Effect of androgen treatment on fear reactions in ewes

Horm Behav. 1993 Dec;27(4):435-48. doi: 10.1006/hbeh.1993.1032.


The effects of prolonged androgen treatment (testosterone propionate, 10 mg/day for 56 days) on fear reactions in ewes were studied using a battery of tests previously designed and validated. These tests involved situations classically reported to induce fear in sheep: isolation from conspecifics, surprise, and presence of a human. Testosterone-treated ewes differed from controls in a number of behavioral characteristics which indicate that they are less fearful in the various test situations. Their overall scores were respectively 9.5 vs 11.5 (P < 0.05) in the isolation test, 7.9 vs 13.1 (P < 0.001) in the surprise test, and 7.8 vs 13.2 (P < 0.001) in the human test. Testosterone treatment thus clearly reduces fear reactions in ewes subjected to nonsocial situations that are typically fear-eliciting.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arousal / drug effects*
  • Fear / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Habituation, Psychophysiologic / drug effects
  • Ovariectomy
  • Reaction Time / drug effects
  • Sheep
  • Social Environment
  • Testosterone / pharmacology*


  • Testosterone