East Asians and Testosterone II

This is the final update to testosterone levels in different ethnic groups. Updated data and sources are HERE.

t-diff-1From the results, if one considers only the so-called macro races, compared to European males, African and East Asian males have about 11% more testosterone on average. This is the result of some 199 peer-reviewed articles.

East Asians and Testosterone I

UPDATE: East Asians and Testosterone II

Hays (2011) states:

North Asians have lower levels of muscle-building testosterone than Europeans. Some Asian athletes have taken testosterone-like steroids as “a way of leveling the playing field.”

He provides no source for either claim. Mail sent to Mr. Hays on March 15, 2013 remain unanswered. Not to be outdone, Kelsey (2008) further states:

The reason basically for Asian men being more feminine in physical appearance is because of they produce more estrogen than men of other racial groups. Asian women are more feminine in appearance because they produce more estrogen than other women. This estrogen also influences personality and emotions this makes Asian men display characteristics that often are associated with women.

Some of the characteristics are they keep emotions hidden well meaning it can be difficult to tell when an Asian man is angry. The more testosterone a man produce the more he will show his emotions of anger, joy, sadness, happiness, etc. The less testosterone a man produces the more he is able to keep his emotions hidden.

But when he has kept these emotions hidden for a long time and bottled up whether these emotions are positive or negative when they come out they will manifest very strongly. The estrogen allows Asian men and women to look younger for many years example a 40 year old Asian man who looks 27 years old.

The claim of lower East Asian testosterone (T) levels is now a race realist marker of “race” or race difference. The European race realist asserts three main ethnic androgen hypotheses with some corollary hypotheses.

Main hypotheses:

  • African males have the highest testosterone level
  • European males have an intermediate testosterone level
  • East Asian males have the lowest testosterone level

Corollary hypotheses:

  • Indo-Aryan or South Asian males have low testosterone levels but higher than East Asians [despite not following from the main hypotheses]
  • Middle Eastern males have high testosterone levels but not as high as Africans
  • Indigenous American males have lower testosterone levels but higher than  Indo-Aryans
  • Latin American males have levels commensurate with their respective Asiatic-American and African admixture (for most instances, higher than Americans)

Data is available for each of these groups though lacking for Americans, Indo-Aryans and Latin Americans. The (general) race realist T-ranking from highest to lowest:

  1. African
  2. Middle Easterner
  3. European
  4. Latino
  5. Native American
  6. Indo-Aryan
  7. East Asian


To race realists, when East Asian males are passive, it is because they have the lowest testosterone levels which cause their genitals to be deformed such that they have the smallest lengths, girths, testicular weight and sperm production. When East Asian males are aggressive, it is because they are annoyed that they have low testosterone which causes their genitals to be deformed such that they have the smallest lengths, girths, testicular weight and sperm production. It is a ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ stereotype.

Trying to hide this behind a scientific veneer, Jean Philippe Rushton uses the incidence of prostate cancer to assert that since it is high in Americans of African descent, lower in Americans of European descent and lowest in East Asians, it is mainly due to testosterone differences. The problem is that he conveniently focuses on only three groups which he also conveniently defines. His “Caucasoid” grouping does not include Semites and Aryans. His “Mongoloid” group does not include Euro-Americans (Latinos) and indigenous Americans. His “Negroid” group includes US Afropeans but not Dravidians (South Asians) and those with Negrito ancestry such as Malays, which he includes in his “Mongoloid” group.

If he were to have found a race realist revolutionary update to Darwinian evolution as he asserts, then he would have found that Arabs (Saudis, Omanis and Kuwaitis) also have very low prostate cancer rates and that Afro-Zimbabweans have lower levels of prostate cancer than Euro-Zimbabweans, Germans, Australians and US Europeans and a bit lower rate than the Welsh (Kehinde et al. 2005). Contra Eurocentric race realism, Strahm et al. (2009) states in referring to Satner et al. (1998) that:

Comparative studies of Caucasian and Chinese subjects living either in the USA or in China provided strong evidence that environmental/dietary, but not genetic, factors influence androgen production.

Miller et al. (1985) found that “[t]estosterone did not differ with ethnic group” when studying Trinidadian men of African and Indo-Aryan descent. Even among rapists and child molesters, most had normal T levels except for those who were the most violent. Rada, Laws and Kellner (1976) further states that:

There was no correlation between age, race, or length of incarceration and plasma testosterone level.

Rushton had previously proposed the ‘principle of aggregation’ where he would aggregate data to minimize bias. He is correct that data aggregation can minimize bias. He is incorrect in his poor choice of data in the first place (but I digress). Applying his own principle of aggregation, what follow is a meta-analysis of over 150 peer-reviewed articles on hormone levels in different ethnic groups to see if his hypothesis is correct (at least according to the available data).


T-resultsData sources available HERE.


proposedT-diffFrom the above tables, it is clear that the race realist assertion is incorrect, whether one looks at the 7 so-called micro ‘races’ or the 3 so-called macro ‘races’. East Asians were found to have the highest average total plasma testosterone (5,673 ρg/mL) followed by Africans (5,442 ρg/mL) and then Europeans (4,992 ρg/mL). Given that the sample size for Africans is smaller (N < 10,000), their relative position may change with more data. Nonetheless, the claim that East Asians have the least testosterone is not supported by scientific data. 

So ladies, if you want a high T male, go to the Philippines (8100 ρg/mL) and find yourself a malnourished, sexually active, 22 year old Filipino; 5 feet 4 inches, 123 lbs, poorly educated and making slightly less than $9 US monthly [Gettler, McDade & Kuzawa (2011)]. Even better, find an Egyptian.

[N.B. Values are liable to be updated if errors detected, self-analysis of data highly recommended before using this hypothesis]


Gettler, L., McDade, T., and C. Kuzawa. 2011. Cortisol and testosterone in Filipino young adult men: evidence for co-regulation of both hormones by fatherhood and relationship status. American Journal of Human Biology 23(5): 609-620.

Hays, Jeffreys. 2011. Chinese People, Asian Physical Characteristics, Genetics and DNA. http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=118&catid=4&subcatid=18 [accessed: 2013-04-06]. | New link : http://factsanddetails.com/china/cat4/sub18/item118.html as of 2016-10-19.

Kehinde, E., Akanji, A., Mojiminiyi, O., et al. 2005. Putative role of serum insulin-like growth factor–1 (IGF-1) and IGF binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) levels in the development of prostate cancer in Arab men. Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases 8: 84–90.

Kelsey, Chance. 2008. Why Do Many White Women Not Date Asian Men? Chancellorfiles blog. http://chancellorfiles.wordpress.com/2008/02/24/why-do-many-white-women-not-date-asian-men [accessed: 2013-04-15].

Miller, G., Wheeler, M., Price, S., et al. 1985. Serum high density lipoprotein subclasses, testosterone and sex-hormone-binding globulin in Trinidadian men of African and Indian descent. Atherosclerosis 55(3): 251-258.

Rada, R., Laws, D., and R. Kellner. 1976. Plasma testosterone levels in the rapist. Psychosomatic Medicine 38(4): 257-268.

Santner, S., Albertson, B., Zhang, G-Y., et al. 1998. Comparative rates of androgen production and metabolism in Caucasian and Chinese subjects. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 83: 2104–2109.

Strahm, E., Sottas, P-E., Schweizer, C., et al. 2009. Steroid profiles of professional soccer players: an international comparative study. British Journal of Sports Medicine 43: 1126-1130.

UPDATE 2013-05-08: A blogger on the race realist AnthroScape blog states:

This PDF file is not to be taken 100% seriously. It obviously lacks measurements of free testosterone, which is arguably more important than total testosterone. Furthermore, extrapolating a table ranking ethnic groups based on testosterone levels is not the best idea, especially when there are different age brackets and methodologies of each of the studies to consider.


  • There is no way of accurately determining free testosterone. Even if there was, this would also be irrelevant since bio-availability is prime. Since race realists use total serum testosterone, why is this an issue?
  • One cannot and should not compare different testosterone studies with different measurement methods. However, for the race-realist purpose of aggregating data, there is nothing inherently wrong with what the PDF file lists. If JP Rushton can use a few studies and make wild claims which are then used by the Internet-o-sphere, using 150 independent peer-reviewed sources with large samples is much more scientific than anything similar from the race realist community.
  • The PDF contains all of the above and has a long list of why testosterone measurements can be fickle.
  • Age differences will affect the results but healthy males should have negligible decreases. Assuming a 0.4% annual decline from 5000 pg/ml after age 40, a man at 80 should have 4275 pg/mL, less than a 15% difference if my spreadsheet math is correct. It would have been better to normalize for age. So while the tabled rankings is flawed, the point is that the entire issue is flawed as there is no standard measuring method in the first place. That race realists routinely use flawed data should be the issue but …
  • Do feel free to wade through the tables and references and normalize the data for methodology and age. Good luck on that though.

