Testosterone drives men to buy fast cars

Testosterone is what drives men's desire to own fast cars, according to a study published in the journal Organizational Behaviour and Human Decision Processes.
Men's testosterone levels rose when they drove a Porsche. ((CBC))
Testosterone is what drives men's desire to own fast cars, according to a study published in the journal Organizational Behaviour and Human Decision Processes.

Researchers at Concordia University's John Molson School of Business in Montreal took 39 willing young men and let them take a cruise in a $150,000 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet.

The men were then asked to drive a 16-year-old Toyota Camry.

They drove each vehicle once on a busy street where they would be seen by women, and then again on a quiet road.

After one hour, the men's saliva was tested for testosterone.

The researchers found that in the sedan, the men's hormone levels remained low, but in the sports car, testosterone levels stayed high — with or without an audience.

"In other words, just put a guy in a Porsche, and his testosterone levels shoot up, whether people watch or not," said marketing professor Gad Saad, the study's lead researcher.

Saad said the study is evidence of "sexual signalling," similar to animals in the wild, where males try to prove to females they're the best breeding stock.
Marketing professor Gad Saad says driving a Porsche is the human equivalent of the peacock's feathers. ((CBC))

"It's literally the peacock's tail. It's the human version," said Saad.

"It's saying, 'all you pretenders out there — you couldn't be driving this Aston Martin — you couldn't even rent it.'"

But, Saad said it is unlikely the car would have any long-term impact on a man's libidinal drive.

"What it can certainly do, is it can serve as an honest signal of your social status," Saad said.