tutor2u | Aggression: The Role of the Hormone Testosterone

Study Notes

Aggression: The Role of the Hormone Testosterone

A Level

Last updated 22 Mar 2021

Observations of non-human and human species have demonstrated that aggression is more evident in males than in females. Animal studies have led to the explanation that male hormones are implicated in aggression. The main hormone which decides whether an embryo develops into a male or female is testosterone. Testosterone peaks in young adolescent males before gradually declining with age. It also promotes muscle strength and is responsible for the sex drive. However, testosterone is also implicated in aggression.

Exam Hint: In an exam answer on neural and hormonal mechanisms there needs to be some elaboration for reasonable AO1 marks; for example, the origins and the general role of testosterone, or an outline of the structures that make up the limbic system and their involvement in behaviour. A simple description of hormones and neurotransmitters involved in aggression without application to how they affect behaviour will only achieve rudimentary AO1 marks.

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