Unit of Gynecological Endocrinology and Menopause

Pavia, Italy

Unit of Gynecological Endocrinology and Menopause

Pavia, Italy

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Rellini A.H.,University of Vermont | Stratton N.,Concordia University at Montréal | Tonani S.,Unit of Gynecological Endocrinology and Menopause | Santamaria V.,Unit of Gynecological Endocrinology and Menopause | And 4 more authors.
Hormones and Behavior | Year: 2013

The role androgens play in female sexual desire remains unclear. We investigated whether androgen sensitivity or elevated androgen levels contributed to sexual desire using a motivational model of sexual desire. Eighty-five women diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) were categorized depending on whether they exhibited clinical symptoms of androgen sensitivity or high biochemical androgen levels. Additionally, instead of looking at desire as a uniform construct, we divided desire based on the reasons why women experienced desire, thus distinguishing desire to have sex for relational purposes from the desire to have sex for mating selection or physical pleasure. Findings confirmed that clinical signs suggesting sensitivity to androgen levels, but not biological levels of androgens per se predicted levels of sexual desire. Moreover, in agreement with our hypothesis, we found support for a relationship between androgen sensitivity and some, but not other aspects of sexual desire. Cues that are most closely related to mating selection were significantly associated with androgen sensitivity, but not cues associated with desiring sex to feel emotionally close or create a love bonding with a partner. This study presents a new way to investigate desire and shows some preliminary findings on the importance to consider androgen sensitivity when investigating the relationship between sexual desire and hormones. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

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