Testosterone is said to play a very important role in both male and female competiveness; however we understand less about testosterone in females than we do males. In males the relationship between overall dominance and testosterone are one in the same. Testosterone, (which was also represented as “T” in the study) levels for male athletes show variances in ways we assume both during and after a competitive match. The male athletes T levels rise shortly before their match in anticipation. However after the match their T levels will depend on whether that person has won or lost at their competition. Competitiveness and testosterone use in females is said to be very useful too. It affects females when they are vying support of their mate and providing for their children. For this study there was twenty-eight males and thirty-two females, ages 17 to 35. These subjects were placed directly across from each other in front of a video game screen. The experimenter stressed heavily to the subjects that winning was very important. Each subject gave 5 saliva samples during different time periods of playing the video game, as well as after and before play. These samples tested testosterone levels, cortisol, hormone and hemastix levels. The subjects were also asked to write sentences explaining their feelings, overall performance during the game and how they felt at that moment in time. The results for this study concluded that there are significantly higher testosterone levels in males than females. The T levels in male pretest to mid test showed a significant rise in testosterone. However, respectfully for females there was no apparent pre match rise in T levels. In fact the comparison t-test showed results of a significant reduction in T levels from pretest to during playing the video game. Contrary to the pre test hypothesis there was no tendency for winners to have higher T levels than the losers, in either sex. When testing their cortisol levels it showed that woman had significantly higher C levels than men in all aspects. Success and mood results were also tested and defined as their overall feelings after the tournament. Both men and woman who won reported having significantly higher descriptors of success than of losers. However both sexes showed different patterns on mood; depending on if they won or lost. T response to a video game competition overall showed a difference in males than to females. As hypothesized male T levels rose before the contest in anticipation of the competition. Males however did not show the hypothesized posttest response of higher T levels in that of winners than losers. Female winners reported a more positive result than losers, however their post match T did not surpass that of losers. Females did not respond to either the announcement of a competition or the experience of winning/losing. The overall results we can take out of this experiment suggest that T levels have a different relationship in competition in men than in women.
After reading this experiment I feel it was an overall accomplished review and accurate depiction of testosterone level responses in men and woman pre, during and post competition. However the methods used for competition could have been different and reflected better results. Instead of using a relatively simple video game such as ping pong they could have used a more sophisticated one. Using another competition method such as an actual active sport between male and females could have reflected different results as well. Also adding another aspect to the study such as a reward for winners could have shown a different experience in the subjects overall T level responses. All of these suggestions that I made are different methods that could have been done to make this study more effective and efficient. The study concluded that an ideal design would have included mixed-sex pairs. However they had to go with what they had because of the considerable expense....
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