A new study from the University of Connecticut is getting some attention this April for its claim that some men with high testosterone are less likely to communicate –with their partners, in the bedroom, and after they… hug.
Yes, that’s right, UConn researchers are studying pillow talk.
Researchers tested the testosterone of 253 young men and women, who were asked to keep a detailed sexual activity diary for two weeks. The data showed a correlation between testosterone levels and the amount of “positive, post-coital communication.”
“When testosterone levels were higher, post sex disclosures were less intentional and less positive,” the authors wrote. Therefore, they concluded, individuals with high levels of testosterone “may be the least likely to experience the beneficial effects of post sex communication.”
And here’s something interesting: This takeaway seemed to be true for both men and women with high levels of testosterone. The authors wrote that “similar results were found both when biological sex was controlled for and when analyses were conducted separately for women and men.”
The degree to which testosterone levels affect men’s behavior has been getting increased attention in recent years, especially as testosterone replacement therapy is evolving into a $5 billion business. Proponents of the treatment say that 13 million men in the United States have low testosterone, which can cause weight gain, low energy, and loss of sex drive.
While low levels of testosterone can be harmful, so, too, can high levels. This April, Vice’s new women’s vertical Broadly also covered the new pillow talk study, with writer Gabby Bess asking, “How Much Can We Blame Testosterone for Men’s Many, Many, Many Faults?”
In the early aughts, hormone replacement therapy was a popular treatment for women, until it was revealed that it increased the risk of breast cancer and other health problems. Now, for better or worse, a new generation of American men are boosting their own hormone levels, even if it makes them terrible at post-coital cuddling.