Summary: Development of female secondary SEX CHARACTERISTICS in the MALE. It is due to the effects of estrogenic metabolites of precursors from endogenous or exogenous sources, such as ADRENAL GLANDS or therapeutic drugs.

Top Publications

  1. Stratakis C, Vottero A, Brodie A, Kirschner L, DeAtkine D, Lu Q, et al. The aromatase excess syndrome is associated with feminization of both sexes and autosomal dominant transmission of aberrant P450 aromatase gene transcription. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1998;83:1348-57 pubmed
  2. Verne S, Johnson M, Bouchon D, Grandjean F. Evidence for recombination between feminizing Wolbachia in the isopod genus Armadillidium. Gene. 2007;397:58-66 pubmed
    ..Wolbachia induce feminization in many terrestrial isopod species, particularly in the genus Armadillidium (Crustacea, Oniscidea)...
  3. Ainsworth T, Spiegel J. Quality of life of individuals with and without facial feminization surgery or gender reassignment surgery. Qual Life Res. 2010;19:1019-24 pubmed publisher
    To determine the self-reported quality of life of male-to-female (MTF) transgendered individuals and how this quality of life is influenced by facial feminization and gender reassignment surgery.
  4. Schubert S, Kamino K, Böhm D, Adham I, Engel W, von Wasielewski R, et al. TSPY expression is variably altered in transgenic mice with testicular feminization. Biol Reprod. 2008;79:125-33 pubmed publisher
    ..we have now generated sex-reversed TSPY transgenic Ar(Tfm) mice hemizygous for the X-linked testicular feminization mutation (Ar(Tfm))...
  5. Kuhl A, Brouwer M. Antiestrogens inhibit xenoestrogen-induced brain aromatase activity but do not prevent xenoestrogen-induced feminization in Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes). Environ Health Perspect. 2006;114:500-6 pubmed
    ..Results indicate that FAD and TBT inhibit aromatase activity in o,p -DDT-treated fish but do not prevent feminization, indicating that increased brain aromatase activity is not critical to EDC-induced male-to-female sex inversion...
  6. Hirai N, Nanba A, Koshio M, Kondo T, Morita M, Tatarazako N. Feminization of Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) exposed to 17beta-estradiol: formation of testis-ova and sex-transformation during early-ontogeny. Aquat Toxicol. 2006;77:78-86 pubmed
    ..6 ng/L) than lower concentrations (33.5 ng/L) of estradiol. The results also demonstrated that testis-ova first appear in the central area of the transverse axis of testis...
  7. Milnes M, Bermudez D, Bryan T, Edwards T, Gunderson M, Larkin I, et al. Contaminant-induced feminization and demasculinization of nonmammalian vertebrate males in aquatic environments. Environ Res. 2006;100:3-17 pubmed
  8. Ikeda M, Mitsui T, Setani K, Tamura M, Kakeyama M, Sone H, et al. In utero and lactational exposure to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin in rats disrupts brain sexual differentiation. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2005;205:98-105 pubmed
  9. Pi M, Chen L, Huang M, Zhu W, Ringhofer B, Luo J, et al. GPRC6A null mice exhibit osteopenia, feminization and metabolic syndrome. PLoS ONE. 2008;3:e3858 pubmed publisher
    ..GPRC6A is a widely expressed orphan G-protein coupled receptor that senses extracellular amino acids, osteocalcin and divalent cations in vitro. The physiological functions of GPRC6A are unknown...

More Information


  1. Filby A, Thorpe K, Maack G, Tyler C. Gene expression profiles revealing the mechanisms of anti-androgen- and estrogen-induced feminization in fish. Aquat Toxicol. 2007;81:219-31 pubmed
    ..anti-androgens are increasingly being recognized as potential contributing factors in the chemically induced feminization of wild fish because, by blocking androgen action, they can produce phenotypic effects similar to environmental ..
