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Any of a group of hormones that mainly influence the development of the male reproductive system. The main and most active androgen is testosterone, produced by cells in the testes. Androgens produced in smaller quantities, mainly by the adrenal gland but also by the testes, support the functions of testosterone. Androgens cause the normal changes of puberty in boys' bodies and then influence sperm-cell formation, sexual interest and behaviour, and male pattern baldness. Females produce trace quantities of androgens, mostly in the adrenal glands, as well as in the ovaries.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on androgen, visit Britannica.com.