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No aggression in a 4-year-old boy with an androgen-producing tumour: Case Report

Wouter De la Marche1, Karin Prinsen1, Annemieke M Boot2 and Robert F Ferdinand1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam/Sophia Children's Hospital, The Netherlands

2 Department of Paediatrics, Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam/Sophia Children's Hospital, The Netherlands

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Annals of General Psychiatry 2005, 4:17  doi:10.1186/1744-859X-4-17

Published: 3 October 2005



The androgen testosterone plays a critical role in many aspects of sexual differentiation. Also, it is thought to induce aggressive behaviours or to play a role in social dominance.

Case presentation

In this case report a 4-year-old boy is described whose testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEA-S) levels were raised to pubertal levels due to a testosterone producing testis tumour. This provided the unique opportunity to examine the effects of elevated levels of androgens on levels of aggression or on social dominance before the onset of puberty.


The present case report does not support the hypothesis of a causal relationship between testosterone and aggression or between testosterone and social dominance in young children.

androgens; testosterone; aggression; children