  2. Spiegel J. Challenges in care of the transgender patient seeking facial feminization surgery. Facial Plast Surg Clin North Am. 2008;16:233-8, viii pubmed publisher
    Facial feminization surgery (FFS) is the general term for a group of specific procedures that are used in an attempt to alter the perceived gender of an individual's face...
  3. Jobling S, Williams R, Johnson A, Taylor A, Gross Sorokin M, Nolan M, et al. Predicted exposures to steroid estrogens in U.K. rivers correlate with widespread sexual disruption in wild fish populations. Environ Health Perspect. 2006;114 Suppl 1:32-9 pubmed
  4. Harris C, Hamilton P, Runnalls T, Vinciotti V, Henshaw A, Hodgson D, et al. The consequences of feminization in breeding groups of wild fish. Environ Health Perspect. 2011;119:306-11 pubmed publisher
    The feminization of nature by endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) is a key environmental issue affecting both terrestrial and aquatic wildlife...
  5. Bouchon D, Rigaud T, Juchault P. Evidence for widespread Wolbachia infection in isopod crustaceans: molecular identification and host feminization. Proc Biol Sci. 1998;265:1081-90 pubmed
    ..cause three kinds of reproductive alterations in their hosts: cytoplasmic incompatibility, parthenogenesis and feminization. There have been many studies of the distribution of Wolbachia in arthropods, but very few crustacean species ..
  6. Sole M, Raldua D, Piferrer F, Barcelo D, Porte C. Feminization of wild carp, Cyprinus carpio, in a polluted environment: plasma steroid hormones, gonadal morphology and xenobiotic metabolizing system. Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol. 2003;136:145-56 pubmed
    ..The observed increase in VTG, sex hormones and in most of the enzymatic activities from January to March that could also be attributed to higher water temperature...
  7. O Dell K, Armstrong J, Yang M, Kaiser K. Functional dissection of the Drosophila mushroom bodies by selective feminization of genetically defined subcompartments. Neuron. 1995;15:55-61 pubmed
    ..Expression of transformer in other mushroom body domains, and in control lines, has no such effect. Our data support the view that genetically defined subsets of mushroom body intrinsic neurons perform different functional roles...
  8. Wu N, Yu A, Zhu H, Lin X. Effective silencing of Sry gene with RNA interference in developing mouse embryos resulted in feminization of XY gonad. J Biomed Biotechnol. 2012;2012:343891 pubmed publisher
    ..Further study revealed that knocking-down of Sry expression resulted in feminization of gonad development in mouse embryos and the expression level of Sox9 and Wt1 gene was also significantly ..
  9. Morales Montor J, Baig S, Mitchell R, Deway K, Hallal Calleros C, Damian R. Immunoendocrine interactions during chronic cysticercosis determine male mouse feminization: role of IL-6. J Immunol. 2001;167:4527-33 pubmed
    Taenia crassiceps cysticercosis results in an impressive feminization in male mice during chronic infection, characterized by increased serum estradiol levels 100 times their normal values, while those of testosterone and ..
  10. Dempf R, Eckert A. Contouring the forehead and rhinoplasty in the feminization of the face in male-to-female transsexuals. J Craniomaxillofac Surg. 2010;38:416-22 pubmed publisher
    ..In male-to-female transsexuals with strong masculine facial features facial feminization surgery can be performed as part of gender reassignment...
  11. Hayes T, Khoury V, Narayan A, Nazir M, Park A, Brown T, et al. Atrazine induces complete feminization and chemical castration in male African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis). Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010;107:4612-7 pubmed publisher
    ..These data are consistent with effects of atrazine observed in other vertebrate classes. The present findings exemplify the role that atrazine and other endocrine-disrupting pesticides likely play in global amphibian declines...
  12. Zuloaga D, Puts D, Jordan C, Breedlove S. The role of androgen receptors in the masculinization of brain and behavior: what we've learned from the testicular feminization mutation. Horm Behav. 2008;53:613-26 pubmed publisher
    ..The testicular feminization mutation (Tfm) in rodents, which produces a nonfunctional AR protein, provides an excellent model to probe the ..
