can both speed and slow the rate of sexual development. In general,
it would appear from existing data that estrogen mimics speed sexual
development in females, while anti-androgens slow sexual development
in males. This story is far from complete. For example, we could
find no report of a test of an androgen mimic (such as tributyl
tin) on the rate of sexual development in males. Androgen mimics
should speed the onset of puberty in males.
the sparseness of the scientific literature indicates that most
compounds have not been tested systematically for their effects.
The studies that have been done, however, reveal very strong
effects, suggesting that other hormonally-active compounds, not
yet studied, will also have impacts.
following table provides a sample of existing studies. For each
contaminant it indicates whether sexual development is sped or slowed
in males vs. females.
leptin: Leptin is a recently discovered new hormone involved in
weight regulation and the timing of puberty.