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Definition of Androgenic

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Androgenic: Pertaining to the development of male characteristics, including body hair, the genital organs and muscle mass. "Androgenic" is the adjective form of the noun "androgen," a word referring to any of the male hormones, including testosterone and androsterone.

Androgenic development -- that is, the development of male characteristics -- begins in puberty, the time when a person becomes physically capable of producing offspring. In males, this time most commonly occurs between ages 12 and 14. A deepening voice is one of the signs of androgenic activity.

Androgen is produced in males by the testes, the two globe-shaped reproductive organs below the penis, and by the adrenal glands, two small hormone-producing organs that each sit atop a kidney. Androgen is also produced in females in the adrenal glands. Overproduction of androgen can generate some male characteristics in women and exaggerate male characteristics in men.

"Androgenic" is derived from the Greek words "andros" (man) and "genein" (to produce)." Related words include "androgynous" (having both male and female characteristics), "andrology" (the study of health in males), "androphobia" (fear of men) and "android" (in science fiction, a manlike robot).

Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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