You may be attracted to the hypermasculine macho man, but new research suggests these guys may not make the best long-term partners. The small study found that men with higher levels of the sex hormone testosterone had poorer relationships with the mothers of their children.

The research, published online in Human Nature, is still preliminary and does not prove that higher levels of testosterone are directly to blame for less stable relationships with female partners. Interestingly, other factors of a man’s family life were not linked to his testosterone levels.

Read: Testosterone Shots and Gel May Reduce Heart Attack Risk In Men With Coronary Artery Disease

“Fathers’ relationship status (e.g., married, in a non-residential or visiting relationship) and measures of paternal attitudes and behavior and sexuality were not related to variation in fathers’ testosterone levels,” explained lead study researcher Peter B. Gray, PsyPost reported. “For fathers of young children, access to and involvement with his child is often contingent upon the relationship with the child’s mother, perhaps helping explain why partnership quality but not other variables were related to fathers’ testosterone.”

The study was based on 350 fathers of 18- to 24-month old children in Jamaica. In addition, the quality of a father’s relationship with the mother of his child was based on interview replies, rather than observation, PsyPost reported.

“Another question remaining to be addressed stems from the observation that many men are on some form of testosterone supplementation," added Gray.” No study, to my knowledge, has tested whether taking exogenous testosterone influences partnership or caregiving behaviors.”

Testosterone is a hormone found in both men and women, although it exists in far higher amounts in men. The hormone is largely responsible for their sex drive and sexual functions, such as sperm production, Healthline reported. However, the hormone also plays a role in other bodily functions such as bone and muscle mass, fat storage, and even mood. While the most recent study showed a perhaps less desirable effect of increased testosterone levels, other research has shown more positive attributes. For example, low testosterone levels may contribute to depression, decreased bone density, increased body fat, insomnia, and lowered sexual drive.

In addition, a recent study found that for men with preexisting coronary artery disease, testosterone shots may help to reduce their risks of strokes, heart attacks, and even death. A year after the start of the study, of the 755 original study participants, 64 patients who had not received any testosterone supplement suffered a major cardiovascular event, compared to only 12 of the men who were receiving moderate doses of testosterone and nine men who received high doses of the hormone.

Source: Gray PB, Reece J, et al. Testosterone and Jamaican Fathers Exploring Links to Relationship Dynamics and Paternal Care. Human Nature. 2017

See Also:

7 Ways To Naturally Boost Testosterone Levels In Men, From Alcohol Intake To Sleep Routines

Guys May Struggle With Self-Control Due To Testosterone; How Sex Hormone Affects Decision Making