Prenatal exposure to testosterone leads to verbal aggressive behavior

November 29, 2012

Washington, DC (November 27, 2012) -A new study in the Journal of Communication links verbal aggression to prenatal testosterone exposure. The lead researcher, at University at Buffalo - The State University of New York, used the 2D:4D measure to predict verbal aggression. This study is the first to use this method to examine prenatal testosterone exposure as a determinant of a communication trait.

Allison Z. Shaw, University at Buffalo - The State University of New York, Michael R. Kotowski, University of Tennessee, and Franklin J. Boster and Timothy R. Levine, Michigan State University, predicted that a neuroendocrine factor, prenatal testosterone, would lead to more verbal aggression. In order to investigate this, Shaw and colleagues used the 2D:4D measure, which is the ratio of the length of the second digit (index finger) to the length of the fourth digit (ring finger), to measure prenatal testosterone exposure. This method involved measuring each finger from where it meets the palm of the hand to the tip. In addition, each hand was photocopied individually with the palm flat, facing downward, with the fingers splayed naturally, and the same measures were made from the photocopy. Subjects then filled out the Verbal Aggression scale as well as the HEXACO Personality Inventory and the Argumentativeness scale.

The findings suggested that both men and women with smaller 2D:4D ratios self-reported themselves to be more verbally aggressive. Although a small degree of verbal aggression may be beneficial for a person (e.g., being able to stand up for yourself if attacked), higher degrees of verbal aggression have been shown to be detrimental to one's personal life (e.g., problems maintaining close personal relationships, loss of job).

"Understanding the causes of verbal aggression, both biological and social, will allow therapists to have a greater understanding of how to work with individuals who may be more prone to use verbal aggression. What the findings of the current study suggest is that verbal aggression may result from a number of cognitive and affective decisions that are made throughout an interaction," Shaw said.

"This research is the future of communication science where studies examine biological bases of behavior to understand and predict fundamental human communication processes, such as verbal aggressiveness." Said Thomas Feeley, professor and chair of the Department of Communication at the University at Buffalo - The State University of New York. "With multiple observations of a given relationship, there is greater external validity and confidence in the study findings."
-end-
The Effect of Prenatal Sex Hormones on the Development of Verbal Aggression, Journal of Communication, Volume 62, Issue 5, pages 778-793. DOI:10.1111/j.1460-2466.2012.01665.x

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1460-2466.2012.01665.x/abstract

Contact: To schedule an interview with the author or a copy of the research, please contact John Paul Gutierrez, jpgutierrez@icahdq.org.

About ICA

The International Communication Association is an academic association for scholars interested in the study, teaching, and application of all aspects of human and mediated communication. With more than 4,300 members in 80 countries, ICA includes 26 divisions and interest groups and publishes the Communication Yearbook and five major, peer-reviewed journals: Journal of Communication, Communication Theory, Human Communication Research, Communication, Culture & Critique, and the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. For more information, visit www.icahdq.org.

International Communication Association

Related Behavior Articles from Brightsurf:

Variety in the migratory behavior of blackcaps
The birds have variable migration strategies.

Fishing for a theory of emergent behavior
Researchers at the University of Tsukuba quantified the collective action of small schools of fish using information theory.

How synaptic changes translate to behavior changes
Learning changes behavior by altering many connections between brain cells in a variety of ways all at the same time, according to a study of sea slugs recently published in JNeurosci.

I won't have what he's having: The brain and socially motivated behavior
Monkeys devalue rewards when they anticipate that another monkey will get them instead.

Unlocking animal behavior through motion
Using physics to study different types of animal motion, such as burrowing worms or flying flocks, can reveal how animals behave in different settings.

AI to help monitor behavior
Algorithms based on artificial intelligence do better at supporting educational and clinical decision-making, according to a new study.

Increasing opportunities for sustainable behavior
To mitigate climate change and safeguard ecosystems, we need to make drastic changes in our consumption and transport behaviors.

Predicting a protein's behavior from its appearance
Researchers at EPFL have developed a new way to predict a protein's interactions with other proteins and biomolecules, and its biochemical activity, merely by observing its surface.

Spirituality affects the behavior of mortgagers
According to Olga Miroshnichenko, a Sc.D in Economics, and a Professor at the Department of Economics and Finance, Tyumen State University, morals affect the thinking of mortgage payers and help them avoid past due payments.

Asking if behavior can be changed on climate crisis
One of the more complex problems facing social psychologists today is whether any intervention can move people to change their behavior about climate change and protecting the environment for the sake of future generations.

Read More: Behavior News and Behavior Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.