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Theses Bachelor's

Gender Differences in the Subjective Effects of Cocaine

Laura, Diana

The literature shows that numerous studies have been done on sex differences in response to drugs of abuse, specifically psychostimulants. Regarding cocaine, significant differences have been found in the initiation of drug use, the development of drug dependence, and treatment-seeking behaviors in men and women. This review strives to summarize these gender-specific differences in cocaine use—including reasons for using, subjective responses while on the drug and the subsequent dependence and treatment—and the role that hormone levels play in this discrepancy. Substantially more studies regarding drug use as a function of sex have been done on rodents. However, differences between the rodent’s 4-day estrous cycle and the human menstrual cycle make it difficult to generalize these results to human populations. It is crucial to examine how much research has been done specifically with male and female humans, taking into account the changing hormone levels throughout the female menstrual cycle, in order to draw conclusions of these gender differences and see what more can be studied. This disparity, and the reasons for it, is extremely important in administering sex-specific treatment in cocaine abuse.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Psychology (Barnard College)
Thesis Advisors
McCaskill, E'mett
B.A., Barnard College
Published Here
May 16, 2011