Tuesday, 25 August 2009

When Headlines Become the Story.

Observe how different information gathering media set the spin on a story with words selected to communicate the essence of that news item - from their own particular perspective.

Here's a scrum of headlines about the findings of a scientific research project.

'Traders' testosterone' fuels female financial flutters

Testosterone May Guide Women's Careers

Testosterone-Charged Women Take More Financial and Career Risks

Ruthless women have extra testosterone, scientists show

Risky women are 'hungry for sex'

Male hormone draws women to finance

When women are bad, it's a male thing

Men less risk averse, pick riskier careers

Interestingly enough, a short opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal blogs did not focus on gender implications but rather on the effect high levels testosterone bring.

Was the Financial Crisis Caused by Hormones?

Forget whether fat bonuses or the lack of regulation encouraged undue risk taking during the credit-fueled boom. It seems risk may run in Wall Street’s blood.

The evidence? A recent study from researchers at business schools at Northwestern and the University of Chicago concludes that testosterone levels play a big role in a person’s proclivity to take financial risks.

The study, being published today in the academic journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, concludes that biology– not just society or culture drives individuals to pursue financially riskier careers and make riskier decisions. In the study, researchers analyzed the saliva of 500 MBA students at U-Chicago’s Booth School of Business and put the students through certain games. They determinted that men, who typically have higher levels of testoterone, were willing to take greater risks than women. ...

Interestingly, the researchers found that female students with higher testosterone levels also were willing to take more risks.

“We are saying that testosterone, which is a biological marker, rather then gender, makes them take more risks,’’ one of the study’s co-authors Paola Sapienza, Associate Professor at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management tells Deal Journal.

Slightly tweaking the words of The Byrds' song "There Is A Season":

For everything - spin, spin, spin
There is a reason - spin, spin, spin
And a time for every purpose under heaven.


Parliament Shill said...

You know, for two hundred years the patriarchy insisted that men had to lead because they were more rational. Now we're told that men (and certain women) succeed in the financial markets because they're hormone-driven maniacs hopped up on testosterone. Any excuse to defend the system from real change, I suppose.

Bina said...

And they say WE are dangerous when it's three days till our next period? Yeesh.

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