Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary
Mazur & Booth: Testosterone and dominance

Target tissue sensitivity, testosterone– social environment interactions, and lattice hierarchies

Kathleen C. Chambers a1
a1 Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089


The following three points are made. One must consider not only the levels of circulating hormone but the target tissue upon which the hormone acts. Increased testosterone levels alone do not account for differences in displayed intermale aggression, because testosterone and social environment interact in complex ways to influence behavior. A given behavior can be triggered by multiple motivational systems.