Men vs. Women -- Hormones -- a Transgender Perspective

As someone who transitioned in her mid-thirties, I have had the opportunity to see both the male and female worlds from the inside.
02/18/2016 08:51 am ET Updated Feb 18, 2017

The Native Americans called us Two Spirits. In the tribe we were sometimes considered more sacred than the Shaman and in a lot of cases, we were sought out by those who needed relationship advice.

As someone who transitioned in her mid-thirties, I have had the opportunity to see both the male and female worlds from the inside. People are only now starting to realize the Transgender experience gives us a unique perspective when it comes to the differences between the sexes. Now, the information in this article may be especially helpful to any heterosexual couple, so forgive me if this article is a little hetero-centric, but they seem to have the hardest time understanding each other since you know, they insist on making "opposites" work.

First off, let's talk about hormones. We all know about the external differences that hormones create, but people often forget that they play a large role on what's going on inside you and how you feel. Hormones are very, very important.

There are two basic sex hormones: Testosterone and Estrogen

They are found in both the male and female body, but at different levels of course.

Here is a simple table derived from information on the
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TESTOSTERONE

ESTOGEN

MEN (> = 19 yrs old)

240-950 ng/dL

10-40 pg/mL

WOMEN (> = 19 yrs old*)

8-60 ng/dL

15-350 pg/mL

* Premenopausal. Estrogen rates change for women during pregnancy as well.


For the sake of argument, and because levels can differ so much in range, I'm going to use the highest numbers for this example.

So let's do the math here:

950 / 60 = 15.88 so for argument's sake, let's say that men have 16x more Testosterone than women.

And:

350 / 40 = 8.75 so for argument's sake, let's say that women have 9x more Estrogen than men.

So what does that mean?

Let's take a look at what each hormone is responsible for.

According to Wikipedia:

"In humans and other mammals, testosterone is secreted primarily by the testicles of males and, to a lesser extent, the ovaries of females. Small amounts are also secreted by the adrenal glands. It is the principal male sex hormone and an anabolic steroid."

Whoa... let's stop there. See something interesting? "It is the principal male sex hormone." That will become important shortly if you're not already piecing this together.

Once again, according to Wikipedia:

"Estrogen ... is the primary female sex hormone and is responsible for development and regulation of the female reproductive system and secondary sex characteristics."

See it again? "Estrogen ... is the primary female sex hormone."

Now that I've got those two thoughts floating around in your brain, what is something that men are notorious for? I mean, women want it too, but what does every man think about 24/7?

Sex.

So testosterone makes men want to have sex and estrogen does women?

Not so fast. You didn't think women were that easy to understand right?

As it turns out, testosterone has a part to play in the female sex drive as well.

It's mentioned in everyday HEALTH, WebMD, Redbook, but unfortunately due to the lack of women's health studies, I was unable to find scientific sites to site. Here's a link to slides with more facts about Testosterone.

So now we know that testosterone also affects a woman's sex dive, let's take a look at a couple of other effects hormones have on the body.

Taken from the Livestrong website; "Aside from adverse physical effects, rage and aggressive behavior is associated with testosterone."

To be fair, some more info on estrogen.

From WebMD.com:

  • · Increasing serotonin, and the number of serotonin receptors in the brain.
  • · Modifying the production and the effects of endorphins, the "feel-good" chemicals in the brain.

(Side note: serotonin according to Wikipedia: "It is popularly thought to be a contributor to feelings of well-being and happiness.")

So what have we learned? Testosterone is responsible for sex drive both in males and females as well as aggressive behavior sometimes resulting in rage. Estrogen does help the female sex drive, but has other prominent effects on their emotions.

Remember, both hormones are present in each member of the sexes.

So what does all this mean?

It means, when a man gets turned on, he feels approximately 16x more turned on than your average female. This does not take into account estrogen in the women's body, but since I have expressed that testosterone is the leading sex drive hormone, I'm going to focus on that to keep the argument simple.

I have heard women complain about men's libidos and no wonder why. Can you imagine being 16x more horny? You'd be humping the couch. This doesn't excuse men to be deviants, it's only something to take in consideration and please, ladies, have some respect for a man that can keep it in his pants. It's hard, pun intended. Sorry gentleman, but you'll just have to deal with it, or you could join our side...

I also mentioned that testosterone increases one's "aggressive behavior" which means when he gets mad at something, ladies, he gets around 16x more angry. You wonder why he's so upset at the lawn mower screaming at it in the backyard. Honestly, he can't help it. Don't try to help or calm him, just let him vent and wait till he's done.

Now let's flip it around.

Men, do you want to know why you two are sitting on the beach watching the beautiful sunset together and suddenly she starts to cry? You frantically make sure it wasn't something you did, but you forgot the math from earlier... she's feeling that sunset almost 9x more than you are. "Yeah, it's touching but jeez it's not that special." No, not to you, but to her it is. All you need to do, is understand that. 9x more feels gentlemen, it's not always fun.

When something is tearing her up inside and she's keeping a stone cold face, remember that she is still feeling it 9x more than you. Respect that.

I've heard men complain about their woman "flipping out." You would too if it meant 9x that much more to you.

These are just hormones. I don't have enough space to go into the plethora of other differences but if I can leave you with anything it's this simple way to look at things.

Women, when he's horny or angry.... he feels that 16x more than you do. Respect that.

Men, when you get horny, she's 16x less as interested... Respect that.

...but most of all remember that she feels 9x more than you do.

So when you come home with her favorite whatever after work, imagine to her, that feeling is 9x as powerful.

Of course, there will always be exceptions, but when we come to understand ourselves and what makes us tick, we can learn to understand others better as well.