  13. Hiroki M, Kato Y, Kamito T, Miura K. Feminization of genetic males by a symbiotic bacterium in a butterfly, Eurema hecabe (Lepidoptera: Pieridae). Naturwissenschaften. 2002;89:167-70 pubmed
    ..Cytological observations showed that thelygenic females lack the sex chromatin body (W chromosome). The results strongly suggest that the sex-ratio distortion in E. hecabe is due to feminization of genetic males by Wolbachia.
  14. Allen S, Bonduriansky R, Chenoweth S. The genomic distribution of sex-biased genes in drosophila serrata: X chromosome demasculinization, feminization, and hyperexpression in both sexes. Genome Biol Evol. 2013;5:1986-94 pubmed publisher
    ..serrata. Our results highlight how common genomic distributions of sex-biased genes, even among closely related species, may arise via quite different evolutionary processes. ..
  15. Hayes T, Anderson L, Beasley V, de Solla S, Iguchi T, Ingraham H, et al. Demasculinization and feminization of male gonads by atrazine: consistent effects across vertebrate classes. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2011;127:64-73 pubmed publisher
    ..germ cell numbers in teleost fish, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals, and induces partial and/or complete feminization in fish, amphibians, and reptiles...
  16. Lange A, Katsu Y, Ichikawa R, Paull G, Chidgey L, Coe T, et al. Altered sexual development in roach (Rutilus rutilus) exposed to environmental concentrations of the pharmaceutical 17alpha-ethinylestradiol and associated expression dynamics of aromatases and estrogen receptors. Toxicol Sci. 2008;106:113-23 pubmed publisher
    ..relevant concentrations of EE(2) during the critical period of sex differentiation resulted in gonadal feminization and all roach exposed to 4 ng EE(2)/l were females...
  17. Liu Z, Zhang Y, Wang D. Studies on feminization, sex determination, and differentiation of the Southern catfish, Silurus meridionalis--a review. Fish Physiol Biochem. 2010;36:223-35 pubmed publisher
    ..Taken together, we hypothesized that estrogen was highly responsible for the ovarian differentiation and feminization of catfish fry under artificial propagation, although the mechanism involved remains elusive.
  18. Walker V, Jefferson W, Couse J, Korach K. Estrogen receptor-? mediates diethylstilbestrol-induced feminization of the seminal vesicle in male mice. Environ Health Perspect. 2012;120:560-5 pubmed publisher
    Studies have shown that perinatal exposure to the synthetic estrogen diethylstilbestrol (DES) leads to feminization of the seminal vesicle (SV) in male mice, as illustrated by tissue hyperplasia, ectopic expression of the major estrogen-..
  19. Basrur P. Disrupted sex differentiation and feminization of man and domestic animals. Environ Res. 2006;100:18-38 pubmed
  20. Rubinstein C, Rivlin P, Hoy R. Genetic feminization of the thoracic nervous system disrupts courtship song in male Drosophila melanogaster. J Neurogenet. 2010;24:234-45 pubmed publisher
    ..This provides evidence that genes establishing sex-specific activation of complex behaviors may also be used in establishing pattern-generating motor networks underlying these sex-specific behaviors...
  21. Lardenois A, Chalmel F, Barrionuevo F, Demougin P, Scherer G, Primig M. Profiling spermatogenic failure in adult testes bearing Sox9-deficient Sertoli cells identifies genes involved in feminization, inflammation and stress. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2010;8:154 pubmed publisher
    ..The protein's absence in testicular Sertoli nurse cells has been shown to disrupt testicular function in adults but little is known at the genome-wide level about molecular events concomitant with testicular break-down...
  22. Zuloaga D, Morris J, Jordan C, Breedlove S. Mice with the testicular feminization mutation demonstrate a role for androgen receptors in the regulation of anxiety-related behaviors and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Horm Behav. 2008;54:758-66 pubmed publisher
    ..We compared adult genetic male mice with the testicular feminization mutation (Tfm), which lack functional ARs, to wild type male littermates (wt males) on an assay of sensorimotor ..
