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Are progesterone levels more indicative of sexual drive than testosterone?

  1. Sep 10, 2018 #1
    Replicating past findings, no significant correlations between T and desire in men were apparent,
    but these analyses showed that the null association remained even when psychological and confound variables were controlled. Men showed higher desire than women, but masturbation frequency rather than T influenced this difference. Results were discussed in terms of challenges to assumptions of clear links between T and desire.

    It was suggested to me that progesterone levels are more crucial for higher sex drive and could account for why T levels beyond normal have no correlation with sex drive. Is this a plausible hypothesis? Are we examining the wrong androgen?
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 13, 2018 #2


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    Since no reply for you since Monday, I'll take a stab at it.
    At least it will be like the marines, " No post left behind", unanswered.

    Probably a thorough complete picture of what drives the female libido ( and male ) is missing, and/or neglected.
    And/or they are using the wrong subjects.
    So what works for men should work for women, right - ie men high sex drive -> testosterone -> women > give them testosterone -> should make them have a high sex drive - NOT.
    Here's one site from 2003 and what they say - post menopausal women - seems naïve in its simplistic feel good approach.

    A commentary on the study mentioned in your post, as they explain and explore it in more detail for the general reader.
    Notice the word dysfunction along with pharmaceutical treatment is mentioned. As if low libido is somehow a disease rather than part of the natural adaptations of women to survive and produce offspring, at least for the fertility years.

    And another who has some misgivings about some of the research.
    As she states,
    Maybe the best way to impress and encourage desire is to do the dishes, and take a bath every once in a while. In other words, work at it youself.

    Anyways, you asked about progesterone.
    some info, rather a lot of it, from wiki.
    Note that testosterone is a pre-cursor for testosterone, at least in men, not sure for women, I suppose so also.

    And wiki on sexual hormones,
  4. Sep 13, 2018 #3
    The question about male vs female sexuality is less puzzling since there are quite a few female hormones that could complicate matters (intruding variables). What doesn't make since is how testosterone levels quickly renders in diminishing returns, despite the fact that some have clearly higher sex drives than others. Hormones do affect sex drive, this is a no-brainer, but it doesn't seem to be testosterone levels determining higher level sex drive.
  5. Sep 13, 2018 #4
    But you see, one can still have one lower than the other...The levels of respective hormone isn't analoge.
  6. Sep 19, 2018 #5
    I think in humans the old adage that size doesn't matter falls to bits. Size clearly does matter, but its the size of the organ between our ears that's important. The behavioural effects of most hormones that are obvious in most animals are often difficult to demonstrate consistently in humans, testosterone in animals is often very clearly associated with sexual behaviour and violence but in humans our cognitive abilities seem to override these effects. There are also problems in deciding cause and effect as hormone levels may change as the result of behaviour rather than them being a cause, sex itself actually increases testosterone production. In men progesterone is produced alongside testosterone and while it can act as a precursor to testosterone it can also be converted to aldosterone, cortisol and estradiol as no hormone really operates in isolation this muddies the water somewhat as for example cortisol antagonises many of the actions of testosterone.
    Generally it seems the most important factors in human sexual behaviour are mental and I suspect trying to make sense of any hormone effects will lead you in all sorts of directions with a huge number of variables. I can't really see why progesterone would have any sort of pivotal role or even if it did, a role that could be teased out from the general confusion.
  7. Sep 24, 2018 #6
    It seems to point in that direction. I find it hard to believe that though given all we know about hormones and the differences between male and female sexuality.
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