Androgen receptor (AR) ligands are important for the development and function of several tissues and organs. However, the poor oral bioavailability, pharmacokinetic properties, and receptor cross-reactivity of testosterone, coupled with side effects, place limits on its clinical use. Selective AR modulators (SARMs) elicit anabolic effects in muscle and bone, sparing reproductive organs like the prostate. However, molecular mechanisms underlying the tissue selectivity remain ambiguous. We performed a variety of in vitro studies to compare and define the molecular mechanisms of an aryl propionamide SARM, S-22, as compared with dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Studies indicated that S-22 increased levator ani muscle weight but decreased the size of prostate in rats. Analysis of the upstream intracellular signaling events indicated that S-22 and DHT mediated their actions through distinct pathways. Modulation of these pathways altered the recruitment of AR and its cofactors to the PSA enhancer in a ligand-dependent fashion. In addition, S-22 induced Xenopus laevis oocyte maturation and rapid phosphorylation of several kinases, through pathways distinct from steroids. These studies reveal novel differences in the molecular mechanisms by which S-22, a nonsteroidal SARM, and DHT mediate their pharmacological effects.