Vol. 6, No. 4, 2000 Page 7

Abusive men: does high testosterone contribute?

A new study by Florida re-searchers suggests that elevated testosterone levels may play a role in domestic violence.

H. Soler and colleagues studied 54 men from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Each of the men had one primary female partner.

"A high percentage of participants reported some level of both verbal and physical aggression toward their partners," Soler et al. say. "Testosterone levels were significantly associated with levels of both verbal aggression and physical violence self-reported by the men." Overall, they say, testosterone levels, alcohol consump ption, and demographic characteristics were significant in predicting levels of abusive behavior.

The researchers conclude, "The high heritability of testosterone level and its association with violent behavior warrant the inclusion of this variable in studies of antisocial and criminal behavior including domestic violence."


"Biosocial aspects of domestic violence," H. Soler, P. Vinayak, and D. Quadagno, Psychoneuroendocrinology, Vol. 25, No. 7, October 2000, pp. 721-739. Address: H. Soler, Department of Sociology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-2270.

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