Hahn AC, Fisher C, Cobey KD, DeBruine LM & Jones BC (2016). A longitudinal analysis of womenís salivary testosterone and intrasexual competitiveness. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 64: 117-122. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2015.11.014

Research on within-subject changes in womenís intrasexual competitiveness has generally focused on possible relationships between womenís intrasexual competitiveness and estimates of their fertility. While this approach is useful for testing hypotheses about the adaptive function of changes in womenís intrasexual competitiveness, it offers little insight into the proximate mechanisms through which such changes might occur. To investigate this issue, we carried out a longitudinal study of the hormonal correlates of changes in intrasexual competitiveness in a large sample of heterosexual women (N=136). Each woman provided saliva samples and completed an intrasexual competitiveness questionnaire in five weekly test sessions. Multilevel modeling of these data revealed a significant, positive within-subject effect of testosterone on intrasexual competitiveness, indicating that women reported greater intrasexual competitiveness when testosterone was high. By contrast, there were no significant effects of estradiol, progesterone, estradiol-to-progesterone ratio, or cortisol and no significant effects of any hormones on reported relationship jealousy. This is the first study to demonstrate correlated changes in measured testosterone levels and womenís reported intrasexual competitiveness, implicating testosterone in the regulation of womenís intrasexual competitiveness.

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