In men, testosterone plays a key role in the development of male reproductive tissues such as thetestisand prostateas well as promoting secondary sexual characteristics such as increased
muscleand bonemass andhair growth.
In addition, testosterone is essential for health andwell-being
On average, an adulthumanmale body produces about ten times more testosterone than an adulthuman female body, but females are, from a behavioral perspective (rather than from ananatomical or biological perspective), more sensitive to the hormone.
However, the overallranges for male and female are very wide, such that the ranges actually overlap at the low endand high end respectively.
In general,androgenspromote protein synthesisand growth of those tissues with androgen
receptors. Testosterone effects can be classified as virilizingandanabolic, although the
distinction is somewhat artificial, as many of the effects can be considered both. Testosterone isanabolic, meaning it builds up bone and muscle mass.
includematurationof the sex organs, particularly the penisand the
formation of thescrotumin the fetus, and after birth (usually at puberty) a deepening of
the voice, growth of the beardandaxillary hair . Many of these fall into the category of
malesecondary sex characteristics.Testosterone effects can also be classified by the age of usual occurrence. For postnatal effects in
both males and females, these are mostly dependent on the levels and duration of circulating freetestosterone.
Most of the
prenatal androgen effects
occur between 7 and 12 weeks of the gestation.
Early infancy androgen effects
are the least understood. In the first weeks of life for male infants,testosterone levels rise. The levels remain in a pubertal range for a few months, but usually reachthe barely detectable levels of childhood by 4–6 months of age.