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Wayne State study links testosterone with men's ability to 'woo' potential mates
Date:3/11/2011

DETROIT 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 competitionincluding how assertive they were and how much they "took control" of the conversationand 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 behaviorseither their own or their competitors'.

"We found that testosterone levels influenced men's dominance behaviors during th
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Contact: Julie O'Connor
julie.oconnor@wayne.edu
313-577-8845
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research
Source:Eurekalert

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