I truly don’t know what to think. The weirdest part, though, is a study of testosterone levels and the recent presidential campaign garners this headline in WIRED: “Obama Win Turned Male Republicans Into Girlie Men.”

I think I need to read the study before developing an opinion. Ya know, notes in the margins about confounders, etc. Everyone does that, right?


4 Responses to “Um”

  1. Jessica Harrison Says:

    well, i don’t know what to think about the study either and i’ll defer to you on that. however, i have a pretty strong feeling about the title of the article. i think anything that labels men with lower testosterone levels as “girlie men” is only exacerbating various problems in men and boys such as low self-esteem and, frankly, violence. also, when will we stop using slang for female genitalia and females in general (pussy, girlie-men, etc) to describe weakness in men?

  2. Emily Says:

    not to mention the oversimplification of hormones. are we to believe that a drop (or rise) in testosterone levels for men must be the single largest factor in determining their emotional, mental, physical well-being? and if it is to drop (which the study mentions is normal that it would given the timeframe when the study was conducted), the clear conclusion is that these men felt “significantly more controlled, submissive, unhappy and unpleasant at the moment of the outcome.” and these are not “manly” feelings… it *must* mean that these two things are directly related. i’m not even a scientist, but i have heard of the phrase “correlation does not equal causation.”

    when will the so-called “hard sciences” understand that they too are impacted and influenced by culture. and that’s not a bad thing, it just means the everything isn’t always so clear cut.

  3. katiefpdx Says:

    I find it interesting how studies turn into headlines and the jump to conclusions that are oftened made for the purposes of sensationalization. My favorite was a news article based on a study and the news article based said that more masturbation leads to prostate cancer. Well if you read the article (and not just the headline), the better conclusion was that the higher levels of testesterone lead men to masturbate more and likely lead to prostate cancer, not that the act of masturbating caused prostate cancer. Talk about causation versus correlation!

  4. Neil Says:

    I agree with both comments. We know that mental and emotional states change based on the levels of hormones in our body, but to only measure one of those hormones is failing provide the total picture. Its hard to say there is a link because of so many other uncontrolled variables that probably weren’t looked at…see emily’s comment above on Coorelation doesn’t always equal causation…good point.

    I think Science has barely brushed the surface of how the level of hormones drastically effect a person’s mental/emotional state. Wouldn’t it be cool to visually see, like on a personal hormone gauge, what the level of each hormone in our body is at any point in time? Would that exacerbate the problem though? People would be able to see that they are mad, so they get even more angry for letting something anger them. Insert “depressed” into that sentence and then it really gets scary.

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