Sex, Energy and Low T: Experiences of US Men on Prescription Testosterone.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

American Journal of Human Biology






Prescription testosterone sales in the United States have skyrocketed in the last two decades due to an aging population, direct‐to‐consumer advertising, and prescriber views of the benefits and risks to testosterone, among other factors. Few studies have attempted to directly examine patient experiences on prescription testosterone therapy. The present exploratory study involved an online self‐report survey of U.S. testosterone patients (at least 21 years of age). The primary focus was on patient perspectives concerning motivations leading to the initiation of testosterone therapy initiation and the perceived effects of treatment, with descriptive data on testosterone formulation, length of treatment, and self‐report diagnostic criteria also recorded. Responses to open‐ended questions drew upon a coding scheme incorporating both inductive and deductive (influenced by the clinical, male life history theory, and behavioral endocrinology literatures) approaches. Responses from participants (n = 105) were also analyzed based on age group (≤39 years of age, n = 52 or ≥40 years, n = 53) to evaluate how senescence or shifting life history strategies may affect codes. Results indicated that the most frequent reasons men gave for taking prescription testosterone were low testosterone (37.1%), well‐being (35.2%), energy (28.7%), libido (21.9%), and social energy (19.4%); older men claimed libido as a motivation for testosterone initiation more frequently than younger men (P <.05). Men most frequently claimed testosterone improved their energy (52.3%), libido (41.9%), and muscle (28.5%). Results are interpreted in the context of medical, life history theoretical and behavioral endocrinology approaches, including an emphasis on sex and energy. Testosterone Replacement Therapy, Andrology, Hypogonadism, Low Testosterone, Libido


Hormones, Hormone Substitutes, and Hormone Antagonists; Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


Anthropology | Social and Behavioral Sciences



UNLV article access