Prenatal estrogens and the development of homosexual orientation

DES Daughters more likely to be rated as bisexual or homosexual

1995 Study Abstract

In psychobiological research on sexual orientation, the prenatal hormone theory has a central position.

Prenatal estrogens and the development of homosexual orientation, Developmental Psychology, ResearchGate, January 1995.

Image credit torbakhopper.

This article examines the hypothesis that prenatal estrogens contribute to the development of human sexual orientation.

Several groups of women with a history of prenatal exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES), a nonsteroidal synthetic estrogen, were compared with several samples of control women in the context of a comprehensive study of the psychiatric and psychologic effects of prenatal DES.

Various aspects of sexual orientation were assessed by systematic interview.

Consistently across samples, more DES-exposed women than controls were rated as bisexual or homosexual (scores 2–6 on Kinsey-format scales ranging from 0 to 6).

The data are compatible with the hypothesis that prenatal estrogens may play a role in the development of human sexual orientation.

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