×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Ancient Skulls Show Civilization Rose As Testosterone Fell

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the no-low-t-cream-please dept.

Earth 387

An anonymous reader writes Even though modern humans started appearing around 200,000 years ago, it was only about 50,000 years ago that artistry and tool making became popular. New research shows that society bloomed when testosterone levels in humans started dropping. A paper published in the journal Current Anthropology, suggests that a testosterone deficit facilitated the friendliness and cooperation between humans, which lead to modern society. "Whatever the cause, reduced testosterone levels enabled increasingly social people to better learn from and cooperate with each other, allowing the acceleration of cultural and technological innovation that is the hallmark of modern human success," says University of Utah biology graduate student Robert Cieri.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Men are obsolete (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594157)

They will be evolved out of existence soon. The sooner the better.

Re:Men are obsolete (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594283)

The amount of hate-speech against men in society today is rather alarming. In the days before feminism, I'm not sure men ever suggested that women be exterminated as a gender. And yet today, the war on men grows increasingly loud and hate-filled by the day.

Re:Men are obsolete (3, Interesting)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 4 months ago | (#47594541)

In the days before feminism, I'm not sure men ever suggested that women be exterminated as a gender.

Perhaps because that is not practical. The human species cannot continue to exist without women. Men, on the other hand, could be replaced with a sperm bank. Long before the sperm bank is depleted, female scientists should be able to perfect human ova-fusion [ieet.org] , which is already working in mice.

I am not saying men should be exterminated. I am just saying that there are no significant technical barriers.

Re:Men are obsolete (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594349)

They will be evolved out of existence soon. The sooner the better.

And replaced by whom ? Bonobos ?
If I were a bonobo I sure wouldn't mind but...

Re:Men are obsolete (0)

ganjadude (952775) | about 4 months ago | (#47594457)

somehow i knew that was going to be the first comment. This news really will give the militant feminism a new shot in the arm however

Re: Men are obsolete (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594633)

Can you give one example of an actual published feminist scholar saying anything remotely like that?

I've only ever heard men suggest that "militant feminists" want to get rid of men. Which is embarrassing because it makes us sound pathetic.

Re: Men are obsolete (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594669)

http://www.nationalreview.com/... [nationalreview.com]

Re:Men are obsolete (1)

Megol (3135005) | about 4 months ago | (#47594745)

Militant feminism? Near 100% of _real_ feminists want men to exist and a majority to keep traditionally male behavior in large. Militant feminists that doesn't want men to exist are very few, should be close in number to those militant environmentalists that think people should be exterminated...

For this twit, a great French phrase: (2)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 4 months ago | (#47594507)

nostalgie de la boue [merriam-webster.com]

I, for one, could live more happily if the anti-human nihilists would just fall off the planet.

Re:Men are obsolete (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594783)

yeah but how are a bunch of retarded women going to invent new technology? so few of them can even think. they're basically animals.

correlation, causation (5, Insightful)

roc97007 (608802) | about 4 months ago | (#47594159)

I have trouble with pronouncements like these, because it's so easy to jump to conclusions about correlation and causation.

It seems like their conclusion might have a Politically Correct component. Could it be instead that civilization caused a general lowering of testosterone, because high testosterone levels were no longer vital to survival?

Re:correlation, causation (5, Insightful)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 4 months ago | (#47594227)

Could it be instead that civilization caused a general lowering of testosterone, because high testosterone levels were no longer vital to survival?

If you follow evolutionary theory, that's the first conclusion one should reach. To assume otherwise is quite scientifically naive. As humans became more proficient at survival and had more time on their hands, being able to sit still and think for a little while was likely a good thing.

Re:correlation, causation (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594295)

"To assume otherwise is quite scientifically naive" - Bullshit, you're the one making assumptions.

Re:correlation, causation (5, Interesting)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 4 months ago | (#47594325)

It is also the only reasonable theory form a biological standpoint, as Testosterone has been studied exhaustively and simply does not in anyway reduce cooperation or friendliness. In fact in general testosterone seems to be positively correlated to number of friends and ability to cooperate.

Why should it have the opposite effect in ancient humans?

Re:correlation, causation (0)

mspohr (589790) | about 4 months ago | (#47594473)

Interesting assertion which is contrary to my reading of the literature as well as the study in question.
Citation needed.

