Our Gyno Health

The Hormones of Desire and Sexual Orientation Still Mysterious

The Kinsey Institute put us all on a scale of being either 100% heterosexual or 100% homosexual, or in fact most of us landed somewhere in the middle being a bit attracted to both sexes. Research has failed to really be able to link one type of hormonal profile to one type of sexual preference or behavior. However, science does offer some intriguing clues.clues.

Humans as a race as we mature into adults develop relatively stable attractions to sexual partners. During adolescence and young adulthood we gradually turn to our own sexual orientation. We may become homosexual or, heterosexual, or bisexual, or asexual. Now we know there are many orientations that encompass these to varying degrees. Some of the eventual behaviors may be set by hormonal exposure during fetal life.

However, the molecular mechanisms underlying these diverse traits of sexual orientation remain highly controversial in the society as well as the scientific world. But new work on the brain, and hormonal, genetic, maternal immune system, and environmental factors show all these factors can help to model our orientation.

Both human and animal studies have a lot of conflicting data right now as to how hormone levels are linked to sexual orientation. Higher levels of progesterone are linked to more homosexual orientation in women in some studies. Cortisol responsiveness to cortisol stress tests is linked to homosexual behavior in women, but heterosexual behavior in men. Testosterone levels in women are linked to higher rates of masturbation, and definitely can be a side effect of hormone use. .

Some women report feeling more like having sex when they are most likely to get pregnant, which ‘makes sense’. Wanting sex in some studies of women has been linked to midcycle hormone surges, but not all studies have ever confirmed this.

Much research needs to be done!


Suzanne Trupin, MD, Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist and owner of Women's Health Practice, Hada Cosmetic Medicine, and Hatha Yoga and Fitness

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