Do Elevated Testosterone Levels Make Men More Likely to Cheat?

Do Elevated Testosterone Levels Make Men More Likely to Cheat?

Written by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.


A new study has found that men in committed relationships have lower testosterone levels than those in non-committed relationships. In addition, the men who cheated reported that they considered cheating on their partners.

The study's author, psychologist Steve Gangestad of the University of New Mexico, says that elevated testosterone levels help men attract mates by increasing aggressiveness and confidence. The study is published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Increased testosterone levels increase sex drive

The role of testosterone in sexual desire has long been believed. The hormone is considered a manly chemical that gives men virility and a high sex drive. 

A 2012 study looked at the effects of testosterone on sexual desire and whether there are any differences between males and females

The research found that testosterone influenced solitary desire with masturbation having an impact. Whereas having an interest in sex with another person was negatively influenced by testosterone.

On the whole men had a higher sexual desire than women, but again this was modulated by masturbation frequency rather than testosterone alone.

Research has shown that men with naturally high levels of testosterone are more attracted to women with feminine-looking faces, as well as those who are smaller in size and have big eyes. But it seems that men with low testosterone are more attracted to other masculine-looking women.

study was carried out by a team of researchers from Oxford University and Northumbria University in the UK. The participants were 600 men and women who completed questionnaires about their sexual behaviour.

Results showed that people with longer ring fingers were more likely to be promiscuous than those whose finger lengths were about equal. The researchers attributed this to the increased amount of testosterone people were exposed to in their wombs.

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Does testosterone make you cheat?

In men, testosterone is primarily made in the testicles but also in the adrenal glands. It affects fertility, bones and muscles.

Cheating on your partner is a big no-no, but you may feel more tempted to cheat when you have high testosterone levels. Here's why:

Typically, when your stress level is high and you're feeling a powerful urge to take an unethical action, your testosterone levels will be elevated along with your cortisol (the stress hormone). This means that you'll want to lie or do something else to ease your emotions.

But in a new study, researchers have found that cheaters actually experience lower cortisol after they commit an act of dishonesty. They tested a group of exam-takers who had been given a gel that had testosterone in it, and another group who didn't have any of the hormone at all.

They then asked the subjects to complete a series of math problems. The participants with the testosterone-filled gel scored higher on their tests than those who had no of the hormone.

In a follow-up study, the same team measured the testosterone levels of the same participants and then compared them with their cortisol levels. The results showed that men with a high level of both hormones lied more often than those who had just one or the other.

The reason for this is that testosterone can boost the brain's reward center, making it seem like a good idea to do something unethical, said Josephs. It's similar to how a high-calorie meal can make you crave junk food.

Is testosterone related to multiple partners? 

Men who have higher levels of testosterone tend to be more likely to cheat on their partners, a new study finds. They are also more likely to have had multiple lovers in the past and to engage in sex with other people.

A team of researcher's looked at data from 4,346 adults and found that those with higher levels of testosterone were likelier to have more than one lover in the last five years - and to have had same-sex relationships - as well as to have masturbated more recently. The results were based on data from mass spectrometry and questionnaires that participants completed.

The research suggests that there's a link between testosterone levels and sexual behavior in men, but it's not clear how. "The link is not direct, and it appears to be related to a more competitive attitude toward members of the same sex (intrasexual competition). This competitiveness may predict mate retention behaviors," the study's lead author, Steven Arnocky.

The team's findings suggest that identifying the specific stage of a relationship is key to understanding how testosterone levels change over time. Specifically, it found that levels of the hormone tend to remain at'single-man' levels until couples have been dating for more than a year.


Testosterone is a male sex hormone, but women also produce small amounts of testosterone in their ovaries and adrenal glands. This hormone works with estrogen to promote growth and maintenance of reproductive tissues, bone mass, and human behaviors.

In men, testosterone is necessary for erection, sexual drive, and muscle strength, and helps control weight and body fat. However, too much of it can lead to a number of health issues including weakened bones, muscles, and sex drive.

There's a lot of talk about testosterone-driven bad behavior, but research is also showing that it has other important roles in a man's health and well-being. For instance, testosterone can help a man build muscle and build his confidence in order to attract a mate.

Despite this, high levels of testosterone have been linked to increased sexual activity, infidelity and marital conflict. However, a new study of rural Senegalese villagers shows that when men become fathers, their bodies pump out less of the sex hormone.

A group of researchers studied testosterone levels in saliva samples from over 4,000 adults. They discovered that men with high levels of testosterone were more likely to have had more than one lover in the last five years and to have had recent sex. They also reported more frequent masturbation and were more likely to be in a same-sex relationship.

In women, however, the hormone was less of a factor in their behaviour. While they were more likely to be in a same-sex partner, their testosterone was not significantly higher.

Rather, the study found that men with higher testosterone levels were more likely to want to hook up with women who were more likely to cheat. 

Despite the results of this research, it's important to remember that these findings are preliminary. Ultimately, the researchers want to replicate these findings with larger samples of people. 

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