Did a Drop in Testosterone Civilize Modern Humans?

The Human Evolution Blog


  • Anatomically modern humans first appeared around 200,000 years ago, but small changes in skull shape continued until around 50,000 years ago.
  • A new study has revealed that several of the changes in the shape of the human face can be explained by a gradual drop in the levels of circulating testosterone.
  • High testosterone is often found in fiercely competitive individuals and species, and low testosterone often correlates with more social-cooperative species, especially for primates.
  • Putting this together, the authors propose that a drop in testosterone levels may have contributed to the ability of modern humans to live in cooperative communities peacefully, which then led to permanent settlements and eventually civilization

What is this study about?

The species we know as “anatomically modern humans” (Homo sapiens sapiens) dates back to around 200,000 years ago. While ancient humans resemble modern humans in their gross anatomy, they did not live…

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