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How do hormones affect behavior?

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Quick Answer

According to Sciences 360, hormones affect many facets of human behavior, including emotions, health, sexual attraction and even weight. Sciences 360 defines hormones as chemicals created by a cell or organ that communicate to another cell or organ to help to regulate normal body functions such as sleeping and eating.

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How do hormones affect behavior?
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Full Answer

Research conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA) highlights how hormones affect love and desire. Its studies reveal that during a woman's fertile ovulation she is more likely to seek out a confident, controlling man for sex. When she is not ovulating, the same woman may seek a kinder, more nurturing man. The APA explains that this behavior is a subconscious way of seeking out more powerful, masculine genes for women to pass on to their children. APA studies show an increase in women dressing more provocatively during ovulation to attract the opposite sex.

Though most commonly associated with women, men are not exempt from the effect of hormones on behavior, according to the APA. Researchers disagree about whether men's hormones cycle or not; however, the APA notes that men's testosterone hormones are often higher in the morning and lower in the evening. Since testosterone levels decrease in men as they age, some men enter into a "male menopause" where they have less sexual drive and increased irritability, according to psychologist Jed Diamond, PhD.


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