Testosterone, alcohol, and civil and rough conflict resolution strategies in lesbian couples

J Homosex. 2002;42(4):77-88. doi: 10.1300/J082v42n04_05.


The present study investigated the relations among testosterone level, acute alcohol consumption, and the use of violent (Rough) or non-violent (Civil) conflict resolution strategies in lesbian couples. The participants were 54 lesbian campers at a women's campground or spectators at a gay pride celebration who each provided a saliva sample for testosterone assay and completed a questionnaire. On the questionnaire, participants indicated whether they used Civil or Rough tactics to deal with domestic discord, and whether or not their use of these tactics varied with their use of alcohol. High testosterone women used Rough tactics equally when drinking as when not drinking, while low testosterone women used Rough tactics far more often when drinking than when not drinking. Alcohol appears to release violent tenden- cies in low testosterone women, who are characteristically restrained under sober conditions, but has little effect on high testosterone women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology*
  • Conflict, Psychological*
  • Domestic Violence / psychology
  • Female
  • Homosexuality, Female / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Spouses / psychology*
  • Testosterone / blood*


  • Testosterone