Published: 12 March 2014

Self-employment link to testosterone

Study reveals that men who work for themselves have higher levels of the sex hormone, testosterone.

Researchers from the University of Surrey, the University of Birmingham and the University of Adelaide have discovered that self-employed men have higher levels of the sex hormone testosterone than their employed or out-of-work counterparts.

The project measured the testosterone levels of 1,199 adult Australian males aged between 35 and 80 years-old and could birth a new research area around the impact of hormones on economic activities.

Dr Liang Han, Reader in Financial Management at Surrey Business School, explained: “This is the first time that the association between testosterone and self-employment has been investigated by using a large-scale data set. It shows that there is an association between self-employment and testosterone levels, with the self-employed more likely to have higher levels of testosterone.”

High testosterone levels have previously been found to correlate with financial risk-taking and competitive behaviour.

As Adelaide’s Professor Gary Wittert commented: “Higher testosterone levels may confer increased resilience and lower reactivity to stress, as well as greater drive and motivation.

“Men who feel they have less control at work, and are more stressed because of it, are likely to have lower testosterone levels”.

To explore the full paper, Testosterone is associated with self-employment among Australian men, visit the ScienceDirect website.

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