PsychologyToday: Sex Hormone Secrets

This article from Psychology Today is an excellent primary on Personality and the dimorphic Sex Hormones.

Here are a few highlights from the article:

“For men and women alike, sex hormones (including testosterone, produced by the testes, and estrogen, from the ovaries) are power players in myriad human abilities and behaviors. Language, cognition, libido, and health all fluctuate as hormone levels change. Yet the impact is nuanced and often counterintuitive. Testosterone revs aggression in status-hungry men, but has little effect in more laid-back souls. Estrogen has long been thought to keep memory sharp before menopause—but for women who start taking estrogen supplements years after going through menopause, the result may be memory problems instead. Finally, just as sex hormones influence behavior, changing situations often modulate the hormones. “The causal arrow between hormones and behavior points in both directions,” says University of Nevada anthropologist Peter Gray. The subject is complex and often confusing. But given the common manipulation of sex hormones through prescription drugs and supplements, unraveling their hidden forces has never been more critical.”

“The ability to read a map or engineer a bridge isn’t due to gender per se, but rather to the way sex hormones influence the structure and function of the brain. Before we’re even born, testosterone in the womb influences development of brain regions handling spatial tasks. And as adults, optimum levels of testosterone and estrogen hone these skills yet again. In animals, there is a direct relationship between testosterone and spatial ability—for humans, that’s not the case.”

“Testosterone steers written language—and presumably, the writer—away from social connections but not necessarily toward anger or preoccupation with sex.

The findings are in line with a host of other studies showing Low-T guys and gals provide us with social glue. Testosterone tends to be low in family men raising children and high in single men playing the field. “Lower levels of testosterone may increase the likelihood men will stay home and care for their wives and kids and decrease the likelihood they will go out drinking with the guys and chasing other women,” says Harvard anthropologist Peter T. Ellison, who has studied the phenomenon for years.”

Read the entire article here “The Sex Hormone Secrets”:

Additional Reading “The End of Sex as We Know It” from the Dana Institute by Elizabeth Norton Lasley, and Bruce S. McEwen, Ph.D..

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