Re:correlation, causation (5, Informative)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 4 months ago | (#47594613)

http://www.sciencedaily.com/re... [sciencedaily.com]

The study's results, however, contradict this view sharply. Test subjects with an artificially enhanced testosterone level generally made better, fairer offers than those who received placebos, thus reducing the risk of a rejection of their offer to a minimum. "The preconception that testosterone only causes aggressive or egoistic behavior in humans is thus clearly refuted," sums up Eisenegger. Instead, the findings suggest that the hormone increases the sensitivity for status. For animal species with relatively simple social systems, an increased awareness for status may express itself in aggressiveness. "In the socially complex human environment, pro-social behavior secures status, and not aggression," surmises study co-author Michael Naef from Royal Holloway London. "The interplay between testosterone and the socially differentiated environment of humans, and not testosterone itself, probably causes fair or aggressive behavior."

Moreover the study shows that the popular wisdom that the hormone causes aggression is apparently deeply entrenched: those test subjects who believed they had received the testosterone compound and not the placebo stood out with their conspicuously unfair offers. It is possible that these persons exploited the popular wisdom to legitimate their unfair actions. Economist Michael Naef states: "It appears that it is not testosterone itself that induces aggressiveness, but rather the myth surrounding the hormone. In a society where qualities and manners of behavior are increasingly traced to biological causes and thereby partly legitimated, this should make us sit up and take notice." The study clearly demonstrates the influence of both social as well as biological factors on human behavior.

Re:correlation, causation (2, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 4 months ago | (#47594615)

Citation needed.

Animal studies have shown a strong correlation between testosterone and aggression (the opposite of what the GPP asserts). In humans, the data is less conclusive, but tends to show a similar correlation. Wisnoskij's assertion that testosterone makes people friendly and cooperative is not supported by any evidence that I can find.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aggression#Testosterone [wikipedia.org]
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2029601 [nih.gov]
http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/testosterone-promotes-agression-aut-12-06-09/ [scientificamerican.com]

Re:correlation, causation (2)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 4 months ago | (#47594651)

See the post above your own.

Re:correlation, causation (3, Interesting)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 4 months ago | (#47594479)

It's probably an "energy" issue.

Testosterone is linked with increased muscle mass, and thus with increased rest metabolism. A civilization that has lots of "Adonis" look-a-likes sitting around in the winter will not survive as well as a civilization with lots of beanpoles sitting around in the winter, because the beanpoles require less food per person per winter, and as such, the society will have more energy available to invest in improvements in technology and culture.

So, while increased testosterone is more sexually attractive, lower testosterone would have conferred a large survival advantage in ancient human history.

Some experiments could be devised to test this idea in fact--

Screen the population for a threshold of testosterone production, with a good distribution over ages, (so not all the low T people are 65+ and under 12) divide into two groups of 100, one with low T, and one with high T, pay them to live in isolation in a nice little log cabin up in the mountains, then just monitor their food consumption. According to the theory, the higher T population should consume more food doing the same rest activities as the lower T group. The experiment should determine a rough baseline for the difference, from which a (dangerous) extrapolation could be made.

Re:correlation, causation (1, Troll)

Teun (17872) | about 4 months ago | (#47594551)

Ah that could explain why rednecks are mainly found in the south, up north winter has taken care of them :)

Re:correlation, causation (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594655)

But that doesn't explain why you're a racist. It's the twenty-first century. Lose the racism. It's just as bad against white people as it is against any other race.

Re:correlation, causation (-1)

Teun (17872) | about 4 months ago | (#47594729)

How???
Are you implying 'redneck' is now classed a race?
Or that I said anything negative about them for living in the south?

Re:correlation, causation (1)

tylikcat (1578365) | about 4 months ago | (#47594549)

This, in turn, assumes that the effects of testosterone are consistant and linear, and that they are consistent across other variables, and that's not a safe assumption. First, there are likely one or more optima with testosterone levels, with some loss of function when not as those optima. Second, the effects are likely influenced strongly by other factors. For instance, oxytocin gets a lot of press as being the hug drug and all that, and its effects in terms of promoting social bonding and trust and so are get a lot of press. What gets less press is that while it promotes in-group bonding, it promotes out-group agression - high oxytocin levels are correlated by hostility towards strangers and the like.

Re:correlation, causation (1)

jd (1658) | about 4 months ago | (#47594543)

Doesn't work. Humans started having more time on their hands 1.8 million years ago, but this DECLINED as religion (50k years ago) and agriculture (20k years ago) arose. With the advent of full-time farming (7k years ago) free time almost entirely vanished.

Nomadic peoples had more free time than any sedentary society prior to the middle of the 20th century, and even then only for the gentry and the middle classes, where said middle classes have since almost entirely suffered extermination at the hands of the rich.

This is settled science. Archaeology, genetics and anthropology have actually been in agreement on some things. The theories being propounded attempt to fit a new observation into said settled science. There is nothing naive about building on an existing foundation.