  23. An W, Hu J, Giesy J, Yang M. Extinction risk of exploited wild roach (Rutilus rutilus) populations due to chemical feminization. Environ Sci Technol. 2009;43:7895-901 pubmed publisher
    A model that assesses risks posed by feminization to wild populations of roach was developed...
  24. Hajszan T, MacLusky N, Johansen J, Jordan C, Leranth C. Effects of androgens and estradiol on spine synapse formation in the prefrontal cortex of normal and testicular feminization mutant male rats. Endocrinology. 2007;148:1963-7 pubmed
    ..the androgen receptor contributes to the mediation of these changes, we compared the response of testicular feminization mutant (Tfm) male rats to that of wild-type animals...
  25. Gross Sorokin M, Roast S, Brighty G. Assessment of feminization of male fish in English rivers by the Environment Agency of England and Wales. Environ Health Perspect. 2006;114 Suppl 1:147-51 pubmed
    ..In particular, the apparent widespread feminization of male fish in rivers has received significant attention from regulators in the United Kingdom, the United ..
  26. Hayes T, Stuart A, Mendoza M, Collins A, Noriega N, Vonk A, et al. Characterization of atrazine-induced gonadal malformations in African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) and comparisons with effects of an androgen antagonist (cyproterone acetate) and exogenous estrogen (17beta-estradiol): Support for the demasculinizat. Environ Health Perspect. 2006;114 Suppl 1:134-41 pubmed
    ..a first step in testing the hypothesis that the effects of atrazine are a combination of demasculinization and feminization. The various forms of hermaphroditism did not occur in controls...
  27. Nadzialek S, Depiereux S, Mandiki S, Kestemont P. In vivo biomarkers of estrogenicity: limitation of interpretation in wild environment. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 2011;60:471-8 pubmed publisher
    ..Biomarkers of feminization were assayed, such as vitellogenin expression and ovotestis screening...
  28. Jespersen A, Rasmussen T, Hirche M, Sørensen K, Korsgaard B. Effects of exposure to the xenoestrogen octylphenol and subsequent transfer to clean water on liver and gonad ultrastructure during early development of Zoarces viviparus embryos. J Exp Zool A Ecol Genet Physiol. 2010;313:399-409 pubmed publisher
    ..b>Feminization of the male gonads in the exposed specimens and a number of histopathological features were observed in all the ..
  29. Simpkins J, Richardson T, Yi K, Perez E, Covey D. Neuroprotection with non-feminizing estrogen analogues: an overlooked possible therapeutic strategy. Horm Behav. 2013;63:278-83 pubmed publisher
    ..Finally, we offer evidence that part of the neuroprotection of these non-feminizing estrogens is due to enhancement in redox potential of the synthesized compounds...
  30. Allen L. Feminisation: threat or opportunity?. Vet Rec. 2016;178:391-3 pubmed publisher
    ..However, Clare Allen suggests that, by understanding the processes behind feminisation, and responding appropriately, there is reason to be optimistic for the future of the veterinary profession. ..
  31. Kojima Y, Bhandari R, Kobayashi Y, Nakamura M. Sex change of adult initial-phase male wrasse, Halichoeres trimaculatus by estradiol-17 beta treatment. Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2008;156:628-32 pubmed publisher
    ..How the presence or absence of estrogen creates sexual plasticity in gonadal germ and somatic cells remains to be clarified...
  32. Oehlmann J, Schulte Oehlmann U, Oetken M, Bachmann J, Lutz I, Kloas W. Superfeminization as an effect of bisphenol A in Marisa cornuarietis. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2008;69:577-9; author reply 580-1 pubmed publisher
  33. Kelly A, Dunn A, Hatcher M. Incomplete feminisation by the microsporidian sex ratio distorter, Nosema granulosis, and reduced transmission and feminisation efficiency at low temperatures. Int J Parasitol. 2002;32:825-31 pubmed
    ..Reduced feminisation at low temperatures impedes the spread of the parasite so that it attains a substantially lower frequency, or may even be excluded, from host populations...
