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The Biology of Homosexuality$
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Jacques Balthazart

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199838820

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199838820.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 April 2021

Sexual Orientation in Clinical Cases

Sexual Orientation in Clinical Cases

9 Sexual Orientation in Clinical Cases
The Biology of Homosexuality

Jacques Balthazart

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews a number of medical conditions that are all related, at least in part, to sexual orientation at odds with the genetic sex of the affected subjects. In several of these conditions, a sexual orientation was finally adopted that was in opposition to the sex assigned at birth, but was consistent with the type of presumed hormonal exposure during intrauterine life (attraction to men given absence of androgens and to women given presence of androgens during embryogenesis). These include the effects of prenatal stress, women with adrenal hyperplasia, treatment of pregnant mothers with diethylstilboestrol, deficiency in 5α-reductase, and cloacal exstrophy. Taken together, these data suggest that embryonic hormones could, in humans as in animals, play a significant role in determining sexual orientation. This conclusion is consistent with results indicating that homosexual orientation is often associated with a change in physical, functional, or behavioral traits supposed to differentiate themselves under the influence of prenatal sex steroids.

Keywords:   sexual orientation, medical conditions, prenatal sex steroids, homosexuality

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