How do hormones influence behavior in men and women?
December 2, 2013 2:03 PM   Subscribe

I am interested in what hormonal differences exist between men and women and what effect this has on behavior. I don't have the biology background to be able to handle a textbook. This is a contentious area, so I'm only interested in claims or resources that are well referenced - not unsupported pop-sci or ideological claims. My level of detail would be an extended blog post or article, rather than a book
posted by casebash to Society & Culture (12 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

Also, this old AskMe may also be of interest.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:37 PM on December 2, 2013

I've found it really hard to research this in a meaningful way. I have an interest in it also and you might find some links in there interesting depending on what perspective you're coming from.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:49 PM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Cordelia Fine's book Delusions of Gender is aimed at a lay audience, very well-referenced, and a good read, but it is still a book (and, as you might have guessed from the title, she argues that a lot of the much-vaunted cognitive and behavioral differences derive from bad science, particularly Simon Baron-Cohen's studies.)
posted by gingerest at 5:09 PM on December 2, 2013 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: To clarify:

"My level of detail would be an extended blog post or article, rather than a book" - I left out the word ideal. Books are perfectly fine, but I'd love to find an article or extended blog post
posted by casebash at 5:56 PM on December 2, 2013

To be clear, you are looking for an article or book which summarizes research rather than links to scholarly articles themselves?
posted by Justinian at 6:01 PM on December 2, 2013

Response by poster: I guess I can look at scholarly articles (if they aren't too technical), but a summary would be better
posted by casebash at 8:02 PM on December 2, 2013

Stanford neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky has done loads of research on hormones, testosterone and cortisol in particular, and usually has much to say on the subject. He's got books, articles, lectures sprinkles all over youtube, etc so I'd look him up.

(of course he has much to say on this and other topics, so you may have to dig to get the answers you are specifically looking to research)

P.S. Keep in mind of the biological concept known as "the permissive effect" as it applies to hormones because it is often ignored in pseudo scientific claims that like to avoid the complex nuances of biochemistry and make everything into an either/or.
posted by Telomeracer at 9:25 PM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Seconding Cordelia Fine's Delusions of Gender, supplementing it with Rebecca Jordan-Young's Brainstorms is a great combination.
posted by Joeruckus at 12:45 AM on December 3, 2013

Andrew Sullivan discussed his experience with exogenous testosterone in his New York Times Magazine essay The He Hormone. That, and the TAL episode Brandon posted above, are the layperson's overviews I like.
posted by daveliepmann at 1:23 AM on December 3, 2013

Sapolsky is your man - and he has YouTube videos.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 1:13 PM on December 3, 2013

I thought this Ted talk was pretty interesting on body language's effect on hormones and behavior.
posted by vegetableagony at 1:31 PM on December 12, 2013

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