The presence of a woman increases testosterone in aggressive dominant men

Horm Behav. 2008 Nov;54(5):640-4. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2008.07.001. Epub 2008 Jul 11.


In line with the challenge hypothesis, this study investigated the effects of the presence of a woman on the testosterone (T) levels of young men. An informal contact with a woman of approximately 5 min resulted in an increase in salivary T among men. These effects occurred particularly in men with an aggressive dominant personality. In addition, higher salivary T levels were related to a more aggressively dominant personality, being sexual inactive for a month or more, and not being involved in a committed, romantic relationship. The most important findings of this study are that the short presence of a woman induces specific hormonal reactions in men, and that these effects are stronger for aggressively dominant men.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aggression / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Saliva / chemistry
  • Saliva / metabolism
  • Sexual Behavior / physiology
  • Social Adjustment*
  • Social Dominance*
  • Social Environment*
  • Testosterone / analysis
  • Testosterone / metabolism*
  • Young Adult


  • Testosterone