The Science of Testosterone || Carole Hooven
Today we welcome Dr. Carole Hooven. For the past six years, she served as a lecturer and co-director of undergraduate studies at Harvard’s department of Human Evolutionary Biology. She has received numerous teaching awards, and her popular Hormones and Behavior class was named one of the Harvard Crimson’s “top ten tried and true.” Currently, Dr. Hooven has moved to the Psychology department where she works as an associate at Steven Pinker’s lab. Her latest book is called T: The Story of Testosterone, the Hormone that Dominates and Divides Us.
In this episode, I talked to Dr. Carole Hooven about the science of testosterone. Why do males have higher rates of physical violence, take on more risk, and desire more sexual partners? Dr. Hooven’s research points to testosterone as the answer. Although sex differences may stem from biology, variations in behavior may be better explained by genetics interacting with culture. We also touch on the topics of evolutionary biology, gender dysphoria, gender-affirming care, and academic freedom.
02:49 Dr. Carole’s background and expertise
09:26 Sex differences in mental rotation
21:38 How hormones work
24:47 The uses and effects of testosterone
28:00 Testosterone, risk, and violence
31:23 Genetic and cultural differences
35:33 Trans women’s athletic advantages
38:51 Let scientists conduct research
44:22 Side effects of puberty blockers
49:31 Evidence-informed view of transitioning
56:30 There is no trans phenotype
59:22 The TERFs vs trans debates
1:03:28 Suppression of academic freedom
1:06:48 Untangle science from politics
1:09:15 Can we modify our chromosomes?