  34. Kuhn J, Lefebvre H, Duparc C, Pellerin A, Luton J, Strauch G. Cosecretion of estrogen and inhibin B by a feminizing adrenocortical adenoma: impact on gonadotropin secretion. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2002;87:2367-75 pubmed
    ..These data show that the tumor cosecreted E2 and inhibin B, which were both responsible for inhibition of gonadotropin secretion. Tumor secretions appeared to be much more potent in suppressing FSH than LH levels...
  35. Rota A, Ballarin C, Vigier B, Cozzi B, Rey R. Age dependent changes in plasma anti-Müllerian hormone concentrations in the bovine male, female, and freemartin from birth to puberty: relationship between testosterone production and influence on sex differentiation. Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2002;129:39-44 pubmed
    ..Bovine plasma concentrations of AMH are surprisingly higher than those measured in other mammals, including man and mouse. The results obtained are discussed in reference to comparative aspects of endocrine functions...
  36. Portillo W, Paredes R. Sexual and olfactory preference in noncopulating male rats. Physiol Behav. 2003;80:155-62 pubmed
    ..Males treated with EB or EB+P show no preference for female odors. These results demonstrate that treatment with EB or EB+P does not increase feminine sexual behavior in NC rats...
  37. Park S, Ha S, Kim K. Long-term follow-up after feminizing genital reconstruction in patients with ambiguous genitalia and high vaginal confluence. J Korean Med Sci. 2011;26:399-403 pubmed publisher
    ..The procedure is less invasive than other approaches and results in excellent cosmetic outcomes; and complications can be corrected by relatively simple procedures...
  38. Wise A, O Brien K, Woodruff T. Are oral contraceptives a significant contributor to the estrogenicity of drinking water?. Environ Sci Technol. 2011;45:51-60 pubmed publisher
    Recent observed feminization of aquatic animals has raised concerns about estrogenic compounds in water supplies and the potential for these chemicals to reach drinking water...
  39. Reznikov A, Nosenko N, Tarasenko L. Opioids are responsible for neurochemical feminization of the brain in prenatally stressed male rats. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2005;26:35-8 pubmed
    ..To study the role of opioids in early postnatal changes of the hypothalamic testosterone metabolism and catecholamine content underlying feminizing effect of prenatal stress on male sexual behavior in rats...
  40. Andía Melero V, García Centeno R, Fernández J, Vigovich C, Sánchez García Cervigón P, Jara Albarrán A. [Feminizing adrenal tumours in Spain: report of a case and review of the five previously published patients]. Endocrinol Nutr. 2009;56:470-4 pubmed publisher
  41. Forbes V, Aufderheide J, Warbritton R, van der Hoeven N, Caspers N. Does bisphenol A induce superfeminization in Marisa cornuarietis? Part II: toxicity test results and requirements for statistical power analyses. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2007;66:319-25 pubmed
    ..cornuarietis with adequate power...
  42. Dunn A, Hogg J, Hatcher M. Transmission and burden and the impact of temperature on two species of vertically transmitted microsporidia. Int J Parasitol. 2006;36:409-14 pubmed
    ..The reduced parasite burden at low temperatures may underpin reduced feminization at low temperatures and so limit the spread of sex ratio distorters through the host population.
  43. Rodrigues P, Reis Henriques M, Campos J, Santos M. Urogenital papilla feminization in male Pomatoschistus minutus from two estuaries in northwestern Iberian Peninsula. Mar Environ Res. 2006;62 Suppl:S258-62 pubmed
    Recently, male urogenital papilla feminization (UGPF) in the sand goby Pomatoschistus minutus was reported in several UK estuaries with high levels of estrogenic compounds...
