Sex hormones in lesbian and heterosexual women

Jennifer Downey, Anke A. Ehrhardt, Mindy Schiffman, Inge Dyrenfurth, Judith V Becker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The authors measured plasma testosterone (T), androstenedione (A), and cortisol (C) levels in seven lesbian and seven heterosexual women matched for age and socioeconomic status. In addition, psychiatric symptoms, physical activity levels, depression, subjective sense of stress, and sexual behavior variables were assessed. There were no significant differences in sex hormone levels between the two groups of women, who were also comparable in psychiatric symptom levels, depression, and self-perceived stress. Lesbian women reported significantly more current physical activity relative to peers. Other than the sexual orientation difference which was a prerequisite for entry into the study, there were virtually no significant differences in sexual behavior although lesbian women tended to have achieved psychosexual milestones at a younger age. We were not able to corroborate the finding of Gartrell, Loriaux, and Chase (1977) that lesbian women have higher T levels, possibly due to the fact that the two groups were closely matched on several behavioral variables potentially affecting testosterone levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-357
Number of pages11
JournalHormones and Behavior
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Heterosexuality
Gonadal Steroid Hormones
Sexual Behavior
Psychiatry
Testosterone
Exercise
Depression
Androstenedione
Social Class
Hydrocortisone
Sexual Minorities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Downey, J., Ehrhardt, A. A., Schiffman, M., Dyrenfurth, I., & Becker, J. V. (1987). Sex hormones in lesbian and heterosexual women. Hormones and Behavior, 21(3), 347-357. https://doi.org/10.1016/0018-506X(87)90019-5

Sex hormones in lesbian and heterosexual women. / Downey, Jennifer; Ehrhardt, Anke A.; Schiffman, Mindy; Dyrenfurth, Inge; Becker, Judith V.

In: Hormones and Behavior, Vol. 21, No. 3, 1987, p. 347-357.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Downey, J, Ehrhardt, AA, Schiffman, M, Dyrenfurth, I & Becker, JV 1987, 'Sex hormones in lesbian and heterosexual women', Hormones and Behavior, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 347-357. https://doi.org/10.1016/0018-506X(87)90019-5
Downey, Jennifer ; Ehrhardt, Anke A. ; Schiffman, Mindy ; Dyrenfurth, Inge ; Becker, Judith V. / Sex hormones in lesbian and heterosexual women. In: Hormones and Behavior. 1987 ; Vol. 21, No. 3. pp. 347-357.
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