Pair Bonding and Testosterone in Men: Longitudinal Evidence for Trait and Dynamic Associations
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Testosterone (T) and pair bonding in men are linked such that lower T is associated with monoamorous partnering (i.e., with one person) and high T is associated with singlehood. However, it has remained unclear whether T levels predict partnering status or vice versa. Evidence suggests time course of T measurements in relation to partnering as well as nurturant and sexual experiences may affect whether T predicts partnering or vice versa and that transitions into or out of partnerhood may have unique associations with changes in T. We examined links between salivary T levels, relationship status, and relationship status transitions in 78-first year male college students over an approximately year-long period. Using longitudinal data, our findings largely support trait associations between T and relationship status in men, i.e., that T predicts relationship status. However, our data also provide novel evidence of dynamic associations and differences in T levels at different relationship status transitions.
KeywordsTestosterone Pair bonding Directionality Longitudinal Relationships
The authors would like to acknowledge Terri L. Conley, Divya Patel, and the members of the van Anders and Conley Labs for help with data collection.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
This study was funded by faculty discretionary funds.
Conflicts of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Research Involving Human Participants
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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