It is well-established that males of many nonhuman vertebrate species exhibit hormonal reactions to stimuli from potential mates. The present studies were designed to test replication of preliminary findings suggesting that human males may exhibit such reactions as well. In Experiment 1, young men (n = 115) provided saliva samples before and after either conversing with a woman confederate or sitting alone for 15 min. Changes from baseline in salivary testosterone concentrations were significantly greater among the men exposed to women, but only among subjects tested in the afternoon. In Experiment 2, male subjects (n = 99) interacted with either a male or a female confederate with saliva samples collected before and after these interactions and all experimental sessions conducted in the afternoon. Men who interacted with women exhibited significant elevations of testosterone relative to both their own baseline concentrations and to change scores among the men who interacted with other men. In addition, women confederates' ratings of men's extraversion and degree of self-disclosure were positively correlated with changes in testosterone. In both experiments, furthermore, changes in cortisol concentrations from baseline were significantly greater among men who spoke with women relative to men in the control conditions. The results provide evidence that social interactions with potential mates can in fact trigger specific patterns of endocrine responses in human males. (C) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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