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Gender Development Research Centre


The GDRC's Dr Miha Constantinescu and Prof Melissa Hines have a paper published in Developmental Science showing a correlation between testosterone and infants' performance in mental rotation tasks.

The paper, co-authored with David Moore and Scott Johnson and entitled Early Contributions to Infants' Mental Rotation Abilities, can be found here.
This is the first study to provide evidence of a correlation between testosterone concentrations during the early postnatal testosterone surge (“mini-puberty”) and performance on a mental rotation task in boys at 5–6 months of age. The study is also the first to provide evidence of a relationship between parental attitudes about gender and mental rotation performance in girls at 5–6 months of age.
The study is the first to provide evidence of an early postnatal surge in salivary testosterone. Previously, this surge has been seen in serum and urine samples, but not in saliva samples. Our data suggest that the surge can also be detected using saliva samples in infants at 1–2.5 months of age. This study reports a moderate-to-large gender difference in infants’ mental rotation abilities at 5–6 months of age, with male infants more likely to show mental rotation ability than female infants.

Latest news

Members of the GDRC attend workshop on 'Sex Differences, Dimorphisms and Divergences' in Erice, Sicily

10 June 2019

Prof Melissa Hines, Dr Debra Spencer, Prof Marcia Collaer and Dr Vickie Pasterski of the GDRC attended the workshop in May 2019, and Prof Hines gave a presentation on 'Human Gender Development'.

Ellen Robertson's talk at University of Marin Barleti, Albania

25 March 2019

Ellen Robertson gave a talk at the University of Marin Barleti, Albania, entitled 'Social Representations and the Sworn Virgins of Northern Albania', reflecting her PhD interests. More information on this topic can be found in a reference entry Ellen wrote for UCL's Encyclopedia of Informality.

Presentation by Ellen Robertson at Cambridge Interdisciplinary Performance Network (CIPN)

15 November 2018

Ellen Robertson, PhD candidate in the GDRC, will be giving a seminar entitled 'Dressing the Self/Other in Greek Drama, Italian Opera and Rural Albania' as part of the Cambridge Interdisciplinary Performance Network (CIPN) Series (CIPN) fortnightly Tuesday seminar series on Tuesday 27 November 2018.

Welcome to Professor Marcia Collaer

6 November 2018

The GDRC is very pleased to welcome Prof Marcia Collaer to Cambridge! Marcia is Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience Affiliate at Middlebury College, VT, USA. She is currently a Visiting Scholar in the GDRC, Department of Psychology and Overseas Fellow at Churchill College for 2018-19.

Group members at Gender Development Research Conference, San Francisco

1 November 2018

Prof Melissa Hines, Dr Debra Spencer and PhD candidate Marta Beneda went to the Gender Development Research Conference, San Francisco. This event is held every two years in San Francisco and hosts many of the world’s leading researchers of gender development from interdisciplinary fields. Prof Hines gave a talk and the group also presented two posters.