Testosterone makes men stingy study

Marnia's picture
Submitted by Marnia on
Printer-friendly version

This fascinates me, because I have noticed that as lovers switch to karezza lovemaking they effortlessly become more generous. Not only that, they tend to attract more abundance. This makes sense...because our thoughts tend to attract their mirror.

Tough guys are tightwads, a new study reports.

Testosterone "causes men essentially to be stingy," neuro-economist Karen Redwine of Whittier College in California said of her study released recently.

Redwine and colleague Paul Zak at Claremont Graduate University in California slopped testosterone cream on some of their 25 male university student test subjects then put them through a computerized giving game.

Neither the subjects, who switched sides from giver to receiver during the test, nor the researchers knew who got the hormone boost until after the study.

The game asked one student to split $10 with another however they wanted. If the other student rejected the split as unfair, nobody got any money.

Overall, the study said, higher testosterone levels sank generosity by 27 per cent, from an average of $2.15 to $1.57. The more potent the testosterone cream, the stingier the split.

It wasn't just the givers who were affected. The study found that receivers with lots of testosterone coursing through their system – the "alpha males" – expected more money as their fair share.

Those exposed to the more potent testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, were more likely to consider offers below $4 as unfair; the others put their cut-off at $2.15.

"People are selfish, but they're selfless as well, and it's not understood why the behaviour shifts," said Redwine.

The researchers speculated an earlier study by Zak on the effect of oxytocin might hold the answer. That 2007 research said people whose levels of the oxytocin hormone were increased were 80 per cent more generous in the same game. Testosterone blocks the effect of oxytocin in the brain, Redwine said.

November 12, 2009
Lesley Ciarula Taylor