RESEARCH SUPPORT, U.S. GOV'T, P.H.S.
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Androgen and psychosexual development: core gender identity, sexual orientation and recalled childhood gender role behavior in women and men with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH).

We assessed core gender identity, sexual orientation, and recalled childhood gender role behavior in 16 women and 9 men with CAH and in 15 unaffected female and 10 unaffected male relatives, all between the ages of 18 and 44 years. Women with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) recalled significantly more male-typical play behavior as children than did unaffected women, whereas men with and without CAH did not differ. Women with CAH also reported significantly less satisfaction with the female sex of assignment and less heterosexual interest than did unaffected women. Again, men with CAH did not differ significantly from unaffected men in these respects. Our results for women with CAH are consistent with numerous prior reports indicating that girls with CAH show increased male-typical play behavior. They also support the hypotheses that these women show reduced heterosexual interest and reduced satisfaction with the female sex of assignment. Our results for males are consistent with most prior reports that boys with CAH do not show a general alteration in childhood play behavior. In addition, they provide initial evidence that core gender identity and sexual orientation are unaffected in men with CAH. Finally, among women with CAH, we found that recalled male-typical play in childhood correlated with reduced satisfaction with the female gender and reduced heterosexual interest in adulthood. Although prospective studies are needed, these results suggest that those girls with CAH who show the greatest alterations in childhood play behavior may be the most likely to develop a bisexual or homosexual orientation as adults and to be dissatisfied with the female sex of assignment.

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