Sex hormones impact career choices

(Medical Xpress) -- Teacher, pilot, nurse or engineer? Sex hormones strongly influence people's interests, which affect the kinds of occupations they choose, according to psychologists.

"Our results provide strong support for hormonal influences on interest in occupations characterized by working with things versus people," said Adriene M. Beltz, in psychology, working with Sheri A. Berenbaum, professor of psychology and pediatrics, Penn State.

Berenbaum and her team looked at people's interest in occupations that exhibit in the general population and are relevant to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. The researchers studied teenagers and with -- a -- and their siblings who do not have CAH.

People with CAH are exposed to more androgen -- a type of -- than is normal while in the uterus. Females with CAH are genetically female and aretreated as females, but their interests tend to be more similar to stereotypically male ones.

The researchers report in the current issue of that females with CAH were significantly more interested than females without CAH in careers related to things compared to careers related to people. The researchers also found that career interests directly corresponded to the amount of androgen exposure the females with CAH experienced -- those exposed to the most androgen in the uterus showed the most interest in things versus people.

"We took advantage of a natural experiment," said Berenbaum. "We're suggesting that these interests are pretty early developing."

Females without CAH had less interest than males in occupations related to things, such as engineer or surgeon, and more interest in careers focused on interactingwith people, such as or teacher. There was no significant difference reported between males with CAH and males without the condition.

"We found there is a biological influence on that interest toward things, so maybe women aren’t going into STEM careers because what they're interested in -- people -- isn't consistent with an interest in STEM careers," said Beltz. "Maybe we could show ways in which an interest in people is compatible with STEM careers."

The researchers asked the participants to rate each item in a list of 64 occupations, according to whether they would like, dislike or were indifferent to doing that job. Theoccupations were grouped into six categories of careers -- realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising and conventional. This list and the categories are based on a well-established and validated system often used by vocational counselors.

The realistic and investigative categories reflect thing-oriented careers like farmer and scientist, social and artistic categories reflect people-oriented jobs such as teacher and artist, and the enterprising category was in the middle with occupations like realtor and hotel manager.

Also working on this research was Jane L. Swanson, professor of counseling psychology, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

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hush1
3 / 5 (1) Sep 01, 2011
Let me guess. One of the listed occupations was drone operator.
ArtflDgr
3 / 5 (4) Sep 01, 2011
Marxist feminista are now putting on war paint to suppress...
ODesign
4 / 5 (2) Sep 01, 2011
Interacting with people is a very useful criteria, because it's easy to image a brain structure that takes in all stimuli but only pays attention to the ones linked to social interaction such as pheremones. It would be interesting to find out exactly what the social interaction part of brain is activated by. It could be rapid mood swings associated with social interaction or other environmental features we don't expect.

An alternative hypothesis is that people are drawn to what they do well. More socially skilled or physically attractive people are therefore better fit for social occupations. They out compete the socially less talented or less attractive people who are underpaid and under appreciated and comparatively unsuccessful in social occupations.
ArtflDgr
3 / 5 (4) Sep 01, 2011
Thanks for proving my point by de-rating my comment
had to suppress... eh?

do some research before you decide that the politburo is the way to go, and trofim lysenko science is your ideal