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Testosterone and romance: The association of testosterone with relationship commitment and satisfaction in heterosexual men and women




The current study extends previous research on testosterone (T) and mating effort by examining whether relationship commitment and satisfaction explain variance in T beyond relationship status alone.


Salivary testosterone and self-reported assessments of relationship commitment and satisfaction were assessed among 90 heterosexual men and women (age M = 23.57) in a cross-sectional community sample.


Relationship commitment was significantly related to T among men (P < 0.01), with increasing levels of commitment predicting lower T, even among paired men (P < 0.05). In contrast, relationship commitment was not related to women's T (P > 0.05). Controlling for relationship commitment, satisfaction did not predict T levels in men or women (P's > 0.18).


The association of increasing relationship commitment with reduced T levels in men confirms and extends prior research linking T with mating effort. Together with previous research, this study suggests that T does not vary with relationship commitment or quality in monogamous, heterosexual women. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.