Regan, Pamela C.
March 1999
Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality;Spring99, Vol. 8 Issue 1, p1
Academic Journal
The article defines sexual desire, distinguishes sexual desire from other sexual experiences (e.g. arousal, activity,) and discusses common operationalizations of sexual desire. It also examines empirical research on the relationship of androgens, estrogens, progesterone and prolactin to sexual desire in men and women. Sexual desire is associated with several significant individual and interpersonal human life events. Feelings of desire or sexual attraction may prompt individuals to seek and engage in sexual activity; such feelings therefore have implications for reproduction and species survival. A number of theoretical and empirical attempts have been made to delineate and explore the correlates and presumed causal antecedents of sexual desire. A variety of intra-individual factors have been examined, including acute or chronic drug use, age, sex or gender, mood and negative emotional states, personality, and hormonal or biological processes. There is strong empirical support for the notion that sexual desire in men and women requires certain baseline amounts of the androgens. However the influence of endocrine on sexual desire is still not very clear. Future research might profitably explore the association between hormonally mediated life events.


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