Salivary testosterone and sexual function and behaviour in men and women: Findings from the third British National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal-3)

Macdowall, W.G. et al. (2021) Salivary testosterone and sexual function and behaviour in men and women: Findings from the third British National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal-3). Journal of Sex Research, (doi: 10.1080/00224499.2021.1968327) (PMID:34634954) (Early Online Publication)

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Abstract

Using data from the third British National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal-3) we examined associations between salivary testosterone (Sal-T) and sexual function and behavior. Single morning saliva samples were self-collected from a subsample of participants aged 18–74 years and analyzed using mass spectrometry. 1,599 men and 2,123 women were included in the analysis (40.6% of those invited to provide a sample). We adjusted for confounders in a stepwise manner: in model 1 we adjusted for age only; model 2 for age, season and relationship status, and model 3 we added BMI and self-reported health. In the fully adjusted models, among men, Sal-T was positively associated with both partnered sex (vaginal sex and concurrent partners) and masturbation. Among women, Sal-T was positively associated with masturbation, the only association with partnered sex was with ever experience of same-sex sex. We found no clear association between Sal-T and sexual function. Our study contributes toward addressing the sparsity of data outside the laboratory on the differences between men and women in the relationship between T and sexual function and behavior. To our knowledge, this is the first population study, among men and women, using a mass spectrometry Sal-T assay to do so.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The study was supported by grants from the Medical Research Council [G0701757]; and the Wellcome Trust [084840]; with contributions from the Economic and Social Research Council and Department of Health. Since September 2015, KRM has been supported by the UK Medical Research Council (grant MC_UU_12017/11) and the Chief Scientist Office (grant SPHSU11).
Status:Early Online Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mitchell, Professor Kirstin
Authors: Macdowall, W.G., Clifton, S., Palmer, M.J., Tanton, C., Copas, A.J., Lee, D.M., Mitchell, K. R., Mercer, C.H., Sonnenberg, P., Johnson, A.M., and Wellings, K.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Journal of Sex Research
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN:0022-4499
ISSN (Online):1559-8519
Published Online:11 October 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © The Author(s) 2021
First Published:First published in Journal of Sex Research 2021
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
727631SPHSU Core Renewal: Relationships & Health Improvement Research ProgrammeLisa McDaidMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/11IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
Office of the Chief Scientific Adviser (CSO)SPHSU11