Are Men’s Religious Ties Hormonally Regulated?

Are Men’s Religious Ties Hormonally Regulated? Objectives Studies based on the Bchallenge hypothesis^ have linked men’sandro- gens—testosterone and DHEA—to short term mating and antisocial behaviors. Causal direction at a given stage of the life cycle remains ambiguous. Religion is a major social institution through which actions violating social norms are controlled. Thus, ties to this institution may be lower among men with higher androgen levels. The present study queried these linkages. Procedures Data were from the 2005–2006 and 2010–2011 waves of the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project (NSHAP), a national probability sample of older U.S. adults. Analysis was through autoregressive cross-lagged panel models (minimum N = 1071). Results Higher baseline levels of both testosterone and DHEA prospectively predicted religious ties, whether measured through attendance at services or network connections to clergy. Moreover, contrary to arguments of sociocultural modulation of androgens, the pattern of associations was most consistent with hormonal causation of religious connections. Results were robust to a range of time invariant and time varying confounders, including demographics, hormone supplements, and physical health. Conclusions Findings add to the growing evidence that religiosity may have physio- logical and not simply psychosocial roots. Implications for hormonal confounding of previously published religion-deviance linkages, and for neuroendocrine http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology Springer Journals

Are Men’s Religious Ties Hormonally Regulated?

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Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature
Subject
Social Sciences; Anthropology; Biological Psychology; Human Physiology; Evolutionary Biology; Neurosciences; Behavioral Sciences
eISSN
2198-7335
D.O.I.
10.1007/s40750-018-0094-3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Objectives Studies based on the Bchallenge hypothesis^ have linked men’sandro- gens—testosterone and DHEA—to short term mating and antisocial behaviors. Causal direction at a given stage of the life cycle remains ambiguous. Religion is a major social institution through which actions violating social norms are controlled. Thus, ties to this institution may be lower among men with higher androgen levels. The present study queried these linkages. Procedures Data were from the 2005–2006 and 2010–2011 waves of the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project (NSHAP), a national probability sample of older U.S. adults. Analysis was through autoregressive cross-lagged panel models (minimum N = 1071). Results Higher baseline levels of both testosterone and DHEA prospectively predicted religious ties, whether measured through attendance at services or network connections to clergy. Moreover, contrary to arguments of sociocultural modulation of androgens, the pattern of associations was most consistent with hormonal causation of religious connections. Results were robust to a range of time invariant and time varying confounders, including demographics, hormone supplements, and physical health. Conclusions Findings add to the growing evidence that religiosity may have physio- logical and not simply psychosocial roots. Implications for hormonal confounding of previously published religion-deviance linkages, and for neuroendocrine

Journal

Adaptive Human Behavior and PhysiologySpringer Journals

Published: May 30, 2018

References

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