There are national differences in scientific activity that are not well accounted for by economic and intellectual factors alone. We examine the novel hypothesis that androgen levels may also play a role. Androgens are often referred to as male hormones, but are present in both men and women, and have been linked to performance in other domains, such as sports and entrepreneurship. National-level empirical data on scientific productivity, in terms of numbers of publications, and science Nobel laureates were compared to seven national-level androgen indicators; namely androgenic body hair, the length of the CAG repeat on the androgen receptor gene, prostate cancer incidence, male and female 2D:4D finger ratio, and sex frequency and number of partners. The majority of these indicators were associated in the expected direction with per capita number of scientific publications and Nobel prizes. Moreover, several indicators significantly interacted with national-level estimates of intelligence, such that androgen levels are related to measures of the scientific achievement only when the level of intelligence is relatively high. These findings may partly explain the global distribution of scientific productivity, achievements, and Nobel prizes.

, , , , , ,,
The Journal of Creative Behavior
Erasmus University Rotterdam

van der Linden, D., Dutton, E., & Madison, G. (2018). National-level Indicators of Androgens are Related to the Global Distribution of Scientific Productivity and Science Nobel Prizes. The Journal of Creative Behavior. doi:10.1002/jocb.351