Testosterone Gives Men Better Direction Sense


Norwegian scientists believe that men may possess a better sense of direction than women. This is attributed to their hormones. This conclusion was arrived at when men and women were given route mapping tasks. After that, each gender group was given small doses of testosterone to see if it will enhance the performance of the ladies. 

The Study

Testosterone moleculaParticipants were given 3D goggles and the steering was done using a joystick. The tasks involved finding their way on a virtual maze while they were being timed. The men and women’s brains were viewed using a real time MRI scanner by the researchers during the entire time of the exercise. The test subjects were 18 men and 18 women. 

Navigation strategies

According to Carl Pintzka from the University of Science and Technology in Norway, the sense of direction of men was more effective. The men identified their route and destination faster than the women. According to the MRI images, the men and women used different areas of the brain to find their bearing.

The part of the brain used by the men to locate the direction was the hippocampus while the women relied more on the frontal areas of the brain. In order to identify the cardinal directions, the hippocampus is mostly used according to Pintzka. This is mainly attributed to evolution. 

During the ancient times, men were mostly hunters while women played the role of gatherers. As such, the brains of men and women evolved differently. Some researchers have documented that women are more efficient in finding things inside the house while men find the house faster. 

Second Test 

During the second test, a group of women were given small doses of testosterone administered under the tongue. After the testosterone had been absorbed in their bodies, it was established that they were able to identify the four cardinal locations of north, south, east and west easily. After the administration of the testosterone, the women used the hippocampus on a greater level for navigation purposes. 


According to Pintzka, the results of the study may be useful in understanding some of the symptoms that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease. A loss in the sense of direction is an early indication of the disease. Most of the brain-related diseases attack men and women differently. The inference was that there is something in the sex hormone that protects people of one gender from the severity of such diseases. 


There have been different studies involving sex hormones. From the results of this study, it was established that testosterone gives men a better sense of direction. It was also established that some ailments that are gender related occur as a result of certain aspects of sex hormones.