Is Male Behavior affected by Hormones?
Of course! Any woman knows that. Men are as affected by their hormones as we women are affected by ours. Yet it takes a study from Cambridge University to prove to the world of powerful men that indeed, their behavior is affected by hormones.
What’s most interesting is that this recent study looked at not male athletic or sexual performance, but how testosterone levels affect financial decisions.
In today’s world where the alpha male is not judged as much by his brawn but by his brains (or at least his ability to make money), these findings are quite significant. The study found that the higher the morning levels of testosterone were, the more money made that day.
Testosterone is the hormone of assertion, confidence and when in excess – aggression.
So is risk-taking influenced by testosterone? Yes. High levels may drive men to take risks like aggressive trading of stocks, but in andropausal men declining testosterone forces them to seek ways to find that “high”. Middle-aged wives will attest to the fact that their husbands’ flagging hormones are the motivating factor behind the need to engage in high-risk behaviors like sports cars, sky-diving, and very young women.
Middle-aged men who seek hormonal help come to me in two forms – those dragged in by their wives or those concerned with their sexual performance. But I have found that many men who are put on cholesterol-lowering agents are in fact hormonally declining. Cholesterol is needed to make testosterone. As the testes produce less testosterone with age, the liver responds by producing more cholesterol.
I have also noticed an interesting trend of middle-aged men on anti-anxiety or antidepressant medications. I say interesting for treating them with bio-identical testosterone often relieves the symptoms, improves their outlook, and helps them function better at work and at home.
In long-married couples, their hormones flow as one.
Male testosterone mimics the cyclic surges of female estrogen increasing the likelihood of mating behavior at ovulation. When I prescribe hormone replacement therapy for my hypogonadal male patients, I ask that they take a three day break every month – the first three days of their spouse’s menstrual cycle.
Why? Because that is when her hormones are at their lowest and his will naturally follow. Plus it takes 72 hours to clear the cell receptor sites, averting hormone resistance. By taking a natural break, the cells remain responsive to the exogenous hormones, so it doesn’t take higher doses to get the same effect.
Many of my perimenopausal women who seek hormone balancing often end up bringing in their spouses to get balanced. And it works both ways. One of my male patients in his early forties was concerned he needed testosterone. When I explained that he would need to take a break from the bio-identical hormone replacement when his wife was menstruating, he said that would be difficult. Over the last year her cycles had been irregular, in fact she even skipped a couple of periods. Hmmm. Perhaps it’s his wife who needs hormonal support. His flagging hormones are responding to hers.
Male behavior, like female behavior, is affected by hormones.
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*Statements not reviewed by the FDA.
Research References: The original Cambridge study as published in Neuroscience, Late-onset hypogonadism: metabolic impact, Hypothalamus-hippocampus circuitry regulates impulsivity via melanin-concentrating hormone