If you don't like said foundation, do the leg work, write up a paper and make yourself famous. Otherwise, stick to merely disagreeing with it rather than pretending it doesn't exist.

Re:correlation, causation (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 4 months ago | (#47594713)

Good points, and I certainly would not pretend to understand all the factors. My point was more along the lines of this being on of many things we see that seems to skip over the fundamental basic of evolution to make some other correlation. The one I proposed was certainly not enlightened, but more an example, albeit a poor one based on your response. I just get a little tired of these article suggesting certain relationships when they are merely studying them and have only circumstantial evidence. Evolutionary theory would suggest that reproductive success was greater for those with lower testosterone, so there would seem to be some benefit. That would seem to be the place to start, or at least acknowledge. Make all theories you want, and test them, but don't go announcing the to the world the minute you get one correlation.

Re:correlation, causation (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594243)

Could it be instead that civilization caused a general lowering of testosterone, because high testosterone levels were no longer vital to survival?

Or that the removal of some other threat or improvement in environmental conditions meant both that conditions existed that favoured the rise of civilisation and that testosterone was no longer required to the same extent as previously.

Or even that testosterone played its role in enabling humans to overcome a threat that needed to be overcome in order for civiliation to be practical, and since that threat had been overcome the testosterone was no longer needed... in which case it was responsible for the rise of civilisation, not an obstacle to it.

Re:correlation, causation (1)

tylikcat (1578365) | about 4 months ago | (#47594557)

Bear in mind that it's unlikely that lower testosterone levels would be selected for merely because "the testosterone was no longer needed..." You'd expect to see a fitness cost before that happened.

(Mind you, this is assuming the effect is happening at the level of genetic selection - testosterone could conceivably change as a response to a changing environment, for instance.)

Re:correlation, causation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594409)

That's retarded. How do you think humans could "civilize" until their anger levels dropped to manageable levels? The answer is they couldn't. They fought each other over every slight real or imagined. They ate the brains and bodies of those they defeated. It's a lot like the middle east, now.

Re:correlation, causation (2, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | about 4 months ago | (#47594415)

Nice "wisdom" there. But why did you stop thinking there? There IS definitely a link between excessive testosterone and the lowering of sustained logic, reason and mental stability and order. (Just as there is similar evidence liking excessive estrogen with similar behaviors among women) What happens to people, both men and women when they are on steroids? That's been well established in the medical sciences for decades.

So to say correlation/causation is a problem here conveniently missed the established facts and among these the effect of higher testosterone on mental capacity.

I think the recognition of corre-cause fundamental principle is an important aspect of reasoning. But it is not the whole of debunking anything. (And yes, nothing you say disagrees with that statement.) But to simply state "correlation != causation" and walk away as if you've debunked something is pretty commonly expressed in these parts and I find it disturbing.

We're bio-chemical machines. The efficacy of the machines has everything to do with what's in them, what the balances are and especially what we put into them. But even if that balance is essentially natural or origin and basis, the outcome is still an effect of the factors at play. That is to say, groups of people with higher levels than others show predictable results categorically speaking. (But that's "racist" and we're not allowed to talk about that either)

If anything, this "finding" is just another grain of evidence supporting the obvious where human evolution are concerned. As we continue to value intellectual ability over physical ability, those who have better intellectual ability will do better than those that do not. And for societies to evolve in a direction which favors mind power over physical power literally requires and causes a reduction in that which inhibits it the most. Think in terms of rust causing heat which causes more rust and it's not so much corre-cause as it is factors feeding into one another.

No, I don't favor the "men are obsolete" argument as it's ridiculous on its face. Feminism, like so many other hate-focused idealisms, requires an enemy. And the biggest problem with feminism's enemy is that they are the ones who create and maintain pretty much everything. That's why all of the push for "more women in these fields." The push is because as men continue to become disenfranchised, they know there is a need to replace them. The problem is they don't have anyone who WANTS to replace them because cetegorically speaking, women are interested in what women are interested in while men are interested in what interests men. And there's a certain amount of "nature" driving this fact. Deviations are fine and welcome, but attempting to force idealism over nature has NEVER worked in all of history for any sustainable amount of time and has never resulted in happiness, peace or harmony. So let's not take the observation and the apparent conclusions into political space.

Men cannot be obsolete if only because we are half of that biological basis of sustainable reproduction, development and adaptation. We need to be able to breed and cross-breed as a means of continuation. And that requires men and women... until they can effectively create artificial sperm... which yes, I know they're working on even now.

Re:correlation, causation (1)

tylikcat (1578365) | about 4 months ago | (#47594583)

As I mentioned above, there are likely one or more optima for testosterone, with a loss of function correlated with not being on one of those optima. It's not likely (looking at other hormonal systems) that it's simply a linear relationship - both too much and too little are possible. (There is also a lot of room for changes on the level of receptor density or binding affinity - so a smaller amount of testosterone could conceivably have more effect.)

