The relationship between Testosterone, masculinity, and aggression has been a source of debate for centuries. This article discusses the history of that debate and the link between testosterone and aggression. One point that many textbooks make about research on the link between testosterone and aggression is that this research has focussed on correlations between testosterone and aggression in males, experiments measuring levels of testosterone between aggressive males and non-aggressive males and animal studies using male animals. This may raise the issue of gender bias, a major problem in most psychological research. These studies may be androcentric: they may tell us something valid about the link between testosterone and aggression in males but not females.

However, some research has investigated the relationship between testosterone and aggression in women. This research suggests that women with high levels of testosterone are more dominant and aggressive than women with low levels of testosterone. It also suggests that some women may respond to threats, especially social challenges with the production of more testosterone and may engage in more aggressive and dominant behaviour.

The latest research suggests otherwise. Researchers at a University in Zurich conducted a study where they manipulated the level of testosterone in female participants and measured their behaviour in a game invoving the distribution of rewards. They found that testosterone led to an increase in fairness in the allocation of these rewards and concluded that the effect of testosterone is mediated by cognitive processes: what people think about testosterone influences how they behave not the basic biological effect of testosterone itself. The findings of this study concludes Professor Ashley Grossman:

"...puts hormones in their place. hormones provide a basic backdrop, but changes in levels will do little to behaviour compared to personality, culture and society".

Link to a detailed discussion of this research with some criticisms of how it has been reported in the media.... here

No comments: