Women with high testosterone levels more likely to choose risky careers

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Washington, Aug 25 (ANI): Women with high testosterone levels are more likely to make risky career choices, according to a new study.

Previous studies have shown that testosterone enhances competitiveness and dominance, reduces fear, and is associated with risky behaviours like gambling and alcohol use.

However, until now, the impact of testosterone on gender differences in financial risk-taking has not been explored.

"In general, women are more risk averse than men when it comes to making important financial decisions, which in turn can affect their career choices," said Paola Sapienza, Associate Professor,Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

"For example, in our sample set, 36 percent of female MBA students chose high-risk financial careers such as investment banking or trading, compared to 57 percent of male students.

"We wanted to explore whether these gender differences are related to testosterone, which men have, on average, in higher concentrations than women," Sapienza added.

The study showed that higher levels of testosterone were associated with a greater appetite for risk in women, but not among men.

However, in men and women with similar levels of testosterone, the gender difference in risk aversion disappeared.

Additionally, the researchers reported that the link between risk aversion and testosterone predicted career choices after graduation: individuals who were high in testosterone and low in risk aversion chose riskier careers in finance.

"This is the first study showing that gender differences in financial risk aversion have a biological basis, and that differences in testosterone levels between individuals can affect important aspects of economic behavior and career decisions," said Maestripieri.

"That the effects of testosterone on risk aversion are strongest for individuals with low or intermediate levels of this hormone is similar to what has been shown for the effects of testosterone on spatial cognition."

The study has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). (ANI)

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