The aims of this study were to determine (a) if there are differences in gastric emptying rates of a mixed liquid and solid meal between men and women, (b) if menopausal status affects gastric emptying, and (c) whether differences in solid emptying rates are associated with alterations in postprandial antral motility parameters. A dual-isotope technique was used to measure gastric emptying in 20 men, 18 premenopausal women, 14 postmenopausal women, and 8 postmenopausal women taking estrogen and progesterone hormone replacement. A multilumen perfusion catheter was used to measure antral motility in 6 men and 6 premenopausal women. Premenopausal women, postmenopausal women, and postmenopausal women taking oral estrogen and progesterone had slower gastric emptying of liquids than did men (p less than 0.025, less than 0.05, and less than 0.025, respectively). Both premenopausal women and postmenopausal women taking sex hormone replacement therapy had slower emptying of solids than did men (p less than 0.025 and less than 0.05) but, in contrast to liquids, postmenopausal women not on hormone replacement emptied solids at a rate similar to that of men. There were no differences in postprandial antral motility parameters between men and premenopausal women. These findings support the hypothesis that sex steroid hormones have variable inhibitory effects on gastric emptying of a mixed meal and this should be considered when studying gastric emptying in disorders that occur predominantly in premenopausal women.