In a recent MSNBC article they discussed a new study that found infant boys exposed to high levels of the male hormone testosterone before birth with double the risk for language delay as females.
The study appears Jan. 26 in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. The Australian researchers noted that male fetuses have 10 times the levels of testosterone than females, which could explain the greater likelihood of language delays. The study examined 767 newborns to measure how much testosterone the infants were exposed to during critical phases of brain development. The children’s language abilities were then assessed at 1, 2, and 3 years old.
The researchers found that male infants with high testosterone levels were two to three times more likely to have a language delay than females. In contrast, girls exposed to high testosterone levels had a lower risk for the developmental problem.
While the study found an association between testosterone levels and language delays, it did not prove a cause and effect.