Skip to main content

Relations between sex hormone levels and sexual behavior in men

Abstract

Using a sample of 33 healthy young men, 6 blood samples were obtained in the course of 2 weeks, and testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and estradiol levels determined. The amount of free testosterone in the saliva was also ascertained for 23 of the subjects. All participants kept a daily record of their sexual activity during the investigational period. An interindividual comparison revealed a significant positive correlation between serum testosterone levels and the frequency of orgasms as well as a significant negative correlation between estradiol concentrations and the frequency of sexual activity without orgasm. The comparison of hormone levels to sexual behavior, prior to and after the individual sampling, reveals significant positive correlations between the serum testosterone and the extent of the preceding sexual stimulation, and between the total testosterone and the free testosterone on the one hand and both the preceding and subsequent frequency of orgasms on the other. The estradiol levels showed a significant negative correlation with both the preceding and the subseqent frequencies of sexual activity without orgasm.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Bancroft, J. (1978). The relationship between hormones and sexual behaviour in humans. In Hutchinson, J. B. (eds.),Biological Determinants of Sexual Behaviour. Wiley, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bancroft, J. (1983).Human Sexuality and its Problems. Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brown, W. A., Monti, P. M., and Corriveau, D. P. (1978). Serum testosterone and sexual activity and interest in men.Arch. Sex. Behav. 7: 97–103.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Christiansen, K., Knussmann, R., and Couwenbergs, C. (1985). Sex hormones and stress in the human male.Horm. Behav. 19: 426–440.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Couwenbergs, C., Knussmann, R., and Christiansen, K. (1986). Comparisons of the intra-and inter-individual variability in sex hormone levels of men.Ann. Hum. Biol. 13: 63–72.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Davidson, J. M., Chen, J. J., Crapo, L., Gray, G. D., Greenleaf, W. J. and Catania, J. A. (1983). Hormonal changes and sexual function in aging men.J. Clin. Endrocrinol. Metab. 57: 71–77.

    Google Scholar 

  • Doering, C. H., Brodie, H. K. H., Kraemer, H., Becker, H., and Hamburg, D. A. (1974). Plasma testosterone levels and psychologic measures in men over a 2-month period. In Friedman, R. C., Richart, R. M., Van de Wiele, R. L., and Stern, L. D.,Sex Differences in Behavior. Wiley, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ferguson, D. B. (1984). Physiological considerations in the use of salivary steroid estimation for clinical investigations. In Ferguson, D. B.,Steroid Hormones in Saliva Karger, Basel.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fox, C. A., Ismail, A. A. A., Love, D. N., Kirkham, K. E., and Loraine, J. A. (1972). Studies on the relationship between plasma testosterone levels and human sexual activity.J. Endocrinol. 52: 51–58.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Khan-Dawood, F. S., Choe, J. K., and Dawood, M. Y. (1984). Salivary and plasma bound and “free” testosterone in men and women.Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol. 148: 441–445.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Knussmann, R., Couwenbergs, C., Christiansen, K., and Fischer-Brügge, U. (1985). Relations between the intra-individual variability in sex hormone levels of men and several other factors.Coll. Antropol. 9: 189–199.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kraemer, H. C., Becker, H. B., Brodie, H. K. H., Doering, C. H., Moos, R. H., and Hamburg, D. A. (1976). Orgasmic frequency and plasma testosterone levels in normal human males.Arch. Sex. Behav. 5: 125–132.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • LaFerla, J. J., Anderson, D. L., and Schalch, D. S. (1978). Psychoendocrine response to sexual arousal in human males.Psychosomat. Med. 40: 166–172.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lee, P. A., Jaffe, R. B., and Midgley, A. R. (1974). Lack of alteration of serum gonadotropins in men and women following sexual intercourse.Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol. 120: 985–987.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Lienert, G. A. (1978).Verteilungsfreie Methoden in der Biostatistik. 2. Aufl., Bd. 2. A. Hain, Meisenheim.

  • Lincoln, G. A. (1974). Luteinising hormone and testosterone in man.Nature 252: 232–233.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Luisi, M., Bernini, P., Genovese, A. del, Birindelli, R., Barletta, D., Gasperi, M., and Franchi, F. (1980). Radioimmunoassay for “free” testosterone in human saliva.J. Steroid Biochem. 12: 513–516.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Monti, P. M., Brown, W. A., and Corriveau, D. P. (1977). Testosterone and components of aggressive and sexual behavior in man.Am. J. Psychiat. 134: 692–694.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Nieschlag, E. (1979). The endocrine function of the human testis in regard to sexuality. InSex, Hormones and Behaviour. Ciba Foundation Symposium 62, Excerpta Medica, Amsterdam.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nieschlag, E., and Loriaux, D. L. (1972). Radioimmunoassay for plasma-testosterone.Z. klin. Chem. klin. Biochem. 10: 164–168.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Nieschlag, E., and Wickings, E. J. (1981). The role of testosterone in the evaluation of testicular function. In Abraham, G. E. (ed.),Radioassay Systems in Clinical Endocrinology Marcel Denker, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Persky, H., Lief, H. I., Strauss,, D., Miller, W. R., and O'Brien, C. P. (1978). Plasma testosterone level and sexual behavior of couples.Arch. Sex. Behav. 7: 157–173.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Pirke, K. M., Kockott, G., and Dittmar, F. (1974). Psychosexual stimulation and plasma testosterone in man.Arch. Sex. Behav. 6: 577–584.

    Google Scholar 

  • Purvis, K., Landgren, B.-M., Cekan, Z., and Diczfalusy, E. (1976). Endocrine effects of masturbation in men.J. Endocrinol. 70: 439–444.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Schmidt, G. (1983). Motivationale Grundlagen sexuellen Verhaltens. In Thomae, H. (ed.),Psychologie der Motive. Hogrefe, Göttingen.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schürmeyer, T., Wickings, E. J., Freischem, C. W., and Nieschlag, E. (1983). Saliva and serum testosterone following oral testosterone undecanoate administration in normal and hypogonadal men.Acta Endocrinol. 102: 456–462.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Smith, R. G., Besch, P. K., Dill, B., and Buttram, V. C. (1979). Saliva as a matrix for measuring free androgens: Comparison with serum androgens in polycystic ovarian disease.Fertil. Steril. 31: 513–517.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Stearns, E. L., Winter, J. S. D., and Faiman, C. (1973). Effects of coitus on gonadotropin, prolactin and sex steroid levels in man.J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 37: 687–691.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Walker, R. F., Wilson, D. W., Read, G. F., and Riad-Fahmy, D. (1980). Assessment of testicular function by the radioimmunoassay of testosterone in saliva.Int. J. Androl. 3: 105–120.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Wang, C., Plymate, S., Nieschlag, E., and Paulson, C. A. (1981). Salivary testosterone in men: Further evidence of a direct correlation with free serum testosterone.J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 53: 1021–1024.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Additional information

Supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Project no. Kn 66/24).

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Knussmann, R., Christiansen, K. & Couwenbergs, C. Relations between sex hormone levels and sexual behavior in men. Arch Sex Behav 15, 429–445 (1986). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01543113

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01543113

Key words

  • sexual hormones
  • testosterone
  • estradiol
  • frequency of orgasms
  • sexual activity
  • sexual stimulation