Women compared to men are less likely to want sex with a partner because of low testosterone levels. The results of a study by psychologists from Oklahoma State University were published in the journal Biological Psychology.
According to scientists, this discrepancy in desire for sex can contribute to problems in relationships. For example, low sexual desire in women predicts marital dissatisfaction for both partners.
Forty-eight newlywed couples participated in the study. All participants underwent cognitive testing, a survey about male and female sex roles, and they also took a saliva test to determine testosterone levels.
Volunteers then completed a questionnaire for 14 days about their sexual attraction to their spouse, marital satisfaction, stress, self-esteem, sex and mood. The results showed that the men had a stronger sex drive for their partner as well as higher testosterone levels.
"We simultaneously examined the role of biological, cognitive and emotional factors to explain sex differences in sexual attraction. Differences in testosterone levels between husbands and wives proved to be the only factor that helped explain the higher sex drive in men," the psychologists explained.
The findings may have implications for sexual therapy for couples. In the future, scientists will continue to study the factors that influence male and female attraction.