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Hormones and behavior

Hormones are produced by the endocrine system and are responsible for controlling most of the biochemical processes of the body. Hormones are involved in many key behavioral activities such as sexual development, social ranking development and sexual secondary traits. Hormones have the ability to work as neurotransmitters which are used for communication with other neurons in the brain. These neurotransmitters are produced by glands both in the body and the brain as a response to bodily changes, stress or aging.

Sex hormones play a very vital role in production of sex differences in human behavior. Hormones are responsible for parental behaviors, cognition and aggressive behaviors certain hormones direct the synthesis of proteins that eventually determine the development and behavior of an organism. Testosterone, a hormone in the class of androgens is established early in life during the embryonic stages. These hormones are known for their masculine effects and are responsible for the male behaviors. Sex hormones are produced in the testes in males, and the ovaries in females.

They control the receptors in the hypothalamus which deal with sex control. They also affect the limbic system to produce aggressive and emotional behaviors. Hormones determine whether an individual has male or female characteristics. Hormones can interact with various psychological systems to influence the behavior of an individual. It is evident that high levels of hormones can increase the causation of certain behaviors, while some behaviors can increase the production and the change in hormones.

Although behavior is complex, it can be explained by the interactions between hormones and psychological systems. For example, in individuals who are experiencing stressful moments, their limbic systems will be activated by certain hormones to cause aggressive behaviors and emotions. ( Brook, Charles. Marshall, 2001).


Brook, Charles, G. D. Marshall, N. T. (2001). Essential Endocrinology. Blackwell publishing.

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