"Feminism, like so many other hate-focused idealisms, requires an enemy."

Spending a lot of time around feminists, I note a distinct lack of hate focused ideology. (There are boundary cases - Dworking and MacKinnon being the most obvious - but even they tend to be badly misquoted and taken out of context.) Apparently an awful lot of people have a vested interested in portraying feminism as such.

Re:correlation, causation (-1, Flamebait)

erroneus (253617) | about 4 months ago | (#47594785)

So you're saying "not ALL feminists are overtly angry." Nice argument. It also begs the question of when/where feminists find it appropriate to side with the more radical elements and when to abandon them. In actuality, there is no feminism without the blaming of men for their problems. What else IS feminism after all? Society has ALWAYS had laws protecting women specifically and particularly and at no time in history have men rendered choices and decisions which support men -- men are not famous for supporting men at all. Women, on the other hand, are, and it gets worse with feminism whether "mild" in practice or extreme. And to have seen the kinds of hate and even violence against "men's groups" because it is felt that men neither need nor deserve support or protection? I'm sorry, but you've got some history and facts to accumulate to displace your beliefs.

And seriously, even if these examples you know would NEVER do the kinds of things the more "famous" feminists are known for, it's time to change the name which describes their alignment. If they continue to use a term as poisoned as "feminist" then you might look to question their actual motive and intent.

Re:correlation, causation (1)

thebjorn (530874) | about 4 months ago | (#47594681)

There IS definitely a link between excessive testosterone and the lowering of sustained logic, reason and mental stability and order. (Just as there is similar evidence liking excessive estrogen with similar behaviors among women) What happens to people, both men and women when they are on steroids? That's been well established in the medical sciences for decades.

Except that it hasn't. If you're thinking about the so-called "roid-rage" phenomenon, it is mostly media created and in any case has nothing to do with normal uses or levels of testosterone. Remember that people who use steroids to get bigger muscles use more than 10 times the replacement dosage(!)

Not "civilization", Natural Selection (0)

devloop (983641) | about 4 months ago | (#47594663)

Could it be instead that civilization caused a general lowering of testosterone..?

It *doesn't* work that way. Natural selection causes traits beneficial to survival/reproduction to become dominant. "Civilzation" cannot "cause" anything.

The conclusion reached by the researches is also nothing but a romanticized opinion, as we don't see lower levels of aggression in current humans.

The most likely (and brutal) cause-effect relationship is that tool makers, who were smarter and at least as aggressive despite their testosterone leves, dispatched the less intelligent high testosterone rivals and/or outbred them.

Yet more feminist propaganda. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594161)

Will these man-haters ever shut up?

Re:Yet more feminist propaganda. (5, Informative)

war4peace (1628283) | about 4 months ago | (#47594173)

Females also secrete testosterone.

Oblig: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Yet more feminist propaganda. (3, Insightful)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 4 months ago | (#47594233)

Maybe it was the reduction of female testosterone that made men want to breed more?

Re:Yet more feminist propaganda. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594345)

ZING!

Re:Yet more feminist propaganda. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594377)

Yes but us females are better because we secrete less of it.

Re:Yet more feminist propaganda. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594381)

And the horny ones secrete more of it (look for mustache...)

Re:Yet more feminist propaganda. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594607)

Hah that makes sense... I had a friend who was a slave to sex. He ended up marrying a girl who was clearly sprouting the beginnings of a mustache from time to time.

Re:Yet more feminist propaganda. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594223)

Yes, but only when we do something about it eventually. I guess it's time.

Re:Yet more feminist propaganda. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594387)

They do not know the big penis is silent..
so they talk.

Before, when the testosterone was high (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594163)

Instead of implementing agriculture and making ceramics, tribal folk were to busy voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act

Re:Before, when the testosterone was high (-1)

Teun (17872) | about 4 months ago | (#47594577)

Judging by the -1 moderation you hit a nerve :)

Explains the explosion of leftists on Slashdot (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594167)

A flourishing colony of low-testosterone pansies enforcing "civilized group-think" on a variety of topics important to Obamunist sycophants does not an advanced civilization make.

Re:Explains the explosion of leftists on Slashdot (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594207)

"Leftism" is not what you seem to think it is, but I wouldn't expect a holier-than-thou gun-loving wingnut Rightist to understand.

