The Psychology of Everyday Life:Love, Marriage, and the Baby Carriage

Sexual Orientation

What is the neurohormonal theory of homosexuality?

According to the neurohormonal theory, exposure to prenatal sex hormones influences sexual orientation in adulthood. Evidence for this comes from animal studies that show animals exposed to abnormal levels (either too high or too low) of androgens in utero can show behavior typical of the opposite sex. Additional evidence comes from studies of girls with a condition called congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), which results in exposure to high levels of androgens both in the womb and immediately after birth. Women with CAH report elevated levels of typically masculine interests and activities, and increased frequency of homosexual or bisexual fantasies and behavior.


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