The sheep is a valuable model to test whether hormone mechanisms that sexually differentiate the brain underlie the expression of sexual partner preferences because as many as 8% of rams prefer same-sex partners. This review presents an overview and update of the experimental evidence that supports this hypothesis. New evidence is presented that demonstrates a critical role for kisspeptin-GnRH signaling for regulating stable fetal testosterone levels necessary for masculinization of brain and behavior. Although these studies provide substantial support for the idea that prenatal hormones program sexual preferences, further experimentation is needed to establish causality.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Behavioral Neuroscience