FIGURE 9-3 Schematic representation of the impact of gonadal and adrenal hormones on reproductive strategies.

NOTE: This diagram, loosely based on Ledoux (1998) and Zuckerman (1995) suggests that testosterone, DHEA/S, and cortisol all play different roles in brain mechanisms that underlie the expression of sexual behavior. Testosterone is related to the perception of sexual stimuli and associated sexual impulses. DHEA/S, on the other hand, is related to disinhibition of behavior in the precortex, whereas cortisol acts on the formulation of memories in the amygdala and hippocampus and the development of learned behavioral responses to sexual interaction.

In more human terms, Weisfield (1999) has argued that adolescence represents a time in which social emotions become associated with sexual behavior and the social relationships that go with them. In particular he argues that pride and shame have important roles as males start to judge achievement in terms of their ability to attract mates. If, as Damassio

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement