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Hormones in Context:
Flooded with testosterone?

 
Introduction.
Systems and Controls.
Estrogens and Androgens.
Testosterone and Aggression.
The role of aggression.
Mice and rats.
Primates.
Mothers.
Flooded with testosterone?
Crimes of violence.
Childhood.

 
Whenever you read emotive phrases like "flooded with testosterone" or "massive surges", it should ring warning bells in your mind. As we saw earlier, the level in men is about eight times that of women (not twenty times as is stated in one popular work).

Discussion of hormone concentrations are irrelevant without consideration of the receptors. Both sexes have the potential to develop many of the characteristics of either, since they are mainly coded on the autosomes. So, for instance, transsexuals use hormone medication to achieve the bodily changes that they desire.

COMMENT
Women and testosterone.

 
Although there is a correlation between testosterone and behaviour, it doesn't appear to be very clear how it operates. Studies have been carried out on areas of the brain which appear to be associated with organisational effects on behaviour. There seems to be little about the actual mechanism involved in the proposed activational effect.

Many hormones, in fact, have been implicated in aggression, including adrenocorticotropic hormone, prolactin, estrogen, progesterone, adrenalin as well as testosterone. While most studies on aggression have focused on males and testosterone it would seem reasonable to suggest an interaction with the adrenalin system.

COMMENT
Testosterone as the hormone of Proactivity.

As one writer puts it,(1) it doesn't make sense to measure one hormone in the absence of others. Even if testosterone and its analogues play a leading role, it is only the soloist in the concerto. We must not lose sight of the orchestra.

Next Page: Crimes of violence.

Bibliography and good reading.

  1. Fausto Sterling, A., (1992) Myths of Gender, Biological Theories about Women and Men, (p126) New York: Basic Books
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Citation
Bland, J.,(2004) About Gender: Flooded with testosterone?
http://www.gender.org.uk/about/06encrn/63eaggrs.htm
 
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Web page copyright Derby TV/TS Group. Text copyright Jed Bland.
06.05.98 Last amended 12.03.02, 10.03.04