rocket science & testosterone

By Alison Campbell 14/12/2009


No, I’m not trying to suggest that spaceship designers/engineers have to be male. That would be a) stereotypical & b) incorrect as well, given that women also produce a certain amount of this hormone. But I wanted to catch your attention & direct it to a post by Ed Yong on Not exactly rocket science, where he discusses a recent bit of research on the influence of testosterone on behaviour. I first saw this story in the NZ Herald (there’s a copy of the article here) when the husband drew my attention to it. This is an interesting piece of research because it shows (again) just how strong the power of placebo can be: women who believed that they’d received testosterone (even if they’d actually received a placebo) behaved in the stereotypical belligerent way – but women actually under the influence of testosterone behaved more altruistically than expected. Fascinating stuff.


0 Responses to “rocket science & testosterone”

  • Yup, very. My understanding of it was that testosterone may enhance one’s sensitivity to status. So in rats, which are quite primitive socially, it translates into aggression. In humans, with our more complicated social structure, it translates into a tendency to be seen to behave well…

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