Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 21 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Generating distinctly male or female brains during early development is a monumental process that forever modifies behavior. Relatively straightforward theories involving perinatal exposure to gonadal hormones have historically been used to explain the generation of sex-typical traits. These tenets are of great heuristic value, but are unable to explain much of sexual differentiation. By examining events leading to sexual dimorphism of some well-studied neural structures (medial preoptic area, medial amygdala, ventromedial hypothalamus), and some social behaviors these structures mediate (play, maternal behavior, copulation), it is clear that sexual differentiation is anything but simple. Instead, it is an active process in both sexes, requires hormonal as well as nonhormonal events, extends beyond early development, and occurs differently across mammalian species.

Keywords: male brains, female brains, perinatal, gonadal hormones, sexual differentiation, sexual dimorphism, medial preoptic area, medial amygdala, ventromedial hypothalamus

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.