General sexual desire, but not desire for uncommitted sexual relationships, tracks changes in women's hormonal status

Jones, Benedict C. and Hahn, Amanda C. and Fisher, Claire I. and Wang, Hongyi and Kandrik, Michal and DeBruine, Lisa M. (2018) General sexual desire, but not desire for uncommitted sexual relationships, tracks changes in women's hormonal status. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 88. pp. 153-157. ISSN 1873-3360

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    Abstract

    Several recent longitudinal studies have investigated the hormonal correlates of both young adult women's general sexual desire and, more specifically, their desire for uncommitted sexual relationships. Findings across these studies have been mixed, potentially because each study tested only small samples of women (Ns = 43, 33, and 14). Here we report results from a much larger (N = 375) longitudinal study of hormonal correlates of young adult women's general sexual desire and their desire for uncommitted sexual relationships. Our analyses suggest that within-woman changes in general sexual desire are negatively related to progesterone, but are not related to testosterone or cortisol. We observed some positive relationships for estradiol, but these were generally only significant for solitary sexual desire. By contrast with our results for general sexual desire, analyses showed no evidence that changes in women's desire for uncommitted sexual relationships are related to their hormonal status. Together, these results suggest that changes in hormonal status contribute to changes in women's general sexual desire, but do not influence women's desire for uncommitted sexual relationships.