A high level of testosterone (in men) would increase the chances of finding a job and reduce the risks of losing it

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Testosterone, known as the male sex hormone, plays more complex roles than one might think. Many studies have shown that this biomarker might, in many ways, influence social behavior. However, our understanding of how biological processes relate to socioeconomic behaviors is still quite limited. With this research in mind, a recent study co-led by the Max Planck Institute (in Germany) looked at the labor market, and suggests that men with higher testosterone levels are more likely to find employment. , or run less risk of losing their current position.

Biomarker analyzes are used in many behavioral researches. In the case of testosterone, previous research have shown that it would be linked to certain personality traits such as aggressiveness or altruism. In some cases, it might also promote attitudes to maintain or elevate one’s social status.

In this sense, it might play a role in the labor market. This aspect would probably be due to the fact that the hormone is linked to the personality traits of risk appreciation or aversion, or also a certain desire for domination over others or over a given situation. ” These personality traits and behaviors are linked to an individual’s success in the job market. », Explain Peter Eibich, lead author of the new study and researcher at the Max Planck Institute.

Other studies have already focused on the link between testosterone and being self-employed or regular, but they would have only taken into account the status in the labor market at a given time, according to the authors. of the new study, published in the journal Science Direct. The latter is thus one of the first to correlate the influences of the hormone and transitions in the labor market, in particular changes in relation to unemployment.

The results suggest that British men (on whom the study focused) with a relatively high level of testosterone, would be less likely to find themselves unemployed and find a new job more quickly. Moreover, personality traits and behaviors linked to the biomarker (highlighted in previous studies) show some relevance with the labor market.

« Our findings on testosterone are particularly interesting, as they show how biological processes, beyond ill health and disability, affect behavior in the labor market. “, explains Eibich in a communiqué.

A difference in cognitive and non-cognitive skills

As part of the new study, the research team analyzed the work transitions of 2004 British men, initially employed and 111 initially unemployed. Aged between 25 and 60, these two groups took part in a large-scale study of British households, between 2011 and 2013. Biomedical information as well as details of their social situations were then collected.

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The researchers then discovered that the unemployed with average and high testosterone levels were much more likely to have found a job soon following the first analyzes than those with lower testosterone levels. Those with a job and having high levels of the hormone are also less likely to lose their jobs. The results are similar, even following controlling for genetic variations (which can confer a constant and specific testosterone level throughout the life of each individual male).

This difference would likely be due to personality and behavioral traits linked to the hormone. Men with more testosterone would be more confident and would thus have a better chance of keeping their job or finding one. This would also include a difference in cognitive and non-cognitive skills. Men with higher testosterone levels have, according to the researchers, greater digital skills and can use the internet more easily to look for work, for example. They would also be better able to deal with their problems.

Limited data

However, the study authors are keen to point out that testosterone levels were only measured once. Further research as well as more time-scaled measurements should ideally be done before these correlations with transition into labor can be confirmed (taking into account fluctuations in hormone levels).

« While these associations are suggestive evidence for a mechanism linking testosterone levels to labor market transitions, we cannot conclusively demonstrate that they drive the unemployment effects we see in our data Eibich points out.

In addition, the analysis might not be performed in women, because testosterone levels are below the detectable threshold.

Source : Science Direct

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