The relative contribution of organizing and activating effects of sex hormones to the establishment of gender differences in behaviour is still unclear. In a group of 35 female-to-male transsexuals and a group of 15 male-to-female transsexuals a large battery of tests on aggression, sexual motivation and cognitive functioning was administered twice: shortly before and three months after the start of cross-sex hormone treatment. The administration of androgens to females was clearly associated with an increase in aggression proneness, sexual arousability and spatial ability performance. In contrast, it had a deteriorating effect on verbal fluency tasks. The effects of cross-sex ] hormones were just as pronounced in the male-to-female group upon androgen deprivation: anger and aggression proneness, sexual arousability and spatial ability decreased, whereas verbal fluency improved. This study offers evidence that cross-sex hormones directly and quickly affect gender specific behaviours. If sex-specific organising effects of sex hormones do exist in the human, they do not prevent these effects of androgen administration to females and androgen deprivation of males to become manifest.