He further states:

I find it slightly odd that Indians have the highest testosterone levels, although it’s understandable because of the conditions they are living in. …… Social aggression, dominance and high cognition among men, especially visuo-spatial cognition, is correlated with moderate to high testosterone levels. Stress and depression are correlated with lower testosterone levels, as are personality traits such as submission and less aggression.

  • What conditions are Indians living in that make for higher T?
  • Western defined and rated social aggression and dominance will obviously down relegate Easterners. That is simple bias: stacking the definitional deck and insisting that everyone play by said deck.
  • What level of correlation is there? There will always be correlations but only if it is significant can such data be used.

He continues:

…. beard growth, penile size and body hair are indicative of the presence of testosterone (along with the genes which code for such phenotypes) but do not tell whether an individual has high or low testosterone.

I’ve studied human physiology and biochemistry for years so I know what I’m talking about. Genetics play a huge role in determining whether an individual has a beard, has a large or small penis and body hair.

  • Genetically, penis size seems to be determined by in-utero hormone exposure and concentration.
  • However, penile measurements I would say make a flaw in only measuring the outer penile length by multiple methods which differ considerably. If the inner penis is roughly the same length of the outer penis (Saladin & Miller 2004: 1029), then a porn star may simply be an average guy with more outer penis and perhaps, less fat pad and/or weaker suspensory ligaments (i.e. all current measurements do not factor in erection angle).
  • Until there are standardized ultrasound measurements of different ethnic groups, race realists are not being scientific in claiming that there are differences in penile lengths. At best, one may claim differences in perceived lengths, which is obviously unscientific and irrelevant.

Reference: Saladin, K., and L. Miller. 2004. Anatomy & Physiology: The Unity of Form and Function. 3rd ed.  New York, USA: McGraw Hill.

UPDATE 2014-02-06: A blogger on PuaHate.com [dead link] states:

Found the site/guy who uploaded that chart.

Guess what…




Check his great wall of china background, check his posts, most about asians/asia related shit…bet he frauded the data.

Having a Great Wall of China photo and speaking about so-called Asian related issues does not make one an Asian. You are being presumptuous with only that data. If you can find any problem with the data please specify so I can update accordingly. Alternatively, you may perform a study for yourself and post your results for others to critique.

UPDATE 2014-08-31: A blogger named “Boss” from Sluthate.com states:

Europeans live longer and experience T decline. He could’ve limited his studies to account for age, but instead wanted to “aggregate” every study and then claim that it was impossible to do so. When you control methodology and age, this is what you get:


He quotes from the linked article:

In addition, the Swedes had significantly higher levels of serum testosterone, compared with the Koreans.

If you want to control for age, please do so for all the referenced populations. I don’t see how it is possible to control for age unless I have the original data sets but if you have a method, have at it. One article using two sub-populations do not indicate that East Asian have less T than Europeans as I indicated to a previous commenter.

He continues:

Of course, someone posted that as a comment and he brushed it off, instead referring to his contrived aggregate. Just took a look at that guy’s site. That guy is obsessed with the asian small penis thing. 80% of his site/blog is him discrediting medical studies that show asians to have small penises :lol: What a fucking pathetic loser.

Nowhere in my comment do I refer to aggregation. Aggregation is a race realist method that I am using to show that race realists don’t employ their own method properly. I also gave 5 possible reasons for the Korean/Swede T discrepancy. This blog does not discredit “medical studies that show asians (sic) to have small penises” since I know of no such study. If however you know differently, please leave links in the comments.

Another blogger at race/history/evolution notes blog has a review which views this post poorly. I expected something more substantive but it seems like the reviewer only read the comments and didn’t look at the PDF file which would have dealt with some of his issues. I really don’t understand the obsession over one study as if one study can ever be definitive. As for the contention that there are no studies indicating a 10% difference between East Asians and Europeans, I did find one age controlled study where the Chinese sample had 8.8% more total T, 11.4% more bio-available T and 12% more free T than the European sample. The Japanese sample had 10.5%, 5.1% and 6.7% more than Europeans respectively [Wu et al. 1995]. Wonder if race realists discuss this study, or perhaps they are too busy in celebratory dance around the Korean/Swede campfire?

UPDATE 2014-11-21: Blogger named “Bobby Corwen” from the MacRumors forum states:

But that article you quoted was in my opinion quite stupid because it didn’t account for ages in the groups and that testosterone changes drastically over the lifespans of humans.

Coming from a person of your wide intellect, I am honoured to have a post called “quite stupid”. However, can you quantify “drastically”? As I have stated before, the data does not lend itself to easy age normalization. If you want age normalized data, do it yourself. Clearly, you are most capable of doing so.

It was probably biased because it was written by an Asian man but anyway you’re missing the point, in that its about averages and patterns, not about absolutes.

The T values are averages and are your comments “probably biased” because you do not identify as an “Asian man”?

UPDATE 2015-04-12: Blogger Robert Lindsay states concerning the data in this post that:

The East Asian rates are no good. Yes their levels are a bit higher, but they also a higher level of some other hormone that makes it so they cannot use the higher T very well, so effectively, their rates are lower than Whites.

Lindsay clarifies in another post:

Young Black males have higher levels of active testosterone than European and Asian males. Asian levels are intermediate to Blacks and Whites, but Asians have lower levels of a chemical needed to convert testosterone to its active agent, so effectively they have lower levels. Androgen receptor sensitivity is highest in Black men, intermediate in Whites and lowest in Asians.

The problem is that this claim is based on a study (Ross et al. 1992) of 50 US Africans (i.e. Afropeans) and 54 Japanese. Race realists really know the scientific method. Additionally, this recent study shows HK Chinese having some 3% more bio-available T than US Europeans.

Another blogger named Tata comments:

East Asian men and women have more estrogen, the female hormone.

Estrogen is not a “female hormone”. Estrogen has a feminizing effect but males also need estrogen to function optimally. I wonder which studies were consulted to form a conclusion not found in medical books. I suspect I will be wondering for a long time.

Lindsay then comments further:

Further, the free T levels are:

Highest: Blacks
Mid: Whites
Lowest: Asians

It just so turns out that Blacks have the highest crime and violence rates, then Whites, then Asians. Quite a few people believe that Blacks have the highest sex drives, then Whites, then Asians.

Blacks have the largest sex organs and Asians have the smallest, and that once again lines up perfectly with T levels.

The evidence is looking pretty good, not only that, but there is a not of other evidence suggesting that indeed it is true.

Find a supposed correlation. Make widely applicable statements. Provide no data. Being a race realists seems to be a length engagement with delusion, fantasy and ‘scientific’ homo-erotica. Lindsay suffers from the inability to distinguish between a hypothesis and a theory and claims that his “research takes a lot of time“. No kidding.

UPDATE 2015-08-15: A poster using the name Strike_Team states on the Amren site:

There was a site that “proved” E. Asians, E. Indians and Egyptians have higher testosterone levels than whites and blacks, stronger sex drives, with those pitiful white males being the majority of viagra users. It was filled of course a lot of circular reasoning and misuse of data. But it was funny as hell to read the “research” and some of the self serving comments from Indians. They really are the most self aggrandizing people I’ve ever encountered.

I did not prove anything but would love to hear about this circular reasoning and data misuse.

UPDATE 2016-07-07: Return of Kings commenter “Jim Trompe” makes the following claim:

Asians have lower levels of Test(probably an advantage in an advanced peaceful civilization) which is why asian women generally are considered more attractive than asian men. When they looked at the bones of people in the Viking era, its difficult to tell the difference between men and women-high Test from constant warring.

When corrected and sent a link to this blog, he then comments:

If you find that persuasive, its because you didnt actually look at the studies hes referring to. Dead links, studies comparing rapists and soccer players(preselection bias). The guy claims to be an expert but doesn’t know what he’s talking about, for example this statement “Genetically, penis size seems to be determined by in-utero hormone exposure and concentration.” No its caused by Dihydrotestosterone, a direct derivative of Testosterone(Estrogen is another derivative). There are many areas where there are genetic or environmental problems that cause a reduction in the enzyme necessary for the conversion of T to Dihydro..for example the Huevos Doces in the Dominican Republic, they were actually raised as girls because their genitals were so undeveloped. Anyways obviously its going to be a heated issue, just like the “debate” about IQ, because no one want to be in the group that is unmanly or low IQ.

Mr. Trompe, exactly who is an ‘Asian’ and who determines such naming? What does having less T have to do with ‘Asian’ men being less attractive than ‘Asian’ women? To whom is this attraction so configured? The studies I used are not dead links, you can find them if you have access to journal repositories (Ebscohost, Jstor) or simply using Google/Google Scholar. This is an aggregate so bias would be minimized (or so race realists like to claim). I don’t claim to be an expert but if you show where I did, I’ll repent and remove the claim. Your focus on one of my comments in response to another comment illustrates that you don’t care to look at the main issue (T differences) but want to veer off into side issues and ad hominem. Is this because you don’t want to be in an “unmanly” group? You ask for sources but provided none for your own claim that ‘Asians’ have the lowest T. Again, is this because you don’t want to be in the “unmanly” group?

UPDATE 2017-01-27: PumpkinPerson comments:

And the person who created that table seems to have a chip on his shoulder because he thinks Rushton was calling East Asians feminine. But being low T doesn’t make you feminine; estrogen makes you feminine.

Rushton claims that “Orientals” have (i) the smallest “primary sexual characteristics” (ii) the smallest “secondary sexual characteristics” (iii) the least androgens and (iv) tentatively used Nyborg’s hormotyping which ranks “Mongoloids” next to androgynous males. I will keep that chip, thanks!

Ethnic Androgen Differentials II

For some background, see Ethnic Androgen Differentials I

Testosterone Molecule

There are some important studies which provide a framework for understanding ethnic androgen differences. One such study is Zitzmann and Nieschlag (2001). They performed a review of the effects of testosterone (T). Some important points:

  • Stress, depressive illness and PTSD decreases T
  • Strength training exercise increases T post-workout but continuous strength training does not affect T significantly
  • Higher T does not necessarily increase aggression:

There is strong evidence for an interdependent feedback mechanism between testosterone and aggression, modified by experiences of victory and defeat, as well as by education, cultural and socioeconomic background.


The immense variety of individual response patterns to androgens is demonstrated by a controlled trial in which exceptionally high doses (600 mg/week) of testosterone cypionate were administered; maniac effects were reported in only 16% of the men. The psychological behaviour of the others remained unremarkable. Effects of external administration of testosterone on aggressive behaviour are controversial (55-58).

  • T may affect some cognitive abilities
  • T seems to affect verbal skills
  • Low T may enhance musical ability in males
  • Low status occupations seem to lower T levels due to lack of situational control


In violent sexual offenders, serum testosterone levels were significantly higher in the group of native Americans than in Caucasians (41, 108). Such analyses have led to conclusions that a predisposition to crime may be genetically based, have consistent racial variations and may be expressed as serum testosterone levels and brain size, which are supposed to cause different crime rates in Asian, Caucasian and African-Americans (109). Not biased by selection of subjects in conflict with the law, other studies demonstrate similar testosterone levels in African-American and Caucasian American men. (110, 111). In contradiction to the so-called predisposition theories on crime rates and race, another study involving 1127 men and adjusting data for age and body mass index (BMI), showed levels of total and bioavailable testosterone to be highest in Asian Americans, followed by African-Americans and lowest in Caucasian Americans (112). A greater risk for African-Americans of developing prostate cancer in comparison to Caucasians or Asians seems to exist; testosterone levels are not different, but hereditary factors concerning polymorphism in androgen receptors and 5a-reductase activity are held responsible (113). Supporting results were found comparing Americans of Chinese or Caucasian origin, explaining the lower expression of beard and body hair in Asians (114). Ethnic differences in sex hormone-dependent features are obviously restricted to genetic polymorphisms, leading to differential enzyme and receptor activity, but not to different testosterone levels (115, 116). The cultural background can also influence testosterone levels through nutritional factors (see Dietary influences; 117).

  • High T increases libido but does not translate into high sexual activity
  • The data are inconclusive if male homosexuals have lower T
  • High T does not necessarily correlate with aggression, both high and low levels of T can result in aggressive behaviour
  • Increasing age may decrease androgen levels
  • Obesity causes a decrease in T
  • Diet influences T
  • Living at higher altitudes seems to lower T
  • There seems to be a correlation between voice deepness and T
  • Balding may not necessarily be associated with T
  • Burns, infection, injury, disease, poor digestion and nutrient absorption can affect T
  • Marijuana does not seem to lower T
  • Excessive alcohol lowers T
  • A person’s T varies throughout the year (figure 1)




However, methodological problems of measuring testosterone in body fluids are often overlooked. Serum testosterone levels are determined routinely by radioimmunoassays or luminescence immunoassays. Because there is a strong diurnal variation with morning concentrations being approximately 20-30% higher than evening values (Fig. 1; (191-197)), samples should always be taken during the morning hours. Only then will single point samples be representative (198-200). Seasonal variations of testosterone levels should also be taken into consideration, at least in studies comparing several groups at different time points (Fig. 1; (201-203)). Because testosterone is a small molecule and present in relatively low concentrations, it is not surprising that there is marked inter- and intra-assay bias and variation (Fig. 2). Therefore, comparing testosterone levels determined with different assays and/or in different laboratories becomes questionable. Quality control uncovers this problem, but has not contributed to its solution. Direct measuring of free testosterone concentrations, which are found at much lower concentrations than the total amount of this steroid (about 2%), is subject to even greater difficulties.

In summary, although assays have been available for over 30 years, measurement of serum testosterone is still relatively unreliable and represents a significant bias when interpreting results and correlating them with biological phenomena. Unfortunately, peer-reviewed journals as the ultimate filter have not contributed much to improve the reliability of published values. Therefore, all reported variations of testosterone levels and their associations with physical and mental aspects must be viewed very critically.



Because of the great inter-individual variation, application of these results to individuals is questionable. A generalisation towards phenomenological structures would also require sublimation of various one-dimensional findings. Combining results concerning hormone interactions with physical or psychological phenomena to create new constructs explaining sociological observations can be dangerous and misleading. It is too easy a step from assigning high testosterone levels to aggressive people to the explanation of legal offences of violent nature and further, discrimination of racial or subcultural groups. This could mean, for example, that persons involved in regular marathon training are likely to show a submissive kind of conflict management and will not develop a balding hair pattern, or that watching blue movies would lead to premature balding which could then be prevented by a strict vegetarian diet or by moving to the mountains. It could mean that a man exposed to increased mental stress is likely to show extraordinary verbal fluency. Regarding all results mentioned, a person with high testosterone levels would then be living at sea level, would refrain from endurance training, enjoy high socioeconomic status as well as daily consumption of meat and sexual pleasures, but avoid gaining too much weight. He would be characterised by increased spatial cognition, but not be able to utter sentences fluently. He would have a deep voice, sing in the bass register, his beard growth would be prolific and his head would be bald. He would react rather aggressively to threatening situations. A person with low testosterone levels would be a mountaineer, exercising daily by long runs, living a frugal life with vegetarian food, without a partner and constantly harassed by his environment. He would have a full head of hair, a high-pitched voice, and would converse fluently about his submissive behavior and his lack of ability to solve mathematical problems (see Table 1). The described persons might exist, but they are likely to be rare, and just how high their actual testosterone levels would really be remains open to question. The rest of the male population cannot be judged by testosterone levels and we cannot guess their androgen levels by looking at their lives. Simplifying approaches are likely to produce results with simple structures, which, while logically consistent in themselves, do not conform to the external structures we experience. Many other factors of influence are omitted in these approaches such as experiences that are partially reinforced by hormonal feedback on behaviour that caused them and that social and physical environment and genetic background affect not only an individual’s personality but also a single parameter such as testosterone levels.

Source: Zitzmann, M., and E. Nieschlag. 2001. Testosterone levels in healthy men and the relation to behavioural and physical characteristics: facts and constructs. European Journal of Endocrinology 144(3): 183-197.


  • High T makes men aggressive: not necessarily, some low T high aggression males are calmed with T supplementation;
  • East Asians have the lowest T and Africans the highest, these are also genetically determined: not necessarily, some studies have found that Europeans have the lowest bio-available T levels and East Asians the highest. Also, nutrition plays a factor in T levels;
  • Peer-reviewed studies are authoritative and give credence to ethnic T variations: not necessarily, T is affected by (1.) the yearly timing of sample collection (2.) the method of analysis (3.) the daily timing of sample collection; and
  • Realistic portrayals of different ethnics can be found by analyzing testosterone: not necessarily, until better measurement methods are found, these studies if used improperly can create simplistic, racist and illogical views. Additionally, the data are inconclusive so no realistic portrayals can be derived.

Ethnic Androgen Differentials I

Testosterone Molecule

Masculinizing: Total Testosterone (T), Circulating Free Testosterone (cFT)

Feminizing: Estrone (E1) & Estradiol (E2)

The race realist assertion that (East) Asians have less testosterone (T) than Europeans who have less than Africans is mistaken on multiple levels. Here is Rushton (2000b):

The races differ in their level of sex hormones. Hormone levels are highest in Blacks and the lowest in Orientals. This may tell us why Black women have premenstrual syndrome (PMS) the most and Orientals the least. The races also differ in testosterone level which helps to explain men’s behavior. In one study of college students, testosterone levels were 10 to 20% higher in Blacks than in Whites. For an older sample of U.S. military veterans, Blacks had levels 3% higher than Whites (see the 1992 issue of Steroids). In a study of university students, Black Americans had 10 to 15% higher levels than White Americans. The Japanese (in Japan) had even lower levels.

Rushton (2000a) states it thus:

One study of matched groups of 50 black and 50 white male college students in California found that testosterone levels were 19 percent higher in blacks than in whites (Ross, Bernstein, Judd, Hanisch, Pike, & Henderson, 1986). A 3 percent difference favoring blacks has been found among an older group of 3, 654 white and 525 black male Vietnam era military veterans (Ellis & Nyborg, 1992)…… Measurements of two metabolites if dihydrostesterone shows marked lower levels in the serum of Japanese natives and 10 to 15 percent higher concentrations in American blacks (Hixson, 1992).

Here Rushton (2000a, 2000b) uses three studies; the first is Ross et al. (1986) which found that aged matched African American (AA) college students had 19% more testosterone than European American (EA) college students. His first study thus has the following problems:

  • African Americans are a mixed sub-clade (with European, American, East Asian) of the African clade and most likely does not represent unmixed Africans;
  • European Americans are a sub-clade of the European clade and might not necessarily represent unmixed Europeans as some 20-30% have African ancestry [Stuckert (1958)] with additional others having American and East Asian ancestry;
  • Small sample size (n = 100, 50 AA); and
  • Sample bias: university students do not represent the average population. This is a bias typical of peer-reviewed studies.

Granted the study’s authors make the same mistakes and even more. Blood samples were collected at times convenient to the students between 10 A.M. and 3 P.M. Timing affects testosterone levels. While the students were age matched, they were not weight matched.

ead1From their table 1 data above, the African Americans (AA) were over 11 lbs heavier than the European Americans (EA). And yes, weight can affect T-levels if the additional weight indicates adiposity. The study authors adjusted for weight:

Adjustment by analysis of covariance for time of sampling, age, weight, alcohol use, cigarette smoking, and use of prescription drugs somewhat reduced the differences. After these adjustments were made, blacks had a 15% higher testosterone level and a 13% higher free testosterone level.

So Rushton (a double doctorate psychologist who knows about variable adjustments) did not read properly.

ead2Note as well that table 2 indicates more feminizing E1 and E2 for AA males. Notice also that AAs have 18.6% more total-T and 21.1% more free-T (cFT) than EAs. Thus Rushton is referring to the total-T values when he uses 19% which is yet another problem. He should be more concerned with the cFT values.

The second study Rushton (2000a, 2000b) uses is Ellis & Nyborg (1992) which examines 4462 army veterans of African American and European American descent. Army veterans may be more predisposed to aggressiveness and higher testosterone levels thus presenting a possible bias.

From the abstract:

Racial and ethnic variations in serum testosterone levels were investigated among a large sample of male Vietnam era veterans. Based on geometric means, significant average differences were found between 3,654 non-Hispanic white and 525 black individuals. The geometric mean for testosterone levels among 200 Hispanic individuals was similar to that of non-Hispanic white individuals. Regarding two other racial/ethnic groups (Asian/Pacific Islanders and Native Americans), no significant differences were found, due perhaps to small sample sizes. Results were interpreted as having considerable potential for explaining some of the race differences in the incidences of cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, and prostate cancer.

