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Males and females of the same species develop differently. The sex organs arise out of similar structures, but though the penis and the clitoris are homologous, they are very different in appearance and function. The male grows a larger larynx, the female larger breasts, the subcutaneous fat distribution and the hair pattern are different in the two sexes, and so on.

It wasn't very difficult to suppose that hormones were involved and that, like the organs whose development they controlled, they were similar but different in the two sexes.

In 1929 the American biochemist Edward Adelbert Doisy (1893-1986) and, working independently, the German chemist Adolf Friedrich Butenandt (b. 1903) isolated a female sex hormone, which came to be called estrone, from the Greek word for "sexual heat."

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Author:Asimov, Isaac
Publication:Asimov's Chronology of Science & Discovery, Updated ed.
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1994
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