T Nation

The Testosterone Contradiction...or is it?

RED CORNER:

A 1996 study conducted at the University of Montreal and published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry found that thirteen-year-old boys who were the most aggressive and least popular had lower levels of testosterone than the popular, genuinely tough, but not physically aggressive boys. Could it be that testosterone makes boys and men feel confident and therefore calm?

Boys with a disorder called Kleinfelters syndrome tend to be aggressive. They have an extra female chromosome (XXY) and have small genitals and low testosterone. Are they aggressive because they have small penises, because they have low testosterone or because of some other reason? Its hard to tell. But its clear that they dont feel confident in their masculinity. Theyre aggressive yet they dont have much testosterone. Could it be that not feeling confident and secure is what causes violence?

(OK. Last question could have been taken out. Everybody knows that.)

Also including a good part of the honorable (self-control, confidence, defend those who clearly are not in a position to respond, etc.) T code of conduct.

BLUE CORNER:

The general notion that high-Testosterone correlated to the usual bad-ass, irreverential, tattooed, mofo, aggressive (fuck-you / I dont give a shit / I wont answer to that), maybe border-line criminal (rules-are-there-to-be-broken), in-control-is-dull attitude.

WHAT GIVES?

For my part, a twist on one of Napeleons words (Vanity made the revolution; liberty was only a pretext.`) sums it best:

I did myself and for me and what I feel important. Testosterone was only a pretext.

People will choose what they damn want to choose, with what they have at their disposal. Word-tagging is either optional or used as a justification.

In other words, Testosterone is a given, and defines / modulates / expresses potential. What the individual does with it and how he uses it (whether he choses or choses not to chose (a la Trainspotting)), and how his environment affects him (or how he let`s himself be affected by it) is entirely unpredictable after that.

With the same T-level, you could as much wind up being the Jackal or the enforcement-agency`s hunter. Yet, both have high t-levels.

How about: high t-levels can be subcontiously percieved through the olfactory nerve? Could this be the reason why higher t-levels mean less violence because of social intimidation? That could go either way. I absolutely agree with you. It’s a potentiator not a predictor. This is also my complaint with the term “testosterone poisoning”. Does your insulin profile make you the cookie monster?

RS. I`d consider the optic nerve first. But I have not done research on your tangent. Maybe T has a pheromone like pattern too. Could be parrallel systems, too. Thanks for the idea!