Foetal testosterone, social relationships, and restricted interests in children
Article first published online: 13 JUL 2004
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Volume 46, Issue 2, pages 198–210, February 2005
How to Cite
Knickmeyer, R., Baron-Cohen, S., Raggatt, P. and Taylor, K. (2005), Foetal testosterone, social relationships, and restricted interests in children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 46: 198–210. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2004.00349.x
- Issue published online: 7 SEP 2004
- Article first published online: 13 JUL 2004
- Manuscript accepted 2 February 2004
- social relationships;
- restricted interests;
Background: Sex-differences exist in some areas of human social behaviour. In animals, foetal testosterone (fT) plays a central role in organising the brain and in later social behaviour. fT has also been implicated in language development, eye-contact, and spatial ability in humans.
Methods: Fifty-eight children (35 male and 23 female), whose fT was analysed in amniotic fluid, were followed up at age 4. Their mothers completed the Children's Communication Checklist, a questionnaire assessing language, quality of social relationships and restricted interests.
Results: fT was negatively correlated to quality of social relationships, taking sex-differences into account. fT was also positively correlated with restricted interests in boys.
Conclusions: These findings implicate fT in both social development and attentional focus. They may also have implications for understanding the sex ratio in autism.