  44. Veneti Z, Toda M, Hurst G. Host resistance does not explain variation in incidence of male-killing bacteria in Drosophila bifasciata. BMC Evol Biol. 2004;4:52 pubmed
    ..bifasciata in Hokkaido island of Japan, in contrast to the presence of infection on the proximal island of Honshu, was associated with failure of the infection to function properly on the Hokkaido genetic background...
  45. Balch G, Shami K, Wilson P, Wakamatsu Y, Metcalfe C. Feminization of female leukophore-free strain of Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) exposed to 17beta-estradiol. Environ Toxicol Chem. 2004;23:2763-8 pubmed
    ..The FLFII strain is an excellent teleost model for detecting feminization or masculinization of fish, and automated methods can be used for rapid analysis of the genotypic sex of FLFII ..
  46. Andersen L, Holbech H, Gessbo A, Norrgren L, Petersen G. Effects of exposure to 17alpha-ethinylestradiol during early development on sexual differentiation and induction of vitellogenin in zebrafish (Danio rerio). Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol. 2003;134:365-74 pubmed
    ..The half-life of vitellogenin was 2.4 days...
  47. Morales Montor J, Hallal Calleros C, Romano M, Damian R. Inhibition of p-450 aromatase prevents feminisation and induces protection during cysticercosis. Int J Parasitol. 2002;32:1379-87 pubmed
    ..These results suggest that aromatase and IL-6 are key molecules in the production of the feminisation undergone by infected male mice and to Fadrozole treatment as a possible new therapeutic approach to cysticercosis...
  48. Fu Z, Klaassen C. Short-term calorie restriction feminizes the mRNA profiles of drug metabolizing enzymes and transporters in livers of mice. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2014;274:137-46 pubmed publisher
    ..In conclusion, short-term CR alters the mRNA levels of over half of the 98 XPGs quantified in livers of male mice, and over half of these alterations appear to be due to feminization of the liver.
  49. Felix C, Pichon S, Braquart Varnier C, Braig H, Chen L, Garrett R, et al. Characterization and transcriptional analysis of two gene clusters for type IV secretion machinery in Wolbachia of Armadillidium vulgare. Res Microbiol. 2008;159:481-5 pubmed publisher
    Wolbachia are maternally inherited alpha-proteobacteria that induce feminization of genetic males in most terrestrial crustacean isopods...
  50. Wedekind C. Searching for sex-reversals to explain population demography and the evolution of sex chromosomes. Mol Ecol. 2010;19:1760-2 pubmed publisher
    ..Obviously, induced feminization or masculinization may immediately distort population sex ratios, and distorted sex ratios are indeed reported ..
  51. Oehlmann J, Schulte Oehlmann U, Bachmann J, Oetken M, Lutz I, Kloas W, et al. Bisphenol A induces superfeminization in the ramshorn snail Marisa cornuarietis(Gastropoda: Prosobranchia) at environmentally relevant concentrations. Environ Health Perspect. 2006;114 Suppl 1:127-33 pubmed
    ..The results emphasize that prosobranchs are affected by BPA at lower concentrations than are other wildlife groups, and the findings also highlight the importance of exposure conditions...
  52. Hirai N, Nanba A, Koshio M, Kondo T, Morita M, Tatarazako N. Feminization of Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) exposed to 17beta-estradiol: effect of exposure period on spawning performance in sex-transformed females. Aquat Toxicol. 2006;79:288-95 pubmed
  53. Ellis H, Shioda K, Rosenthal N, Coser K, Shioda T. Masculine epigenetic sex marks of the CYP19A1/aromatase promoter in genetically male chicken embryonic gonads are resistant to estrogen-induced phenotypic sex conversion. Biol Reprod. 2012;87:23, 1-12 pubmed publisher
    ..unknown, the genetic sex is experimentally reversible by in ovo exposure to exogenous estrogens (ZZ-male feminization) or aromatase inhibitors (ZW-female masculinization)...