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Professor Melissa Hines

Professor Melissa Hines

Professor of Psychology

Fellow, Churchill College, Cambridge

Melissa Hines is accepting applications for PhD students.

Office Phone: +44 (0)1223 (3)34575 (Department) / +44 (0)1223 (3)36117 (Churchill College)


Professor Melissa Hines specialises in human gender development and is the Director of the Hormones and Behaviour Research Lab at the University of Cambridge. With an educational and professional background in personality and developmental psychology, as well as neuroscience and clinical practice, Professor Hines brings a distinct, multifaceted perspective to her teaching and research.

Professor Hines received a B.A. in Psychology from Princeton University, where she was in the first group of women enrolled as undergraduates.  This pioneering experience may have kindled her interest in gender. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), focusing her dissertation research on the gender-related behavior of women whose mothers had taken the synthetic estrogen diethylstilbestrol (DES) during pregnancy.  Subsequently, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Neuroendocrinology and Neuroscience at the UCLA Brain Research Institute and a Visiting Scientist, at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Primate Research Centre.  In these settings, she worked on developing animal models of hormonal influences on neural and behavioural development that would translate to the human condition. Before joining the Faculty at Cambridge, Professor Hines was on the academic staff of the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA and of the Departments of Psychology at the University of London, and City University, London, where she also directed the Behavioural Neuroendocrinology Research Centre.   She is a Past-President of the International Academy of Sex Research and a recipient of the Shephard Ivory Franz Award for Distinguished Teaching at UCLA.

Subject groups/Research projects

Developmental Psychology:

Research Interests

Hormonal influences on human neural and behavioral development across the lifespan, and interactions between hormones and experience in shaping behaviour. Specific questions being addressed in the lab include how hormone levels during foetal development influence children’s sex-typed toy, playmate and activity preferences; whether children’s cognitive understanding of gender mediates hormonal influences on behavior; how to optimise psychological well being in individuals exposed to atypical hormone environments prenatally, because they have disorders of sex development (DSD).


  • androgen
  • cognitive development
  • psychology
  • brain imaging
  • behaviour
  • Emotional development
  • Child Development
  • gender development
  • neuroendocrine
  • aggression

Key Publications

Hines, M. (2011). Gender development and the human brain. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 34, 67–86. 

Hines, M. (2009). Gonadal hormones and sexual differentiation of human brain and behavior. Hormones, Brain and Behavior, 2nd edition, Volume 3, Chapter 59, pp. 1869-1909. D. Pfaff, A.P. Arnold, A.M. Etgen, S.E. Fahrbach, & R.T. Rubin (eds.) Academic Press, New York.

Hines, M. (2009) Play and gender. In The Child: An Encyclopedic Companion. R.A. Shweder, T.R. Bidell, A.C. Dailey, S.D. Dixon, P.J. Miller, & J. Modell (eds.) University of Chicago Press, Chicago, in press.

Auyeung, B., Baron-Cohen, S., Ashwin, E., Knickmeyer, R., Taylor, K., Hackett, G. and Hines, M. (2009) Fetal testosterone predicts sexually differentiated childhood behavior in girls and in boys. Psychological Science, 20, 144-148.

Mathews, G.A., Fane, B.A., Conway, G.S., Brook, C.G.D. and Hines, M. (2009) Personality and congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Hormones and Behavior, 55, 285-291.

Hines, M. (2008) Early androgen influences on human neural and behavioural development. Early Human Development, 84, 805-807.

Golombok, S. Rust, J., Zervoulis, K., Croudace, T., Golding, F. and Hines, M. (2008) Developmental trajectories of sex-typed behavior in boys and girls: A longitudinal general population study of children aged 2.5-8 years. Child Development, 79, 1585-1595.

Pasterski, V.L., Hindmarsh, P., Geffner, M., Brook, C.D.G., Brain, C. and Hines, M. (2007) Increased aggression and activity level in 3- to 11-year-old girls with congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Hormones and Behavior, 52, 368-374.

Hines, M. (2006) Do sex differences in cognition cause the shortage of women in science? In Women and Science. S. Ceci and W. Williams (eds.) American Psychological Association Press, Washington, D.C.

Hughes, I.A., Houk, C., Ahmed, S.F., Lee, P.A., and LWPES/ESPE Consensus Group. (2006) Consensus statement on management of intersex disorders. Archives of Disease in Childhood; doi: 10.1136/adc.2006.098319.

Pasterski, V.L., Geffner, M., Brain, C., Hindmarsh, P., Brook, C., and Hines, M. (2005) Prenatal hormones versus postnatal socialization by parents as determinants of male-typical toy play in girls with congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Child Development 76, 264-278.

Hines, M. (2004) Brain Gender. Oxford University Press, New York.

Hines, M., Brook, C. & Conway, G.S. (2004) Androgen and psychosexual development: Core gender identity, sexual orientation and recalled childhood gender role behavior in men and women with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). Journal of Sex Research 41: 75-81.

Hines, M., Ahmed, S.F. & Hughes, I.A. (2003) Psychological outcomes and gender-related development in complete androgen insensitivity syndrome (CAIS). Archives of Sexual Behavior 32: 93–101.

Alexander, G.M., & Hines, M. (2002). Sex differences in response to children’s toys in non-human primates (cercopithecus aethiops sabaeus). Evolution and Human Behavior 23: 467-479.

Hines, M., Golombok, S., Rust, J., Johnston, K.J., Golding J. & the ALSPAC study team (2002). Testosterone during pregnancy and gender role behavior of children: A longitudinal population study. Child Development 73: 1678-1687.