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Women's testosterone levels soar with power

Women's testosterone levels soar with power

Women who are put in a position of power not only get a boost of confidence - their testosterone levels rise too, states new research.

It has long been thought the difference in levels of the hormone between the genders is 'innate' and determined at birth. But a recent study discovered a noticeable increase of testosterone in females urged to act in a commanding manner.

These findings came about after scientists at the US University of Wisconsin-Madison asked male and female actors to pretend they were firing an employee. Both sexes were told deliver the sacking speech with either a stereotypically male or female approach, with the masculine oozing confidence and demanding respect while the feminine version came across as 'nice' and appearing uncomfortable with the firing.

The men's testosterone levels didn't increase in the authoritative role, but the women's levels did in both the masculine and female shoes. Researchers believe this indicates women holding authority, such as being able to dismiss staff, get a boost of testosterone from the power rather than just acting like a male. With the findings documented in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists noted that both nature and nature play a part in hormone levels. "The results suggest that the competitive behaviour exhibited in the monologue may have modulated testosterone more than masculine characterisation, and social norms that encourage different behaviours among men and women may contribute to higher testosterone levels in men than in women," they explained.

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