The Association Between the Postnatal Environment and Behavioral Sexual Dimorphism in Pre-school Children in Single-Child Families in Qingdao, China
Science Journal of Public Health
Volume 4, Issue 6, November 2016, Pages: 500-505
Received: Dec. 2, 2016; Published: Dec. 5, 2016
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Bingling Wang, Qingdao Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Qingdao, China
Qian Zhang, Department of Child Health Care, Maternity and Child Care Center of Huangdao District of Qingdao, Qingdao, China
Guochang Feng, Business Management Office of Qingdao Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Qingdao, China
Zhongqing Sun, Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene of Qingdao Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Qingdao, China
Lijuan Wang, Microorganism and Parasite Detection Laboratory of Qingdao Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Qingdao, China
Xiao Jia, Department of Child Health Care, Maternity and Child Care Center of Huangdao District of Qingdao, Qingdao, China
Shutao Pang, Qingdao Blood Center, Qingdao, China
Ruqin Gao, Qingdao Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Qingdao, China
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Previous studies have shown that prenatal exposure to chemical or non-chemical endocrine disruptors can alter children’s sexually dimorphic behavior. To date, no study has examined the possible influence of postnatal-environmental factors on the gender-specific play behavior of childhood. We hypothesized that the postnatal environment in early childhood might also influence the sexual dimorphism of the brain. Parents or guardians of pre-school children completed questionnaires about their postnatal living environment. The Pre-School Activities Inventory (PSAI) was used to measure sexually dimorphic play behavior. Sex-stratified analyses revealed that the generosity (β = 0.085, p < 0.05) and education (β = 0.142, p < 0.01) of fathers predicted higher feminine scores in girls and lower feminine (β = -0.144, p < 0.001) or higher masculine scores (β = 0.129, p < 0.01) in boys. Indices of chemical exposure (i.e., indoor decoration, biomass pollution, hand cleanliness, and passive smoking) had an association with PSAI scores in both girls and boys. Patterns of sensory processing, including tactile and proprioceptive senses scores and sensory underresponsivity scores, also were associated with PSAI scores. An association of PSAI scores with taking drugs during pregnancy and gestational nutrition was evident only in boys. Our results indicate that a social environment of parental guidance and an indoor environment of exposure to chemical are associated with behavioral sexual dimorphism. Children’s patterns of sensory processing also contributed to behavioral sexual dimorphism. Information about the gestational environment also should be considered when studying the development of sexual dimorphism in boys.
Postnatal Exposure, Play Behavior, Pre-school Activities Inventory, Sexual Dimorphism, Neurodevelopment, Preschool
To cite this article
Bingling Wang, Qian Zhang, Guochang Feng, Zhongqing Sun, Lijuan Wang, Xiao Jia, Shutao Pang, Ruqin Gao, The Association Between the Postnatal Environment and Behavioral Sexual Dimorphism in Pre-school Children in Single-Child Families in Qingdao, China, Science Journal of Public Health. Vol. 4, No. 6, 2016, pp. 500-505. doi: 10.11648/j.sjph.20160406.24
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