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

stand 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


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