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Department of Psychology

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Professor Melissa Hines specialises in human gender development and is the Director of the Gender Development Research Centre 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.


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).


Key publications: 

Li, G., Kung, K.T.F. & Hines, M. (2017). Childhood gender-typed behavior and adolescent sexual orientation: a longitudinal population-based study. Developmental Psychology, 53: 764-777.

Kung, K.T.F., Spencer, D., Pasterski, V., Neufeld, S., Glover, V., O’Connor, T.G., Hindmarsh, P.C., Hughes, I.A., Acerini, C.L. & Hines, M. (2016). No Relationship Between Prenatal Androgen Exposure and Autistic Traits: Convergent Evidence from Studies of Children with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia and of Amniotic Testosterone Concentrations in Typically-Developing Children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 57: 1455-1462.

Kung, K.T.F., Browne, W.V., Constantinescu, M., Noorderhaven, R.M. & Hines, M. (2016). Early postnatal testosterone predicts sex-related differences in early expressive vocabulary. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 68: 111–116.

Hines, M., Spencer, D., Kung, K.T.F., Browne, W.V., Constantinescu, M. & Noorderhaven, R. (2016). The early postnatal period, mini-puberty, provides a window on the role of testosterone in human neurobehavioral development. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 38: 69-73.

Hines, M., Pasterski, V.L., Hindmarsh, P.C., Acerini, C.L., Hughes, I.A., Spencer, D., Neufeld, S. & Patalay, P. (2016). Processes involved in the self-socialization of gender-related behaviour are altered in girls with congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Philosophical Transactions B, 371: 20150125.

Hines, M. (2015). Gendered development.  In Handbook of Child Development and Developmental Science (7th edition). R. M. Lerner and M. E. Lamb (eds.) Volume 3, Chapter 10.

Lamminmaki, A., Hines, M., Kuiri–Hanninen, T. Kilpelainen, L., Dunkel, L. & Sankilampi, U. (2012). Testosterone measured in infancy predicts subsequent sex–typed behavior in girls and in boys.  Hormones and Behavior, 61: 611–616. 

Jadva, V, Hines, M., & Golombok, S. (2010). Infants’ preferences for toys, colors and shapes: Sex differences and similarities. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 39: 1261–1273.

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

Golombok, S. Rust, J., Zervoulis, K., Croudace, T., Golding, F. & 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. 

Iervolino, A.C., Hines, M., Golombok, S., Rust, J. & Plomin, R. (2005). Genetic and environmental influences on sex–typed behaviour during the preschool years. Child Development, 76: 826–840.

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.

Collaer., M.L. & Hines, M. (1995). Human behavioral sex differences: a role for gonadal hormones during early development? Psychological Bulletin, 118: 55–107.

Berenbaum, S.A. & Hines, M. (1992). Early androgens are related to childhood sex–typed toy preferences. Psychological Science, 3: 203–206.

Allen, L.S., Hines, M., Shryne, J.S. & Gorski, R.A. (1989). Two sexually dimorphic cell groups in the human brain. The Journal of Neuroscience, 9: 497–506.

Hines, M., Davis, F.C., Coquelin, A., Goy, R.W. & Gorski, R.A. (1985). Sexually dimorphic regions in the medial preoptic area and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis of the guinea pig brain: a description and an investigation of their relationship to gonadal steroids in adulthood. The Journal of Neuroscience, 5: 40–47.

Hines, M. (1982). Prenatal gonadal hormones and sex differences in human behavior. Psychological Bulletin, 92: 56–80.

Professor of Psychology
Fellow, Churchill College, Cambridge
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Contact Details

+44 (0)1223 (3)34575 (Department) / +44 (0)1223 (3)36117 (Churchill College)
Person keywords: 
cognitive development
brain imaging
Emotional development
Child Development
gender development
Takes PhD students
Not available for consultancy