Re:Explains the explosion of leftists on Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594687)

It absolutely is what we think it is. Low-testosterone pansies...check. Enforcing group-think...check. No dissent on topics important to Obamunist syncophants (i.e. gay marriage, having the government pay for rich women's birth control, opposing voter ID in opposition to the rest of the civilized world)...check. That description fits leftists (the vast majority of Slashdot posters) to a tee.

Re: Explains the explosion of leftists on Slashdot (1)

alen (225700) | about 4 months ago | (#47594331)

More like super advanced pansies practicing war and genocide from their keyboards and automated killing machines as they drink their sugar water without any guilt

Re:Explains the explosion of leftists on Slashdot (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 4 months ago | (#47594433)

Enforcement presently requires enforcers who are pretty brutal. There's a lot of yin-yang which people only want to see one-half of.

Re:Explains the explosion of leftists on Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594447)

Mod parent up up up!!!

Social Engineering? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594183)

Seems like the biggest cause for the drop would be people realizing that their biggest baddest brutes, were seriously poor negotiators. Sending in the little guy because he was less threatening would make sense. Over time, less threatening males were necessary more and more often.

Social Engineering? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594353)

'Necessary' doesn't mean they had more babies, though.

What's more likely is that with the advent of agriculture, more people spent their lives living in one place, with a number of consequences. One is that women and their children were more likely to live their lives alongside their other children, so having more cooperative, less violent children became advantageous. Another is that women were more likely to be impregnated by one of the local farmers, rather than the hot wandering barbarian hunter or the gang of rapists.

Furthermore, there is a theory that the primary purpose of developing agriculture was not for food but for alcohol. It may have been that the peaceful farmers' access to stuff that could get women drunk was conducive to them having more babies.

Re:Social Engineering? (1)

Teun (17872) | about 4 months ago | (#47594621)

Have a look around, it's the dumber women with their testosterone bucks that cause teen pregnacy and their offspring has a documented disadvantage in modern society.

So I'd say historically the smart women who knew how to pick a father have born smarter children that became the next generation of leaders, something modern civil society is even furthering.

Re:Social Engineering? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 months ago | (#47594787)

That doesn't seem to match my reading of history......where for years and years, the bigger guys were respected and admired. See Beowolf, Epic of Gilgamesh, etc for a couple examples

Let's Define Success (4, Informative)

avgjoe62 (558860) | about 4 months ago | (#47594189)

"Whatever the cause, reduced testosterone levels enabled increasingly social people to better learn from and cooperate with each other, allowing the acceleration of cultural and technological innovation that is the hallmark of modern human success," says University of Utah biology graduate student Robert Cieri.

The Peaceful Middle East [nytimes.com]

The newest country on Earth [wikipedia.org]

Civil society in the West [huffingtonpost.co.uk]

I am not a pessimist, but I will say that we are a far cry from being a "success".

Re:Let's Define Success (1)

mspohr (589790) | about 4 months ago | (#47594501)

Anecdotal reports are worthless.
A more thorough review of this issue is in the latest book by Jared Diamond "The World Until Yesterday" where he systematically studies the different stages in the evolution of society and shows a progression to less violence and more cooperation.

ANTI-MALE BIAS, LGBT PROPAGANDA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594203)

Because men are evil, obviously, and should disappear entirely for the profit of human kind.
Cultural marxism at its 'finest', if one can say it that way...

AFAIK Rome fell once it started contemplating flowers instead of keeping the army fit and ready.
Maybe Israel should go the same way? They would prosper like never before, wouldn't they?
Same goes for today's Europe.

And some idiots actually believe wising for peace and single-sided reduction of army readiness will magically remove all enemies that threat our civilization...

Coincidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594217)

I seriously don't understand how they can measure the level of testosterone from 50,000 years ago. Was it recorded with fine detail? Hell, did they know it existed?

Anyway. The lower testosterone levels could be a coincidence that arose at the same time humans discovered the benefits of empathy, which is essential in group negotiations and community support.

Re:Coincidence (5, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 4 months ago | (#47594317)

I seriously don't understand how they can measure the level of testosterone from 50,000 years ago. Was it recorded with fine detail? Hell, did they know it existed?

Anyway. The lower testosterone levels could be a coincidence that arose at the same time humans discovered the benefits of empathy, which is essential in group negotiations and community support.

They didn't. Here is their logic train:

- They measured facial characteristics, some of these characteristics have been associated with aggression (not testosterone levels).
- There are studies that link aggression with testosterone.
- Therefore, early humans had large degrees of aggression and therefore testosterone.
- Modern human skulls have fewer / less of the linked facial features, therefore our testosterone levels are lower.

- Therefore early human testosterone levels were higher and further, this was selected for in some way, shape for fashion.

Total BS. Two speculative leaps and a nice large jump to a conclusion. It is trivial to create other equally valid hypotheses from this data.