Given Rushton’s thesis, this study presents nothing in his defense. A 3% difference is insignificant and can be simple fluctuations due to any number or combination of conditions. Why the study would call this “significant average differences” is unknown. Given no significant differences found in East Asian sub-clades (Hispanics, Asian/Pacific Islanders, Native Americans), this study hurts his cause. Unfortunately I do not have access to this study to probe further.

The third study is Hixson (1992) which is actually not a study but a medical report. In Rushton (2000a), the reference is stated as:

Hixson, J. R. (1992, October 20). Benign prostatic hypertrophy drug to be tested in prostate CA prevention. The Medical Post.

Even if Hixson (1992) was a study, the Japanese can never be indicative of all East Asians. Thus we can conclude that Rushton’s thesis in unstable and unscientific.

Problems with ethnic androgen differential studies is summed up by Kehinde et al. (2006) which states:

However, several studies have sought racial–ethnic differences in circulating androgen levels with conflicting results [2, 13, 14]. Thus, while Ross et al. [2] found a statistically significant higher TT (19%) and free testosterone (21%) levels in young African-American men compared to Caucasians, Wright et al. [13], Ellis and Nyberg [14] found higher but statistically insignificant testosterone, free testosterone and SHBG levels in comparable groups of African-American men and Caucasians living in various parts of the USA. These studies may however been flawed by small sample size, for example, Ross et al. [2] studied only 50 young men (20–30 years old) from each racial group and Wright et al. [13] studied a total of 33 men in both racial groups who were 20–40 years old. Other flaws of some of the earlier studies include inappropriate sample collection and storage, for example while Ellis and Nyborg [14] studied 525 African-American and 3654 Caucasian men, unfortunately the blood samples were collected at various times during the day in this study. It is now well established that diurnal variation exists in circulating testosterone concentrations in men with the highest levels found at 8.00 am and lowest levels at 8.00 pm [15, 16]. All of these flaws may be responsible for the conflicts in the association between steroid and steroid metabolites levels and aetiology of prostate cancer.

It had been suggested that, prolonged exposure (i.e. from <30 years of age) to high androgen levels in African-American and Caucasians compared to the Chinese is the basis for the observed difference in the effect of androgens in various racial/ethnic groups although other environmental, metabolic, dietary and genetic factors may also have important contributory factors [17].

The sources used in Kehinde et al. (2006) are:

2. Ross RK, Bernstein L, Judd H et al. Serum testosterone levels in healthy young black and white men. JCNI 1986; 76: 45–48.
13. Wright NM, Renault J, Willi S et al. Greater secretion of growth hormone in black than in white men: possible factor in greater bone mineral density. A clinical research study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1995; 80: 2291–2292.
14. Ellis L, Nyberg H. Racial/ethnic variation in male testosterone levels; a probable contributor to group differences in health. Steroids 1992; 57: 72–75.
15. Winters SJ, Brufsky A, Weissfeld J et al. Testosterone, sex hormone binding globulin and body composition in young adult African American and Caucasian men. Metabolism 2001; 50: 1242–1247.
16. Veldhius JD, King J, Urban RJ et al. Operating characteristics of the male hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis: pulsatile release of testosterone and FSH and their temporal coupling with lutenising hormone. J Clin Encocrinol Metab 1987; 65: 929–941.
17. Santner SJ, Albertson B, Zhang GY et al. Comparative rates of androgen production and metabolism in Caucasian and Chinese subjects. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1998; 83: 2104–2109.

NOTE: Helmuth Nyborg is a Danish race realist psychologist.


L. Ellis., and H. Nyborg. 1992. Racial/ethnic variations in male testosterone levels: a probable contributor to group differences in health. Steroids 57(2): 72-75.

Ross, R., Bernstein, L., Judd, H., et al. 1986. Serum Testosterone Levels in Healthy Young Black and White Men. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 76(1): 45-48.

Rushton, J. 2000a. Race, Evolution, and Behavior: A Life History Perspective. Port Huron, USA: Charles Darwin Research Institute.

Rushton, J. 2000b. Race, Evolution, and Behavior: A Life History Perspective. 2nd special abridged edition. Port Huron, USA: Charles Darwin Research Institute.

Stuckert, Robert. 1958. African Ancestry of the White American Population. The Ohio Journal of Science 58(3): 155-160.