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Why Misers are Mostly Male

Men have more trouble coping in a recession than women do. Could this be because testosterone makes them more miserly?

In New Scientist, Ewen Callaway quotes neuroeconomist Karen Redwine as saying, "Our broad conclusion is that testosterone causes men essentially to be stingy." With team member Paul Zak, she gave a gel containing testosterone to 25 participants, which elevated their level of the male hormone to twice the normal amount, then gave them a test that revealed their level of generosity. They all also got a cream containing the female hormone oxytocin, which helps regulate childbirth (one of the ultimate examples of generosity).

The participants played a simple economic game with another participant over the internet, where one person is made an offer which the other player either accepts or rejects. Everyone took turns playing both roles. The more of the male sex hormone that was flowing through their veins, the more tight-fisted the players became. Callaway quotes Redwine as saying, "People are selfish, but they're selfless as well, and it's not understood why the behavior shifts."

The key may be the interaction between testosterone and oxytocin, the hormone which, in women, When cream containing oxytocin was used, male generosity, as measured by the computer game, increased 80%, meaning that oxytocin seems to block the action of testosterone in the brain. Callaway quotes Redwine as saying, "It's possible that by creating these alpha males, we actually inhibited oxytocin."

In strange times like these, the best thing we can do is to use our brains (which are BETTER in contactees and abductees) to change things. Anne Strieber explains what this is all about just for subscribers!

Art credit: Dreamstime.com

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