Activation of sexual reflexes in male rats by spinal implantation of testosterone

Benjamin Hart, Charles M. Haugen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


It has been previously reported that the systemic administration and withdrawal of exogenous testosterone has a quantitative influence on sexual reflexes of castrated spinal male rats. In the present study an attempt was made to determine whether this effect occurred in the peripheral or central elements of the sexual reflexes. Castrated spinal male rats that had a low level of sexual reflex activity received spinal implants of either testosterone propionate or cholesterol. The accessory sex glands were examined to control for absorption of the implanted androgen into the systemic circulation, and subjects which showed such evidence of absorption of the androgen were excluded from further consideration. Testosterone implanted subjects exhibited an increase in sexual reflex activity, whereas cholesterol implanted subjects showed a decline in sexual reflex activity. The results suggest that testosterone has a facilitory influence on sexual reflexes by means of a direct action on spinal neural tissue mediating sexual reflexes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)735-738
Number of pages4
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1968


  • Reflexes
  • Sexual behavior
  • Spinal cord
  • Testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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