Male Physical Aggression, Social Dominance and Testosterone Levels at Puberty

A Developmental Perspective
  • Richard E. Tremblay
  • Benoist Schaal
  • Bernard Boulerice
  • Louise Arseneault
  • Robert Soussignan
  • Daniel Pérusse
Part of the Nato ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 292)


“On June 1, 1889, Charles Édouard Brown-Séquard, a prominent French physiologist, announced at the Société de Biologie in Paris that he had devised a rejuvenating therapy for the body and mind. The 72-year-old professor reported that he had drastically reversed his own decline by injecting himself with a liquid extract derived from the testicles of dogs and guinea pigs. These injections, he told his audience, had increased his physical strength and intellectual energy, relieved his constipation and even lengthened the arc of his urine” (Hoberman & Yesali, 1995, p.77).

Testosterone (T) is an androgen hormone produced mainly by the testes. Its production is regulated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonads (HPG) axis. Towards the end of the first trimester of pregnancy (10–12 weeks) male fetuses have higher plasmatic levels of T than female fetuses. Peak levels ofT are obtained by the middle of the second trimester. During the third trimester no sex differences in T level have been detected, although there is evidence of some testicular activity (Forest, 1989).


Aggressive Behavior Testosterone Level Antisocial Behavior Physical Aggression Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard E. Tremblay
    • 1
  • Benoist Schaal
    • 1
  • Bernard Boulerice
    • 1
  • Louise Arseneault
    • 1
  • Robert Soussignan
    • 1
  • Daniel Pérusse
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MontréalMontréalCanada

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