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Men who are their Own Bosses have more Testosterone

Update Date: Mar 04, 2014 02:46 PM EST

A team of researchers from three different universities in Australia found a link between type of employment and testosterone levels. The study, which was conducted by the University of Birmingham, University of Surrey and the University of Adelaide, reported that self-employed men have higher levels of the male hormone, testosterone in comparison to men who were employed or unemployed.

"We know that there is a relationship between testosterone levels and status from a number of studies of animal behavior. We also know from research on humans that when men play competitive sports, the winners will have higher testosterone levels after the game than the losers," Professor Gary Wittert, from the University of Adelaide, said according to Medical Xpress. "Men who feel they have less control at work and are more stressed because of it are likely to have lower testosterone levels. On the other hand apart from the issue of risk-taking, higher testosterone levels may confer increased resilience and lower reactivity to stress as well as greater drive and motivation."

For this study Wittert worked with Professor Francis Greene and Dr. Liang Han, and examined 1,199 Australian men. The men's ages ranged from 35 to 80. They conducted a cross-sectional study and found that self-employment was linked to increased testosterone levels. The researchers reasoned that self-employed men have more risk-taking and competitive behaviors, which have been tied to testosterone levels

"This is the first time that the association between testosterone and self-employment has been investigated by using a large scale data set. It shows that there is an association between self-employment and testosterone levels with the self-employed more likely to have higher levels of testosterone. Our international collaboration opens up a new research area that looks at the impact of hormones on economic activities," Dr. Han added.

The study, "Testosterone is associated with self-employment among Australian men," was published in Economics and Human Biology.

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