Behavioral and hormonal responses of men to brief interactions with women
James R Roney et al.; 2003
This study tested for behavioral and hormonal reactions of young men to brief social encounters with potential mating partners. Male college students were randomly assigned to engage in a short conversation with either a young man (male condition) or a young woman (female condition). Participants provided saliva samples before and after the conversation, completed a battery of psychological measures after the interaction, and had their behavior rated by their conversation partners. Salivary testosterone (T) increased significantly over baseline levels in the female condition only, though differences between conditions were not significant. In addition, change in T was significantly correlated with the degree to which the female confederates thought the male participants were trying to impress them. These behavioral ratings, in turn, were correlated with the participants’ ratings of the female confederates as potential romantic partners. Results were generally consistent with the hypothesis that human males may exhibit a behavioral and endocrine courtship response that is similar to that observed in males of many nonhuman vertebrate species.