Height and Antisocial Behavior in XY and XYY Boys

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Science  16 Apr 1971:
Vol. 172, Issue 3980, pp. 284-286
DOI: 10.1126/science.172.3980.284


The observed association of the XYY genotype with both (i) large height in childhood and (ii) institutionalization for antisocial behavior suggested that large size per se in childhood might tend to establish personality patterns leading to eventual incarceration for delinquency. To investigate this question, the height distributions of four groups of XY boys in institutions for nonpsychotic, nonretarded juvenile offenders were compared with the published standards as well as the predicted gaussian distributions calculated from the mean and variance of the age-adjusted heights of each group. In none of these groups was there evidence for an increased number of large individuals. But three XYY individuals in the same institutions all had heights greater than the 90th percentile of XY boys of the same race.