Effect of Early Androgens Exposure on Childhood Sex-typed to Toy Preferences

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Effect of Early Androgens Exposure on Childhood Sex-typed to Toy Preferences
Various previous studies found that girl and boys have different type of toys preferences that can be learned through modeling and reinforcement. There are also biological factors that influence the differences between girls and boys. Gonadal hormones highly influence the development of sex differences in terms of behavior and in the brain at different species of animals. There is a unique case where females with genetic disorder congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) –highly exposed to adrenal androgens before birth –shows a more manly behavior and physical energy with higher spatial ability than normal females. Other findings also show similar results caused by masculine hormones by maternal ingestion during pregnancy.
Actually, there were already researches about CAH girls and their behavior as children that was influenced by hormones but there were some limitations addressed: the assessment done in the studies were done through interviews instead of objective observation; the behavior was not viewed as a continuum; different sex behaviors were treated as polar opposite of each other.
Therefore, this research wanted to do more objective experiment. It was focused on unbiased qualitative measures of sex-typed toy preferences and blind rater. It was hypothesized that females with CAH would show higher preference for boys' toys than their normal female relatives with no CAH, and less preference for girls' toys. Meanwhile, there will be no differences in CAH boys since the previous studies on male animals showed no difference.
Method
Participants
26 girls and 11 boys with diagnosed CAH with age ranging from 3 to 8 years old were recruited from hospitals alon...

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...ace and not yet settled on certain toys.
Further studies might also needed to explore more about the implication of early androgens exposure on one’s life. A longitudinal study on these children might be useful to see whether they will continue to have the same characteristics and quality as they age. It can also find out whether this masculinization only restricted to toy preferences or other aspects in life such as choosing type of clothes, preferred hairstyles, way of socializing and gender identity.
In conclusion, hypothesis was proven. CAH girls preferred boys’ toys instead of girls’ toys which was the opposite of unaffected girls. Moreover, just like suspected, there were no effect on CAH boys. Although there were some limitation, this study was quite reliable and provided a useful information for further studies that can improve and eliminate the limitations.

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