Re: Coincidence (1)

alen (225700) | about 4 months ago | (#47594365)

There is some logic behind

A Russian scientist turned wild foxes into cute puppies in about 10 generations by breeding for lower adrenaline levels

Re: Coincidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594703)

Russians

Correlation and causation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594241)

reduced testosterone levels enabled increasingly social people to better learn from and cooperate with each other

Why not the opposite? Why not "better learning abilities and cooperation in increasingly social people causes testosterone levels to drop"?

Not that either needs to be true, mind you. Sales figure for strawberry ice cream correlate with violent crime, but neither is causally connected to the other (it just so happens that summer and hot temperatures make people more aggressive, as well as more likely to crave ice cream).

Captcha: "caveat".

Re:Correlation and causation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594291)

Clearly violence and strawberry ice cream cause summer and hot temperatures, not the other way around.

Re:Correlation and causation (1)

PPH (736903) | about 4 months ago | (#47594673)

Why not the opposite?

Why not neither. More advanced societies can find some function for the low testosterone members. And so they survive and breed.

In hunter-gatherer societies, everyone needs to go out and kill some game. Once social groups get bigger and economies develop trade, they get more diverse. Someone can stay behind in the village and make furniture or bake bread.

the domestication of man (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594251)

civilization was only possible on a large scale once man began to become domesticated.

Nonsense in scientific language (4, Interesting)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | about 4 months ago | (#47594259)

This is part of the extreme hostility toward men in the U.S. culture.

The body is extremely complicated. There are maybe a million chemicals? Choosing one supposedly connected with men but actually present in both men and women, testosterone [webmd.com] , and talking about its importance is thinly veiled hostility.

The current wave of hostility of women toward men began with the book The Second Sex, by Simone de Beauvoir, a woman who was very confused about life. The book mentioned negative things men do, and avoided mentioning the negative things women do. Part of her viewpoint was influenced by the fact that she was trying to get women to have sex with her.

There is a movie that shows Simone de Beauvoir was treated as an equal by Jean-Paul Sartre, a French philosopher and friend. She was not second.

Both Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre had terrible childhoods and both did things in their adult lives that demonstrated their confusion.

The Washington Post article linked in the Slashdot summary says, "No, this isnâ(TM)t some jab at dudes." Yes it is, and extremely stupid about biochemistry and civilization, also.

Re: Nonsense in scientific language (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594391)

Obviously. It takes a man like you to tell a woman she is very confused about life.

Re:Nonsense in scientific language (4, Funny)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 4 months ago | (#47594431)

This is part of the extreme hostility toward men in the U.S. culture.

I know, right? I mean when will the US ever get a male president?

Re:Nonsense in scientific language (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594537)

When will more women grow the balls to run for president?
Since only 1 woman has ever run for president I don't think it's strange that she wasn't chosen.
It's simple statistics.

Re:Nonsense in scientific language (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594593)

That makes sense if you don't think about it at all, which is probably how you approach many things in life.

Re:Nonsense in scientific language (3, Insightful)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 4 months ago | (#47594637)

You are aware the majority of the electorate in the US is female, right? So maybe there's a slim possibility that they're voting for something other than the genitals of political candidates, due to not being eight years old anymore?

Re:Nonsense in scientific language (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 4 months ago | (#47594765)

You are aware the majority of the electorate in the US is female, right? So maybe there's a slim possibility that they're voting for something other than the genitals of political candidates, due to not being eight years old anymore?

You seem to be implying that femaleness equates to somehow being less bigoted than being male. I think that is somewhat unlikely.

You're also implying that anyone over the age of 8 is not sexist.

Reality disagrees with your fantasy.

Re:Nonsense in scientific language (-1, Troll)

mspohr (589790) | about 4 months ago | (#47594525)

When your testosterone levels settle down, you might want to discuss your anxiety about women with a therapist.

Re:Nonsense in scientific language (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594639)

They say PHD is well educated imbecile,being book smart does not equal intelligence.

Anti-male *HATE SPEACH* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594263)

How much evil testosterone fills veins of these feminist speakers of hate?!
So much aggression in their actions and words.
The sooner feminists extinct the better for the society...

Re:Anti-male *HATE SPEACH* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594355)

WRT gender and PROTECTED CLASS, males are NOT protected. Ergo, actions against males of like immutable characteristics are NOT hate crimes.
Must I repost the "hierarchy of protected classes" for the nth time?

Re:Anti-male *HATE SPEACH* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594407)

When killing a male will not be a crime as well? You retarded leftist scum.

LOL. What about AFRICANS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594273)

They have higher testosterone than other races. Oh, wait... getting a bit too close to the TRUTH for Slashdot. LOL.

