Nonsteroidal androgens have not been reported. During studies to identify affinity ligands for the androgen receptor in our laboratory, we synthesized several electrophilic nonsteroidal ligands for the androgen receptor and examined their receptor binding affinity and ability to stimulate receptor-mediated transcriptional activation. We found that three of these ligands (1) bound the androgen receptor with affinity similar to that of dihydrotestosterone (the endogenous ligand) and (2) mimicked the effects of dihydrotestosterone on receptor-mediated transcriptional activation (i.e., they were receptor agonists). These studies demonstrate that nonsteroidal ligands can be structurally modified to produce agonist activity. These ligands thus represent the first members of a novel class of androgens with potential therapeutic applications in male fertility and hormone replacement therapy.