Higher testosterone levels may help unemployed men find a job more easily and employed men to keep a job.
This was revealed by a new study, published in Economics and Human Biology. The large, longitudinal study confirmed previous studies linking testosterone to success in the workplace, although exactly why this happens is still unknown.
Testosterone, the male sex hormone responsible for developing typical male characteristics and stimulating muscle growth, has been widely linked to various social and economic factors, including higher position in a group’s social hierarchy and greater success at work , write IFL Science.
The hormone is also linked to a number of cognitive and personality traits, such as aggression, risk-taking, motivation and even numerical ability.
What is the link between testosterone and unemployed men?
But do testosterone levels also affect how you perform in the job market? A team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Germany wanted to find out the answer to exactly this question.
Taking a sample of more than 2,000 employed and more than 110 unemployed men in the UK, the researchers examined their serum testosterone as well as their employment status over a two-year period between 2011 and 2013 to identify potential links.
The progress of participants in the labor market was recorded, including whether unemployed men found work and whether employed men remained in work.
The results showed that in both the groups of men who were unemployed and the groups of employed men, higher testosterone levels were linked to a reduced risk of unemployment. The effect was more substantial in the unemployed group, indicating that testosterone may increase some men’s ability to find work.
The role of hormones in labor market progress
Researchers admit they don’t know exactly why testosterone might be linked to finding a job, but there are a number of theories.
It has been demonstrated in twin studies that hormones play a role in income levels as well as a number of personality traits typically associated with greater success.
Testosterone was related to pro-social behavior, which may allow those with higher serum testosterone to build larger networks, a vital skill in today’s job market. Similarly, testosterone can increase competitive behaviors and assertiveness, which can bode well for interview candidates.
Limitations of the study
Being a correlational study, the results should be interpreted with caution. The authors admit that testosterone levels fluctuate regularly, and it is unclear whether these results will hold over a longer period of time, or whether general fluctuations in the short and medium term are to blame for the results.
In addition, the sample size of the employed is significantly larger than the other group, so it may be difficult to draw a conclusion about unemployed men.