Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary
Mazur & Booth: Testosterone and dominance

Primacy of organising effects of testosterone

Anne Campbell a1, Steven Muncer a2 and Josie Odber a2
a1 Psychology Department, Durham University, Durham, England DH1 3LE
a2 School of Health, Teesside University, Middlesbrough, Cleveland, England TS1 3BA


A test of a biosocial model is reported in which we found no impact of circulating testosterone on either status-seeking or aggression. The fact that sex differences in competitiveness and aggression appear in childhood strongly suggests that the major impact of testosterone is organisational. Whereas dominance and resources are linked among males, female aggression may be a function of pure resource competition, with no element of status-seeking.