Correlations of Aggressiveness with the Levels of Sex Hormones in Young Men; Validity of a Proposed Anthropometric Marker
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In thirty-five 18- to 22-year-old healthy men (14 and 21 subjects of the Indian and Ukrainian populations, respectively), we examined correlations of the levels of sex hormones (testosterone and β-estradiol) in blood serum with the indices of physical and verbal aggressiveness estimated using the Buss–Durkee Hostility Inventory. In both general examined group and separate above-mentioned subgroups, moderate (r from 0.30 to 0.60) correlations were found between the testosterone concentrations and levels of physical aggressiveness, but these correlations did not reach the significance level. Correlations of testosterone with the levels of verbal aggressiveness were less expressed and, in some cases, negative. Correlations of aggressiveness with the estradiol levels were weaker or negligible. There were some specificities of the sex hormone contents in the Indian and Ukrainian subgroups, but these variations remained within physiological limits. The ratio of the lengths of fingers 2 and 4 of the right hand (2D:4D ratio), an anthropometric index proposed as a marker of prenatal exposure to sex hormones and of the aggressiveness level, demonstrated significant correlations with the testosterone contents in the general group and separate subgroups. However, these correlations were relatively weak, and individual values of the examined indices were highly variable. It is concluded that the 2D:4D ratio is affected not only by the levels of sex hormones, but also by a number of other regulatory factors, and this anthropometric index cannot be used as the single-valued retrospective biomarker of the exposure to androgens.
Keywordsaggressiveness Buss–Durkee Hostility Inventory testosterone β-estradiol anthropometric marker 2D:4D ratio prenatal and postnatal ontogenesis
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