Sunday, January 17, 2021

Exposure to high testosterone levels in the womb led girls to exhibit more male gender-typed behavior and to show increased interest in boys as playmates

Prenatal androgen exposure and children's gender-typed behavior and toy and playmate preferences. Debra Spencer et al. Hormones and Behavior, Volume 127, January 2021, 104889. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yhbeh.2020.104889

Highlights

• Prenatal androgen exposure linked to gender-typed play behavior in girls with CAH.

• Girls with CAH showed increased preference for boys as playmates.

• Children without CAH showed large sex differences in gender-typed play behavior.

• Amniotic fluid testosterone did not relate to gender-typed play behavior.

• Amniotic fluid testosterone may not be a reliable measure of prenatal androgen.

Abstract: We report findings from two studies investigating possible relations of prenatal androgen exposure to a broad measure of children's gender-typed behavior, as well as specifically to children's toy and playmate preferences. Study 1 investigated these outcomes for 43 girls and 38 boys, aged 4 to 11 years, with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH, a genetic condition causing increased adrenal androgen production beginning prenatally) compared to similarly-aged, unaffected relatives (41 girls, 31 boys). The predicted sex differences were found for all of the outcome measures. Furthermore, girls with CAH showed increased male-typical and decreased female-typical behavior and toy and playmate preferences compared to unaffected girls. Study 2 investigated the relationship of amniotic fluid testosterone to gender-typed behavior and toy and playmate preferences in typically developing children (48 girls, 44 boys) aged 3 to 5 years. Although the predicted sex differences were found for all of the outcome measures, amniotic fluid testosterone was not a significant correlate, in the predicted direction, of any outcome measure for either sex. The results of study 1 provide additional support for an influence of prenatal androgen exposure on children's gender-typed behavior, including toy and playmate preferences. The results of study 2 do not, but amniotic fluid testosterone may be an insufficiently sensitive measure of early androgen exposure. A more sensitive and reliable measure of prenatal androgen exposure may be needed to consistently detect relations to later gender typed behavior in non-clinical populations.

Keywords: Congenital adrenal hyperplasiaAmniotic fluid testosteronePrenatal testosterone exposureAndrogenSex differencesGender-typed play behaviorToy preferencesPlaymate preferences


Placebo makeup: Women in the simulation phase considered themselves more feminine, healthier, and with higher self-esteem than without makeup

Valentova, Jaroslava V., Anthonieta L. Mafra, Nat├ília Machado, and Marco Antonio C. Varella. 2021. “Makeup and Its Application Simulation Affect Women’s Self-perceptions.” PsyArXiv. January 17. doi:10.31234/osf.io/nuvk5

Abstract: Appearance modification is ancient, universal, and influences other- and self-perceptions. The role of expectation of appearance modification has never been investigated. We analyzed self-assessments of women without makeup and after having makeup professionally applied at four increasing levels. In the simulation phase, women were treated with colorless cosmetics. Fifty Brazilian women (Mage = 24.26) rated themselves on attractiveness, health, self-esteem, femininity, satisfaction with appearance, age, dominance, confidence, and competence in all experimental conditions. Women in the simulation phase considered themselves more feminine, healthier, and with higher self-esteem than without makeup. In the real makeup phases, these ratings were higher than in simulation phase. Appearance satisfaction and attractiveness did not differ between simulation and the real makeup phases, both being higher than without makeup. Confidence increased only in real makeup phases, and there was no effect on competence. Thus, real appearance modification and/or an expectation thereof can differently affect specific domains of self-evaluation.