3) Testosterone, Dominance and Crime
The hormone testosterone may also be part of the mechanism to regulate dominance-seeking, since it too rises and falls depending on the outcome of dominance contests, in humans and other species (Mazur and Booth, 1998). As with serotonin, some individuals have higher basal testosterone levels than others do, for genetic reasons (Meikle, Bishop, Stringham and West, 1986). In the teenage years, those with high testosterone tend to rate themselves as dominant, outgoing, ambitious and enterprising on the Adjective Checklist more often than others (Udry and Talbert, 1988) and to be perceived by unfamiliar peers as socially dominant (Schaal, Tremblay, Soussignan and Susman, 1996). Perhaps the practice of castrating male domesticated animals arose as a means of ensuring that the testosterone advantage, and victory in dominance contests, went to their human owners.
At Emory University's Regional Primate Centre, watching other monkeys have sex was found to boost male monkeys' testosterone levels by some 400%. Rose et al found that more dominant adult male rhesus monkeys had higher levels of free testosterone, which fluctuated if levels of dominance or social rank changed.
Dabbs' team took saliva samples of male fans before and after a televised World Cup soccer match. Mean testosterone levels increased in the fans of winning teams and decreased in fans of losing teams. The conclusion was that testosterone levels rise and fall with experiences of success and failure in social encounters. Other contests analysed included fights, tennis tournaments or chess matches.
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Take testosterone in the workplace. Dabbs' team examined the salivary testosterone in seven vocation groups of men, as well as an unemployed group. They found that actors and footy players had higher levels than religious ministers. Dabbs related testosterone to dominance and antisocial tendencies, which in turn, he suggests, effect vocational preferences in subtle ways. Other studies reveal traditional 'white collar' workers possess lower testosterone than traditional 'blue collar' workers.
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