Monday, 28 May 2012

Hormonal cycles for men? Scientists say men too have hormonal cycles

By Syed Akbar
Men too have regular hormone cycles. And the secretion of the sex hormones in men regulate their daily routine particularly emotions, temper and anger.
Latest research by sex experts reveals that women alone are not regulated by sex hormones and hormonal cycles. Men too have such cycles though in a different way. While women have monthly cycles, men have both daily hormone cycles and yearly hormone cycles.
“It is a myth that human males do not have hormonal cycles. Now, there is much data that suggests that men have both daily hormone cycles and perhaps yearly hormone cycles. It’s generally believed that, or at least there’s an understanding, without any questioning, that men live in a kind of steady state of hormonal calm, and therefore they’re not at the mercy of fluctuating sex hormones like their female compatriots. Nothing could be further from the truth,” observes Dr June Machover Reinisch of The Kinsey Institute and former professor in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry at Indiana University, USA.
According to Dr June, “hormonal rhythms are sometimes, in some women, accompanied by emotional cycles and physical changes that our cultures loves to make jokes about, and have even used, unfortunately, as a rationale on occasion for limiting women’s access to power, leadership, and even some professions. Like a jet plane fighter or something like that. The assumption that goes along with this misunderstanding is that men experience no such cyclic biological mood or behavioral kinds of patterns. But this is not true. Men too have hormonal cycles”. 
She points out that the hormonal cycles in men have behavioral or mood consequences that are related to them. Daily cycles in men are called circadian cycles – circa, meaning around, and the dia part meaning day, and annual rhythms are called circannual rhythms. Research studies have revealed a daily rhythm in testosterone (male hormone) production. It’s the main androgen that’s made, and that fuels male sexual function and libido in males. Incidentally, it also is the libido or desire hormone for females.
These hormones are also critically involved in gestation; that is, in fetal development, in the development of male sexual organs and the male brain. Males and females don’t have exactly the same brain – they start out with the same brain, but when these male hormones wash over it, it changes it a little bit. And it’s also the same hormone that takes the basis for genitals.
Dr June says that although females do have some testosterone, males produce much higher levels throughout their lives and it’s primarily produced in their testicles. The daily cycle of testosterone production is quite large – that is, the cycle of it – with an overall change from high to low of approximately 43 per cent over the day.
The highest levels are produced in the morning, beginning around midnight, and they start to fall around noon. The lowest levels are found in the evening. Testosterone production appears to be related primarily to the individual man’s sleep cycle, and then secondarily to the light/dark cycle of the year. There does appear to be a yearly cycle as well. The Northern Hemisphere is somewhat different from the Southern Hemisphere – that is, Western Europe, the United States, Russia and China would be the Northern Hemisphere. It’s somewhat different in the Southern Hemisphere – Australia, Africa, and South America. It seems to be higher in summer and fall and lower in winter and early spring. And there are concomitant – that is, related – changes in sperm production and so forth, that are related to that.
According to Dr June, there are no differences in the day to day mood changes between men and women, that men are no more or less unpredictable in their moods, emotions, or behavior than are women. Put another way, when comparing men and women, studies found that both men and women were subject to similar changes in mood and behavior patterns over time.
She argues that it’s just not true that women are more changeable than men. There may be some women who are affected by their menstrual cycle, but there are also men that are affected by cyclical changes in their life.
Dr June pointes out that a large company in Japan that operates buses and taxis with a large number of drivers conducted a study. And they did this study not for any scientific purposes, but because they were concerned about very high losses that had resulting from accidents, and they couldn’t figure out what to do to lower this accident rate which was costing the company a great deal of money.
So each man who was working for the company was evaluated on a day to day basis to determine whether there were any patterns in his mood and efficiency. And they did it over a month – they used the month as the basis for it. And did it on an individual basis, because obviously they couldn’t look for when they bled every month, because men don’t do that.
“There wasn’t such an obvious thing. And after they developed this information on each individual man, they used the information they collected to make schedules for each man as to when he should be off and on, and when he should drive and not drive. And the schedule of each man was adjusted to take into account the best working times for the drivers, based upon what had been learned from these individual mood and efficiency cycles which they found in the individual men. And the result was that the accident rate dropped 33 per cent”.
She argues that it thus becomes clear that individual men have mood cycles and efficiency cycles, but they were individual – you couldn’t see them from the outside. There wasn’t a signal or sign from the outside. So men have cycles too – they are just not as obvious as women’s monthly menstrual cycles, because men don’t have obvious signs, like bleeding or swelling, or something that tells us where they are.

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