Charis welcomes Dr. Carole Hooven in conversation with Dr. Barbara Natterson Horowitz for a celebration of T: The Story of Testosterone, The Hormone that Dominates and Divides Us. Through riveting personal stories and the latest research, Harvard evolutionary biologist Carole Hooven shows how testosterone drives behavior and how understanding the science behind this hormone is empowering for all. This event takes place on crowdcast, Charis' virtual event platform. Register here.
Since antiquity, humans have understood that typically masculine behavior depends on testicles, the main source of testosterone in males. Which sex has the highest rates of physical violence, hunger for status, and desire for a high number of sex partners? Just follow the testosterone.
Although we humans can study and reflect on our own behavior, we are also animals, the products of millions of years of evolution. Fascinating research on creatures from chimpanzees to spiny lizards shows how high testosterone helps males out-reproduce their competitors. And men are no exception.
While most people agree that sex differences in human behavior exist, they disagree about the reasons. But the science is clear: testosterone is a potent and driving force in human society. As Hooven shows in T, testosterone works in concert with genes and culture to produce a vast variety of male and female behavior. And, crucially, the fact that many sex differences are grounded in biology provides no support for restrictive gender norms or patriarchal values. In understanding testosterone, we better understand ourselves and one another—and how we might build a fairer, safer society.
Carole Hooven, Ph.D., is a lecturer and co-director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. She earned her PhD at Harvard, studying sex differences and testosterone, and has taught there ever since. Hooven 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.”
Barbara Natterson Horowitz, MD, is a cardiologist and evolutionary biologist on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, Harvard University’s Department of Human Evolutionary Biology and the UCLA Division of Cardiology. Her research focuses on the natural world as a source of insights into human pathology and developmental challenges. Her New York Times bestseller, Zoobiquity, was a Finalist in the American Association for the Advancement of Science Excellence in Science Books Award, a Smithsonian Top Book of 2012 and a Discover Magazine Best Book of the Year. It has been translated into ten languages and has been chosen as Common Read at universities across the country. Wildhood, her award-winning book published in 2019, explores coming of age on planet Earth—adolescence across species and evolutionary time.
She is the current President of the International Society for Evolution, Medicine and Public Health and has recently launched a research initiative: Female Health Across the Tree of Life which focuses on the interdependent health of women, animals and the planet we share.
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Through riveting personal stories and the latest research, Harvard evolutionary biologist Carole Hooven shows how testosterone drives the behavior of the sexes apart and how understanding the science behind this hormone is empowering for all.