Men's Hormones Affect Global Financial Markets, New Study Says, Because Women Aren't the Only Ones With Hormones, Guys
People like to use hormones to explain everything from why a woman shouldn't be president to why women experience human emotion, but what about men's hormones? Well, as it turns out, men's hormone levels might have an impact on global financial markets. So please remind me again how awful it would be if us unstable women were running things?
In the study, which was published in Nature , researchers conducted two experiments. In the first, 142 men and women played a game in which they traded assets in groups of about 10. The game was designed to mimic real-world stock trading and involved real monetary incentives — and researchers tested the naturally occurring levels of the hormones testosterone and cortisol in participants to see if hormones levels related to their behavior.
In the second experiment, men ages 18-30 were given injections of either cortisol or testosterone (34 and 41 respectively), before playing the game. They were later given a placebo in order to see if it had any effects on behavior.
In the first experiment, the researchers found that high levels of cortisol in men was associated with riskier trading behaviors. In the second experiment, men were more likely to make riskier investments after receiving the hormone injections than after receiving the placebo. And in fact, researchers say that it was clear the hormones not only affected the male participants, but did so "in a big way."
This explains so much about Wolf of Wall Street . Forget all the drugs, Jordan Belfort was high on hormones.
"We found that both cortisol and testosterone shifted investment towards riskier assets," the researchers explain in the abstract. "Cortisol appears to affect risk preferences directly, whereas testosterone operates by inducing increased optimism about future price changes." The effects were not evident in women, only men.
So, again, who the unstable ones are?
These results, according to the scientists in question, suggest that testosterone and cortisol "may play a destabilizing role in financial markets," but they also highlight the fact that men are also affected by hormones. In this case, cortisol is a stress hormone and testosterone of course is a steroid hormone found in higher concentrations in men. However, men have all kinds of other hormones, too, just like women do. And just like women, hormones have an impact on their behavior and perception, because hormones are not a female thing but a human thing. They're part of of how humans are designed to function.
Or, put another more cynical way, male hormones are already probably doing things like wrecking the global economy, so letting female hormones wreck things, too, wouldn't actually change much of anything about the world.