In the last 15 years, prescription testosterone sales have increased almost threefold. Testosterone is a powerful hormone, which has both physiological and behavioral effects on the adult male. These effects vary over a man’s life course and social ecology. In a natural setting, testosterone reaches a peak during early adulthood, declines gradually over midlife, and has exponential drops after the age of 70. Increasing testosterone, through testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), past early adulthood, is an evolutionary novel circumstance for an adult male. To gauge these effects, and the motivations that initiated them, this study conducted a preliminary text analysis of 60 posts, and all replies to them, in Facebook groups related to TRT. Coding of these groups was conducted to find the common themes discussed by TRT patients. TRT patients in these groups most often discussed purchasing and treatment information, treatment details, total testosterone blood levels and perceived risks/side effects. A preliminary analysis of above-50 men in these groups also notably discussed sexual health, comorbidities, and energy. Masculinity, did not seem to be a significant theme in these discussions; this may be due to methodological and coding limitations. This is the first attempt, to my knowledge, to analyze TRT from a patient/consumer perspective. This study found a significant focus on side effects, which were not found in an earlier published content analysis of TRT manufacturer websites. The implications of some of these findings will be discussed. This preliminary analysis offers insights for future attempts to analyze TRT, testosterone, and the aging male.
testosterone replacement therapy; late-onset hypogonadism; side-effects; life history theory; the aging male; health; behavior; social media analysis; clinical testosterone
Biological and Physical Anthropology | Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism | Urology
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Testosterone and the Adult Male.
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