Why does society look and function the way it does? What impact does industrialization and social development have on humans, on an individual and social level?
Testosterone is the hormone responsible for many male characteristics. It can be increased through physical activity, or any kind of assertive or dominating gestures or power postures.
Prolactin is an essential neurotransmitter responsible for learning. Stimulant medications such as Adderall affect the dopaminergic pathways that facilitate the release Prolactin, with concentrations naturally higher in females due to their production in the mammary glands.
“Highly elevated levels of prolactin decrease the levels of sex hormones — estrogen in women and testosterone in men. The effects of mildly elevated levels of prolactin are much more variable, in women both substantial increase or decrease of estrogen levels may result.” -Wikipedia, Prolactin, Sept. 10, 2012
Does the passage above provide insight into why developed nations have lower birth rates than undeveloped nations?
“Prolactin levels may be checked as part of a sex hormone workup, as elevated prolactin secretion can suppress the secretion of FSH and GnRH, leading to hypogonadism, and sometimes causing erectile dysfunction in men.” -Wikipedia, Prolactin, Sept. 10, 2012
From an evolutionary perspective, I wonder if females contain more Prolactin because they evolved to mirror social information and other group behavior necessary for establishing communal norms. The process of mirroring is more passive, as it requires reflecting back information rather than asserting or creating totally new information apart from preexisting contexts.
Does the suppression of testosterone increase Prolactin and the ability to learn?
“During pregnancy, high circulating concentrations of estrogen increase prolactin levels by 10- to 20-fold. ” -Wikipedia, Prolactin, Sept. 10, 2012
Does this explain why females are increasingly found to flourish in academic settings, such as academic institutions?
Does a society with ever growing and increasingly complex norms, conventions and collective practices produce more androgynous people? By emphasizing the kind of passive, non-engaging learning put forth in modern day formal education, are we effectively increasing the demand for those with greater Prolactin, or effeminacy, and decreasing the demand for testosterone , or assertive declarations?
Which hormone produces more individuality? Which facilitates greater creativity? Which facilitates greater conformity?
Do imposing social norms and other oppressive social structures increase Prolactin?
“High prolactin levels can also contribute to mental health issues.” -Wikipedia, Prolactin, Sept. 10, 2012
Does this explain the higher level of mental health issues in developed or industrial societies? Or is it simply that these countries have developed a lexicon extensive enough to index a greater number of psychological phenomena?
In countries with more stringent social norms, do we find more androgyny? more homosexuality? more uniformity? I can’t help but think of the many stereotypes belonging to Asian cultures.
More thoughts later.