Testosterone is predominately a male hormone, although it’s found at much lower levels in women. The hormone is responsible for a man’s sex drive, among other things. Higher levels of testosterone have been found to affect men’s behavior.
A study published in Nature Communications explored the effects that high testosterone has on a man’s behavior.
The study included over 240 men, aged 18 to 55. Half of the sample received gel testosterone and the other half a placebo. The men were then asked to name their preference between different brands and decide between similar items with different advertising.
The men who received the supplemented testosterone were more likely to choose items based on “perceived” higher status and prestige.
The study coincides with animal research where male animals seek to boost their way to the top of the hierarchy by showing dominance. Study co-author Colin Camerer explained, “In our closest animal kin, males spend a lot of time and energy fighting to establish dominance. We do, too, but our weapons are what we wear, drive and live in rather than claws, fists and muscles.”
Here are five other ways in which high testosterone levels can affect your behavior.
Five Ways High Testosterone Effects Behavior
- Poor with money: Studies have shown that men with high testosterone tend to make poor decisions with money by taking greater risks and preferring “lottery-like” stocks. Men with high testosterone tend to make rash decisions that lack supportive data.
- Poor decision-making: High testosterone leads to impulsive behavior that can lead to poor decision making. Studies have shown that men who received extra testosterone had an impaired ability to answer questions on a cognitive test, which led to more incorrect answers
- It’s a sign of upbringing: Levels of testosterone may reveal a man’s upbringing and environment. A comparative study between Bangladeshi men who were raised in the UK versus those raised in Bangladesh found that men raised in the UK had higher testosterone, which led them to be taller and enters puberty more quickly. Testosterone levels are higher in individuals whose bodies don’t need to fight off infection and are well nourished. Therefore, a healthier environment will lead to higher testosterone.
- It can promote narcissism: Higher levels are testosterone have been associated with narcissistic behavior, like feelings of entitlement and having bouts of explosive behavior. High testosterone males tend to abuse their status.
- It can protect your health: Having high testosterone isn’t all “bad.” In fact, studies among men with low testosterone had positive outcomes when they received testosterone replacement as testosterone deficiencies have been linked to a higher risk of death.
The only way to check your testosterone is through blood work, so if you’re concerned about your levels, ask your doctor about it.
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