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Testosterone Rules!

By Dr. Brian Campbell, © 2013

 

I hope that the title of this document peaks your interest!  I’ll talk more about the power of testosterone later on in this email.  However, first of all, I want to mention an excellent source of biblical information on the topic of sexuality.  I have summarized God’s plan for sexuality in a chapter in my new book, “Godly Counsel.”  The chapter, which is entitled, “Sexual Sin” is included in my website:  Sexual Sin.  I would strongly urge you to read this chapter as you study sexual disorders and dysfunctions.

 

As you serve in the role as a Christian counselor, the topic of sex will come up frequently when counseling adolescents and adults.  Some of you, because of your upbringing, may have difficulties discussing this subject with your clients.  If so, I would strongly suggest that you take a course in human sexuality and gain as much knowledge as you can on the subject.  You should have a good working knowledge of sexually transmitted diseases, homosexuality, lesbianism, oral sex, menstruation, menopause, contraceptives—to name a few.  In addition, you should have a working knowledge of  TESTOSTERONE.

 

I will let you in on a little secret.  In my opinion, understanding the role of testosterone is essential to understanding normal human sexuality, as well as understanding sexual deviations, perversions, and sexual crimes.  God “wired” us to be sexual, but he wired men a lot more heavily than he did women.  Let me explain…

 

As you may know, testosterone is the main male sex hormone.  It is also found in women, but to a much lesser degree.  The difference between the levels of testosterone in men vs. women is crucial for understanding human sexuality—especially male/female differences in sexual response.  It also helps explain why paraphilias and other sexual perversions  are almost exclusively male disorders.  In fact, it also explains why sex crimes are overwhelmingly committed by males vs. females. 

 

Here are the facts.  Testosterone drives males to be sexual.  The level of testosterone in males is 7-8 times greater than in females.  The level of testosterone in males ranges from 200-1000 nanograms; in females, the levels range from 20-70 nanograms. Yikes!  The implications of these differences are staggering!

 

To appreciate these differences, let me tell you a little story.  I once had a female client who came to see me because she was having sexual problems.  When I interviewed her, I found out that she was on hormone therapy and was taking shots to increase her testosterone levels.  She stated that her main complaint was:  “Every time my husband comes home, I want to jump on him.”  I think I answered her by saying something like:  Now you know!  Now you know!”

 

You see, most males are constantly having to cope with the extremely high levels of testosterone that God gave them.  Females have very little way of understanding just how powerful this hormone is in males.  During adolescence and early adulthood, males are completely “overdosed and overwhelmed.”  Most males are producing 1000 nanograms or more of this powerful chemical, while females, at best, are producing 70 nanograms.  If you are a male who is reading this, you will identify with the intensity and power of this hormone.  Adolescent males have trouble thinking of anything else but sex.  It is almost always occupies the male mind.  In fact, if females could get a glimpse of the male mind during this time, they would probably immediately run the other way. 

 

The constancy of sexual thoughts in males is illustrated in the following Christian counselor “joke.”  A male Christian counselor said to one of his male colleagues, “I hear that men have a sexual thought every 14 seconds.”  The other counselor said, with great authority, “That’s not true.  I went three minutes one day without a sexual thought.”

 

When counseling couples, I try to help females understand what testosterone does to males, and why it is so important to establish and maintain a regular sexual relationship with their husbands.  To help women understand why sex is not optional in a Christian marriage, I give them an analogy.  I tell them to think of the male’s need for sex to be comparable to their need to eat. 

 

Just as women need to eat daily, males are constantly driven to have sex on a virtually constant, daily, basis.  For most men, sex is not optional, any more than eating would be optional for a woman.  In fact, here are very few occasions when men are not “hungry” for sex.  In fact, if they do not have sex on a regular basis, they become extremely frustrated, and even angry.

 

To illustrate this point, I ask wives how they would feel if their husband came home one day and stated that he was not particularly hungry that night, so nobody was going to eat dinner.  The wife was starving, and had prepared all her favorite food.  The smells and sights of the food were driving her crazy, and she was starved.  But her husband insisted that since he wasn’t hungry, all the food had to put away, and no one was going to eat.

 

I then ask the wife how she thinks she would feel in that situation.  I go on to ask her to consider the following scenarios:

 

·         What would happen if her husband decided (without consulting her) to only eat once a week, or once a month.  How would she feel?  Would she think that was fair?

·         How would she feel if her husband said: “All you do is think about food!  What is wrong with you?”  “You’re abnormal.”

·         What if he stated:  “I’m sorry, we can’t eat tonight.  I have a headache.”

 

Obviously, there would be significant marital problems if the above scenarios took place.  These scenarios illustrate the point that, for men, sex is equivalent to eating.  It is not optional.  When testosterone builds up in a man’s bloodstream, he is desperate to have sex, just as a female who has not eaten all day is desperate for food.

 

For a man, the sights and smells of a woman next to him in bed are similar to those of a woman who is starved and has her favorite hand-dipped chocolates sitting next to her in bed.  When a wife rolls over and gives her husband the “cold shoulder,” it is similar to having her husband take the fresh, hand-dipped chocolates and remove them from where they were sitting next to his wife.  I then ask the wife to consider what she would feel like if this were to happen.

 

I think you are starting to get the point I am trying to make.  Testosterone makes men “hungry,” for sex just as our hypothalamus makes women hungry for food.  Without sex on a regular basis, husbands are vulnerable to sexual temptation.  By the way, there are three scriptures that I emphasize when I am talking to couples about the need for regular sexual activity:

 

1.      “Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer.  Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”  (1 Corinthians 7:5)

2.      The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.”  (1 Corinthians 7:3)

3.      The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband.  In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife.  (I Corinthians 7:4)

 

In essence, in #1 above, God has ordained a “no rejection” rule for sex between a wife and husband.  They are to not deprive each other of sex.  Unless there is a physical problem or illness, the wife is to be sexual with her husband—even if she does not “feel” like having sex. 

 

Unfortunately, many wives cringe when I bring up these scriptures.  This usually happens because the wife is not nearly as interested in sex as her husband.  Of course, this results from the comparatively low testosterone levels of women.  Male testosterone levels decrease about 15% each decade.  Unfortunately, even when normally functioning men are in their 60s, they still are driven to have sex (but not quite as strongly driven).

 

In contrast, approximately 70% of women in their 40s and 50s have “zero” sexual appetite.  That is, they do not get “hungry” for sex.  Most of them can perform sexually once they are “turned on,” but they do not sit around thinking how they are going to get their husbands to have sex that night.

 

I hope by this point in the discussion, you have started to think about all the problems that may be related to the high levels of testosterone in males.  Here are some related issues you should think about:

           

1.      In my experience, many men who are unfaithful to their wives start affairs during their wife’s pregnancy.

2.      Virtually 100% of young boys and young men masturbate on a regular basis.

3.      Men who have an orgasm on a daily basis are 40% less likely to develop prostate cancer.

4.      Paraphilias are almost exclusively male disorders.

5.      When men are not having sex with their wives on a regular basis, they are tempted to lust after other women or pornography (which culminates in masturbation).

6.      Child sexual molestation is much more likely to be perpetrated by males than by females.

7.      Men are much more likely to rape females than vice versa.

8.      Men commit more murders.  See: Testosterone and Crime.

9.      Pornography is epidemic in our society, and males are easily “turned on” by visual stimuli that are sexual in nature.

 

Bottom line, it is dangerous for men to be deprived of sex in a marriage.  Husbands and wives are meant to be sexual on a regular basis and to not deprive each other of sex.  I’m not sure why God made testosterone levels so drastically different in males vs. females.  However, I do believe that if He made the wife’s testosterone equal to the husband’s, there would probably not be much work done in the world. 

 

For a long time now, secular society has condemned men for their desire for sex.  Society has also taught women that they should be in control of their own bodies, and should not be “forced” into having sex—even with their husbands.  These are toxic beliefs, and they should be corrected with the truth.  Remember, God has a “no rejection” rule for husbands and wives.  As Christian counselors, we should help people understand human sexuality and defeat the belief that “sex is optional,” and that wives should have the “right” to refuse sex whenever they wish.  This is certainly not consistent with God’s holy word.

 

 

Brian Campbell, Ph.D.