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University of Maryland Global Campus Influence of Sex Hormones Questions

. What do you think about Paige’s story? Is her experience a valid one? Could it be that Paige’s experience does, indeed, provide us with a unique window into the dramatic influence that sex-hormones can exert on brain function, or is it possible that something else is going on?

b. Explain how sex hormones might explain Paige’s experience. Be sure to include a consideration of critical periods and primary/secondary effects. Is there any specific evidence in her story that supports a hormonal mechanism? 

First mate post

Paige’s story is a interesting one and can very easily be baffling. I defiantly think her experience is valid because she is able to express what is going on very specifically and clearly. She is able to distinguish the two genders that she experiences very vividly and is able to articulate how she feels being the genders very well. At first I was wondering if this could be a identity factor dealing with being Transgender. I also wondered if it could be dissociative identity disorder because of the clear rapid switching in not only genders but personalities in a way. While explaining Paige’s story it was mentioned that her experiences was possible signs of the disorder. I think Paige’s story could be a unique window on how sex-hormones can have a influence on brain function. There are two types of hormones that have a higher level in each sex. Females main sex-hormone is estrogen while Males are testosterone. It was mentioned that Paige was medically diagnosed with low testosterone levels. So this could easily be viewed as sex-hormones having a influence on brain function and not as much to do with a mental health disorder. 

second mate post

think Paige’s story is a valid one, especially after Spiegel did a follow up phone call with Paige over a year later. Paige had explained that she had mostly stopped flipping and that she was primarily a woman. She could not explain how or why this happened, but that the flipping rarely happened and when it did, it took her by surprise. The reason this makes sense to me is because she was on hormones for a longer and more consistent amount of time. The possible flipping after she was primarily a woman could possibly be a result of inconsistencies with her dosage of hormones or other environmental causes, such as when she was in the Navy she may have felt like a male because she may have lifted weights, which produces more testosterone in the body. (Vingren et al., 2010)

b. Explain how sex hormones might explain Paige’s experience. Be sure to include a consideration of critical periods and primary/secondary effects. Is there any specific evidence in her story that supports a hormonal mechanism?

Paige’s experience may be a result of sex hormones during the primary and secondary effects during the critical period. For boys in the womb, estrogen is the sex hormone during the critical period that will masculinize their brain. After the secondary effects, their brain will eventually support the neurological foundation of male sexual behaviors as an adult. (Wetzell, 2021) However, after this period is over, the hormone receptors will shut off and even though the baby is being exposed to hormones, the hormones are not being received. (Wetzell, 2021) In Paige’s case, what may have happened is that her brain received the estrogen while she was in the womb but may not have been exposed to it for as long as most males are, which could explain why when she started injecting hormones, she felt more like a woman than a man on most days. 

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