Re:LOL. What about AFRICANS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594307)

This.

oestrogena bomb (1)

Rigodi (1000552) | about 4 months ago | (#47594315)

really got to put this oestrogena bomb in production now...

Makes sense (1, Insightful)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | about 4 months ago | (#47594339)

Subjects with high levels of testosterone behave pretty much like savages animals, I have witnessed such cases. They behave aggressively, always trying to harm other men (domination, "alpha male") and trying to take woman by force, there is no way to have cooperation between this type of people. The chance to have cooperation between this type of people is very small.

Re:Makes sense (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 4 months ago | (#47594423)

I recall watching a documentary on doping in the cycling world - possibly a documentary on Lance Armstrong, I don't remember - in which they described some cyclist who had taken a course of testosterone as becoming quick-tempered and violent as a result, and in a very short time too. I guess it is true

Re:Makes sense (1)

kosh271 (2036124) | about 4 months ago | (#47594483)

Subjects with high levels of testosterone behave pretty much like savages animals, I have witnessed such cases.

Are you saying that you are a medical doctor and have analyzed the testosterone levels of this group of males? If not, you are merely making an assumption that these cases are due to high testosterone levels in the males in question.

I do not condone trying to take a woman by force. Until you have actually done the research to back your statements up, I will be left to wonder about other factors (such as bad parenting and poor role models).

Re:Makes sense (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | about 4 months ago | (#47594571)

Believe it or not, I have witnessed such cases and explained to me that they were caused by excess testosterone (natural or injected supplements). Now to give opinion on Slashdot is necessary for you to be a doctor on the subject? Well, you have every right to not like what others say.

Re:Makes sense (5, Interesting)

Riddler Sensei (979333) | about 4 months ago | (#47594609)

Testosterone isn't some Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde concoction like you seem to think it is.

As long as we're dealing with anecdotes I will throw mine into the ring. I've engaged in powerlifting as a hobby for the past two years, during which I have met some very impressive, and dedicated, individuals. These men are strong. Really strong. Functionally strong. They're not just pounding out hammer curls and shrugs to get a pump. They are training for strength, the kind of strength where elevated testosterone just comes with the territory. And they've all been pussycats. After benching just shy of 400lbs they aren't grunting and scowling, they're grinning ear-to-ear and are practically giggling. They're considerate with the equipment and readily share when the weight room is busy. They don't scoff at the 110lbs new guy, rather they're begging the new guy to take before-and-after shots because, "...if you keep this up you are going to be AWESOME in a year!"

Testosterone does not cause assholish-ness, per se, so much as it exacerbates it. If you are a kind, decent, person then becoming strong (and thus achieving higher levels of testosterone) will not change that. But if you are dick...well now you are a dick who is strong and you likely no longer feel the need to restrain your jackass behavior because you feel as though you can physically overwhelm any challengers to your supreme phallus.

Re:Makes sense (2)

PPH (736903) | about 4 months ago | (#47594643)

Subjects with high testosterone levels* are socialized to compete for some goal. Subjects with low testosterone levels (women) compete against each other. I don't think you want to live in a society dominated by people always trying to trip each other up while smiling at each other.

I have witnessed such cases.

And I have witnessed the aforementioned behavior. Taken advantage of it on numerous occasions as well. I'd rather deal with someone that confronts me than creeps around behind my back.

always trying to harm other men (domination, "alpha male")

Not really. Read Sex at Dawn [wikipedia.org] . Homo sapiens are more closely related to primate species that don't have definite alpha male societies. Animals (not just primates) that do have such a social model are characterised by smaller testicles/penises and less sexual activity. Humans, chimps and bonobos are more closely related and have more sex and larger sexual organs (in relation to body mass) than gorillas (alpha male groups). I'd say the alpha male social model (or alpha female) is more an indicator of a lack of testosterone.

*Maybe. Its a male behavioral characteristic, modified by social settings. Some women have a certain amount of testosterone as well and I wouldn't be surprised if these are more sucessful in business and other stereotypical male professions.

You are on crack (4, Interesting)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 4 months ago | (#47594645)

http://www.sciencedaily.com/re... [sciencedaily.com]

The study's results, however, contradict this view sharply. Test subjects with an artificially enhanced testosterone level generally made better, fairer offers than those who received placebos, thus reducing the risk of a rejection of their offer to a minimum. "The preconception that testosterone only causes aggressive or egoistic behavior in humans is thus clearly refuted," sums up Eisenegger. Instead, the findings suggest that the hormone increases the sensitivity for status. For animal species with relatively simple social systems, an increased awareness for status may express itself in aggressiveness. "In the socially complex human environment, pro-social behavior secures status, and not aggression," surmises study co-author Michael Naef from Royal Holloway London. "The interplay between testosterone and the socially differentiated environment of humans, and not testosterone itself, probably causes fair or aggressive behavior."

