considers the current state of knowledge on the organizing and activating effects of sex steroids on physical and behavioral characteristics.

Keywords: sex steroids; sexual behavior; sexuality; biological mechanisms; sex determination

Chapter.  8550 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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