Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death in Western society today. There is a striking gender difference in CVD with men predisposed to earlier onset and more severe disease. Following the recent reevaluation and ongoing debate regarding the estrogen protection hypothesis, and given that androgen use and abuse is increasing in our society, the alternate view that androgens may promote CVD in men is assuming increasing importance. Whether androgens adversely affect CVD in either men or women remains a contentious issue within both the cardiovascular and endocrinological fraternities. This review draws from basic science, animal and clinical studies to outline our current understanding regarding androgen effects on atherosclerosis, the major CVD, and asks where future directions of atherosclerosis-related androgen research may lie.