Functional roles of gonadal hormones in human pair bonding and sexuality

Authored by: James R. Roney

Routledge International Handbook of Social Neuroendocrinology

Print publication date:  October  2018
Online publication date:  October  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138711440
eBook ISBN: 9781315200439
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315200439-15

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Abstract

This chapter discusses the endocrine regulation of sexuality within the context of human pair bonding. The ovarian hormones that generate cycle phase shifts in nonhuman females’ sexual behaviors have similar effects on women’s sexual motivation. Motivational priorities theory argues that these effects were conserved in women because they adaptively regulate shifts in behavioral priorities based on female fecundity. Relationship-related variables are proposed to regulate women’s sexual motivation independently of hormonal influences, thereby promoting the continuous sexual receptivity central to theories of human pair bonding. Men’s sexual psychology is discussed as a strategic response to women’s patterns of sexual behaviors.

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