Navigation Links
Testosterone May Make Women Less Trusting
Date:5/24/2010

Finding could help in understanding the brain's role in trust

MONDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- It turns out that testosterone might be responsible for more than masculinity and Hollywood action movies: A new study suggests that women who get doses of the hormone are less trusting of strangers, a possible sign that testosterone boosts levels of caution.

The research doesn't prove a direct connection between testosterone, which is found in both sexes. But it does appear to indicate that the hormone helps reduce trust in women and, "in our opinion, protects them from harm," said study co-author Jack van Honk, a psychologist at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

The overall role of testosterone in the body remains something of a mystery. "We don't know a lot, to be completely honest," said Paola Sapienza, a professor of finance at Northwestern University who studies testosterone and how it affects decision-making. The hormone seems to be connected to aggression, she said, but "nobody really knows the mechanism by which testosterone changes behavior."

To make matters more complicated in the world of science, it's less clear what it does to women, she said, and there have been relatively few studies into testosterone's effects on them.

In the new study, 24 women, with an average age of 20, were given a dose of testosterone or a placebo under the tongue. Then they ranked the photographs of strangers, using a trustworthiness scale from -100 to +100.

Three days later, the women were given another dose -- testosterone if they'd gotten a placebo earlier, and vice versa -- and then looked at photographs again.

After they'd been given testosterone, the women were less likely to rank faces as being trustworthy, the researchers found. This effect was especially strong in women who were the most trusting to begin with.

Figuring out what this means is the tricky part. "We need to understand what is happening in the brain to draw further conclusions," van Honk said, although he added that the findings appear to show that testosterone makes women more cautious about strangers.

"History tells us, and we tell our children, that giving trust to strangers is naive and dangerous," van Honk said.

If testosterone does make women more cautious about people they don't know, the finding could be important in helping scientists better understand how trust works -- how the brain creates it, adjusts it and makes it disappear.

"Trust is a fundamental ingredient in every human interaction," Sapienza said. "If you remove it, you don't have economic transactions or love or any relationship."

For van Honk, the next step in the research is a brain scan study that aims to figure out what happens in the body when testosterone lowers the levels of trust in people. The current findings were published online in this week's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more on testing for testosterone.



-- Randy Dotinga



SOURCES: Jack van Honk, Ph.D., psychologist, Utrecht University, The Netherlands; Paola Sapienza, Ph.D., professor, finance, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Chicago; May 24-28, 2010, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Middle-aged men: Could dwindling testosterone levels decrease sleep?
2. Study shows costs and benefits of testosterone in birds
3. Male obesity linked to low testosterone levels, study shows
4. Low Testosterone Raises Heart Death Rates in Impotent Men
5. Testosterone deficiency affects male cancer survivors quality of life
6. Testosterone Gets Bad Rap: Study
7. Women Born Early More Apt to Have Preterm Baby
8. H1N1 Pandemic Flu Hits Pregnant Women Hard
9. African-Americans and women are less likely to undergo bone marrow transplantation
10. Pregnancy doubles HIV risk in men; first trial of a microbicide in pregnant women
11. Yogas Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... A revolution is underway. Brooklyn-based ... experience for the millions of people who require these medical transport services annually. ... through the use of technology. Now, SmartEMS has put forth an industry-changing app ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... On ... as sponsor of the 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle ... honor of the city’s history as home to some of the world’s leading providers ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer ... through a fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the two major problems leading ... a one size fits all type program , They don’t eliminate all the ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn ... to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization ... selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of independent ... Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to announce ... Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016  Collagen Matrix, Inc., ("Collagen Matrix") ... manufacturing of collagen and mineral based medical devices ... Bill Messer has joined the company ... leverage the growing portfolio of oral surgery, neurosurgery, ... Bill joins the Collagen Matrix executive team as ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced ... Applications, Technologies, Forecasts" report to their offering. ... Smart Skin, Structural Health Monitoring, Composite Smart Structures, ... involves electronic and/or electrical components and circuits that ... such as vehicle bodies or conformally placed upon ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 Research ... World Market for Companion Diagnostic Tests" report to their ... Market for Companion Diagnostics The World Market ... and personalized medicine diagnostics. Market analysis in the report includes ... Test Market (In Vitro Diagnostic Kits) by Region (N. America, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: