This manuscript attempts to develop a new theory to explain both the pre- and post-encounter increase in testosterone levels and the varying dynamics of androgen levels in dominant and subordinate males. The new theory includes the following hypotheses: (i) The pre-encounter increase in testosterone levels is a result of the excitement that is caused by the anticipation of victory. Individuals who do not experience this kind of emotion before the encounter usually do not demonstrate an increased secretion of androgens. (ii) The post-encounter increase in testosterone levels is related to the pleasure that results as a result of victory and the sharp decrease in emotional tension. Additionally, an increased secretion of testosterone acts as a positive reward for the type of behavior that has led to the victory. (iii) A high basal level of testosterone in dominant males is only present in those instances when dominating not only results in a profit that is related to the possession of resources, but is also associated with low emotional tension.
©2012 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston