Marina Butovskaya, Oleg Lazebny, Vasiliy Vasilyev, Daria Dronova, Dmitri Karelin, Audax Mabulla, Dmitri Shibalev, Todd Shackelford, Bernhard Fink and Alexey Ryskov

Androgen receptor gene polymorphism, aggression, and reproduction in Tanzanian foragers and pastoralists

PloS One

The androgen receptor (AR) gene polymorphism in humans is linked to aggression and may also be linked to reproduction. Here we report associations between AR gene polymorphism and aggression and reproduction in two small-scale societies in northern Tanzania (Africa)—the Hadza (monogamous foragers) and the Datoga (polygynous pastoralists). We secured self-reports of aggression and assessed genetic polymorphism of the number of CAG repeats for the AR gene for 210 Hadza men and 229 Datoga men (aged 17–70 years). We conducted structural equation modeling to identify links between AR gene polymorphism, aggression, and number of children born, and included age and ethnicity as covariates. Fewer AR CAG repeats predicted greater aggression, and Datoga men reported more aggression than did Hadza men. In addition, aggression mediated the identified negative relationship between CAG repeats and number of children born.