The hormones that influence female behaviors and sexual function are known as estrogens, while the male hormones are called androgens. Men and women produce both of these classifications of hormones that cause behaviors classified as male or female, but they produce them in varying amounts. These male or female hormones work in conjunction with asexual hormones to make the body appear male or female and function sexually as a particular gender.
Androgens, also called steroid hormones, flow from the testes and are known to influence male patterns of behavior. Follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH) flow from the pituitary glands and cause the growth of seminiferous tubules. These tubules are what make up the majority of the testes. FSH also promotes the cell division that cause sperm production. Luteinizing hormone (LH) also flows from the pituitary gland and causes growth of endocrine tissue, a tissue made up of interstitial tissue found within the testes. This tissue is what makes testosterone, the most predominant of the male hormones.
Receptors for testosterone are found in most parts of the male body and in many organs. This one hormone is responsible for the majority of male characteristics and behaviors. It maintains sperm tubules and is responsible for rapid growth of bones during puberty. It also causes the hair growth that is classified as male and muscle growth necessary for the traditionally male shape.
Male hormones decrease in production during the aging process in an event sometimes called male menopause, but there isn't clear evidence as to why this is. Some guess that it has to do with an increase in body fat which contains the enzyme aromatase. This enzyme has been indirectly linked with a decrease in male hormones in the body. Too little testosterone may cause a decrease in sexual interest as well as erectile dysfunction. Hormone levels can be tested to find out if they have decreased in effectiveness and hormone replacement therapy is possible for those who are effected by the problem.
Scientists are using male hormones, particularly testosterone, to create a male birth control pill. The goal of the test pills is to control the output of sperm using different concentrations of testosterone in combination with various ingredients. The most successful pills are a combination of testosterone and progestin, a female birth control pill ingredient that is not usually found in a male. Scientists believe that if the male birth control pill is perfected, it could be as effective as vasectomy without the permanence.