Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Testosterone linked to men's ability to 'woo' potential mates

Date:
March 13, 2011
Source:
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research
Summary:
Theories have long proposed that testosterone influences competition among males trying to attract females. Findings from a recent study give a clearer understanding of the links between testosterone and human mating behavior, and how testosterone is associated with dominance and competitive success when men battle for the attention of an attractive woman.

Theories have long proposed that testosterone influences competition among males trying to attract females. Findings from a recent study at Wayne State University give a clearer understanding of the links between testosterone and human mating behavior, and how testosterone is associated with dominance and competitive success when men battle for the attention of an attractive woman.

The study engaged pairs of men in a seven-minute videotaped competition for the attention of an attractive female undergraduate. Pre-competition testosterone levels were positively associated with men's dominance behaviors in the mate competition-including how assertive they were and how much they "took control" of the conversation-and with how much the woman indicated that she "clicked" with each of the men.

According to Richard Slatcher, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology in WSU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a resident of Birmingham, Mich., the effects of testosterone on dominance behaviors were especially pronounced among men who reported having a high need for social dominance. In his study, "Testosterone and Self-Reported Dominance Interact to Influence Human Mating Behavior," published online Feb. 28 in the journal, Social Psychological and Personality Science, these men showed a strong positive association between their own testosterone and their own dominance behaviors and, most surprisingly, a strong negative association between their own testosterone and their opponents' dominance behaviors. In other words, men both high in testosterone and who reported a high need for social dominance appeared to be able somehow suppress their competitors' ability to attract potential mates. However, when men reported low need for dominance, there was no association between testosterone and dominance behaviors-either their own or their competitors'.

"We found that testosterone levels influenced men's dominance behaviors during the competitions, how much they derogated (or 'bashed') their competitors afterward, and how much the woman said she 'clicked' with them," said Slatcher. "Books, film and television often portray men who are bold and self-assured with women as being high in testosterone. Our results suggest that there is a kernel of truth to this stereotype, that naturally circulating testosterone indeed is associated with men's behaviors when they try to woo women."

Although many animal studies have shown that testosterone is associated with dominance when males compete for mates, none-until now-have demonstrated this association in humans.

"These findings highlight an important difference between humans and animals," said Slatcher. "In humans-unlike animals-explicit, conscious motives can affect how a hormone such as testosterone shapes behavior. Our findings indicate that testosterone is associated with dominance behaviors and success when men compete for the attention of an attractive woman, particularly when men also have a strong conscious desire for social dominance."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. R. B. Slatcher, P. H. Mehta, R. A. Josephs. Testosterone and Self-Reported Dominance Interact to Influence Human Mating Behavior. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2011; DOI: 10.1177/1948550611400099

Cite This Page:

Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research. "Testosterone linked to men's ability to 'woo' potential mates." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110311122123.htm>.
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research. (2011, March 13). Testosterone linked to men's ability to 'woo' potential mates. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110311122123.htm
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research. "Testosterone linked to men's ability to 'woo' potential mates." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110311122123.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins