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I need help creating a thesis and an outline on Hormones on Sexual Arousal. Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide. An abstract is required. Hormones The value and purpose of hormones during the development of the human being has been the center of hundreds of scientific studies. We are well versed in how we grow into sexual beings and we understand the role of hormones in that process fairly well. It remains more of a mystery what role those hormones play later in arousal. It is difficult to study arousal in human beings as we can not manipulate the situation to fit out study. Human beings are also sexual in multiple situations. The emotional effects of the situation themselves can cause the production of different levels of hormones, therefore, producing differing behaviors. It is easiest to study male and female arousal in other primates because we have greater control (Carlson, 2002) .

Activational Effects of Sex Hormones on Women’s Sexual Behavior

The ability to mate is not controlled by ovarian hormones. A woman can have intercourse at any time in her cycle. This makes it difficult to know exactly how much influence ovarian hormones have on arousal. Most studies show that these hormones have only a minimal effect on female arousal. It should be noted that these studies have been done on married women who are with their partner daily. It should be considered that a woman may take part in intercourse because of her husbands desire. Studies of female monkeys have shown that the menstrual cycle does have a strong effect on female arousal (Wallen, 2003).

Studies of married women show that these females were, when tested through their entire cycle, more aroused when their testosterone levels were at their highest. When the adrenal glands, the gland that produces androgens, are removed from female monkeys the sexual drive of the money was greatly reduced. Adding testosterone reinstituted sexual arousal. Oxyctocin levels also seem to place a role in arousal. Higher levels start contractions of the uterus and the vagina that accompanies orgasm. It is likely that the pleasant “afterglow” that follows intercourse is also due to oxyctocin (Wallen, 2003).

Pheromones are generally odors that are generally received through the olfactory portion of the brain but can also be absorbed through the skin. These pheromones tend to enhance hormone production in the female including oxyctocin. That would give a second explanation as to why touch enhances hormone production. There is also evidence that vision influences the production of oxyctocin (Wallen, 2003). Researchers are beginning to believe it is the combination of high testosterone levels and high oxyctocin levels that motivates female arousal. If both occur during ovulation so much the better.

Activational Effects of Sex Hormones in Men

Testosterone levels effect sexual arousal in men and in addition sexual arousal in men effects testosterone levels. Even thinking about sexual activity increases the testosterone levels in men. Oxyctocin and prolactin also play a role in male sexual arousal. Both hormones are secreted during orgasm and have a great deal to do with the refractory period. Both are related to the relaxed “afterglow” experienced following intercourse.

Pheromones are also active in effecting the male arousal. Certain female pheromones increase testosterone levels in the male (Alexander et al., 2004).


There is evidence that pheromones are quietly effecting our hormone levels and therefore effecting our arousal at all times. Studies have shown that when exposed to male pheromones women are more flirtatious with men around them for several hours after exposure. Men tend to have higher testosterone levels when exposed to the pheromones of a familiar partner (Carlson 2002).


Alexander, M. P., and Albert, M. L. (2004). The Anotomical Basis of Visual Agnosia. Localization in Neuropsychology. New York: Academic Press.

Carlson, N. R. (2004). Physiology of Behavior. New York: Allyn and Bacon.

Wallen, K. (2003).Desire and Ability: Hormones and the Regulation of Female Sexual Behavior. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. 14, 233-241.

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