Moreover the study shows that the popular wisdom that the hormone causes aggression is apparently deeply entrenched: those test subjects who believed they had received the testosterone compound and not the placebo stood out with their conspicuously unfair offers. It is possible that these persons exploited the popular wisdom to legitimate their unfair actions. Economist Michael Naef states: "It appears that it is not testosterone itself that induces aggressiveness, but rather the myth surrounding the hormone. In a society where qualities and manners of behavior are increasingly traced to biological causes and thereby partly legitimated, this should make us sit up and take notice." The study clearly demonstrates the influence of both social as well as biological factors on human behavior.

Re:Makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594735)

Bullshit. I worked in a gym for about six years, and the men that caused problems were the ones coming off of a cycle. Their test level drops greatly until their natural production restarted. It is low testosterone that causes the aggressiveness.

Guy needs funding for real research (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594383)

What a great society we have evolved into when man-hating is a viable method to secure funding...

I have a better Theory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594411)

Aliens came down from the sky and told us to get our shit together. I have the same amount of evidence that this research has, I.E. I pulled it out of my ass, they just spent a few hours in a library before they pulled theirs out of their asses.

Modern society? (1)

Sla$hPot (1189603) | about 4 months ago | (#47594465)

"which lead to modern society"
And now we have the bomb, albeit only for about 70 years
Lets hope that testosterone won't suddenly raise again..Bye bye feminism

Re: Modern society? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594715)

Then we could keep or marry young girls again

This is good news for France (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594499)

US and and UK... not so much.

Chicken or egg? (1)

ABEND (15913) | about 4 months ago | (#47594587)

It makes little sense that testosterone levels independently started decreasing. Occam's Razor says that civilization and technology made it possible for weaker humans to survive thus the decrease in testosterone related features in humans.

the meek... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594597)

... shall inherit the earth?

Wars, empires, testosterone (2)

mapuche (41699) | about 4 months ago | (#47594623)

Civilization comes with war. Warriors need a lot of testosterone and battles lead to anihilation of hi-testosterone individuals. I find some evolutive path to decrease of testosterone.

Makes total sense (4, Funny)

LihTox (754597) | about 4 months ago | (#47594679)

You can't build a civilization with *alpha* males; they have to *at least* be in beta.

(Preferably release versions, but you take what you can get.)

Or in other words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47594695)

Ancient Skulls Show Extinctions Rose As Testosterone Fell.
Nothing worse than a bunch of apes pooling their resources to consume all the resources even faster.

I wouldn't be surprised at all (1)

joh (27088) | about 4 months ago | (#47594759)

High testosterone levels lead to dominant behaviour, aggression and generally a fixation with power and getting pussy. Cooperation and quietly working on things with others certainly takes a back seat then. It's individual success in terms of mating and dominating over success that is actually useful in the long run and with "boring" things.

That said, not being surprised in no evidence. In best /. fashion I haven't read the fine article, but I would want to see some mechanism that actually LEAD to lower testosterone levels. Evolution? Maybe, seems a bit short, but these are time frames that indeed were long enough to lead to lactose-tolerance to dominate in dairy-eating populations all over the world, so I wouldn't count out evolution rearing its head here. Mutations that supported drinking milk and eating cheese quickly dominated. Maybe other mutations that supported being more peaceful, not getting into pointless fights, and getting things done in a goal-oriented way instead of being fixated onto telling others what to do while holding on to five women without actually knowing what to do except fucking a lot also dominated for very good reasons.

And really: The lone fact that a LOT of people are totally capable to live their lives in dense populations without really fighting others all the time gives some weight to that. Maybe high testosterone levels are just incompatible with population growth and dense populations. Maybe they cause too much trouble to be successful (in an evolutionary sense) when all is said and done. Maybe the quietly working type of guys who are happy with one women and want to be left alone and leave others alone may be not as successful as the dominant asshole individually but there may be just much more of them and they don't get killed as often and raise more children altogether. Maybe even the fact that spraying your genes around isn't of much help when you can't support 10 women and their offspring and single women aren't that good in supporting their children plays a role here.

Every Genghis Khan may have fucked a lot, but he also will have killed a lot of men willing to fight and all the while those men who just got the bread home every day and just fucked one women were breading like rabbits and actually helped their children to prosper when you sum it up. Evolution isn't about individuals but about numbers of individuals actually surviving until maturity (and beyond, since a newborn child alone isn't going to survive for very long).

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?