Testosterone, Status, and Behavior in Men
Why is testosterone important in your life?
That is, why do you want to have higher testosterone levels and why is it bad to have lower testosterone levels?
We know that testosterone plays a role in body fat in men, with higher testosterone levels making it easier to burn fat and build muscle.
We know that low testosterone increases a man's chances of experiencing depression.
These are all health or mental health related side effects of high testosterone or low testosterone, but what about what we really care about, status.
Are things like achievement, dominance, performance in the work force and within a social group influenced by testosterone?
Are these things that every man wants linked to his testosterone levels, and another reason to care about his hormonal health and performance?
Status is Earned, as is Testosterone
This study found that a rise in testosterone levels had to actually be earned when competed for.
The study pitted groups of men against one another in doubles tennis matches with a $100 reward going to the winner.
When the victory was dominant, the winner experienced a rise in testosterone compared to the losers. However, in a close match, one with no discernible victor (a tie), no significant rise in testosterone was achieved.
So, what's a fella to do?
A loser would say compete against weak competition. But, then status within society comes into play, and when you're constantly competing against losers, you're essentially winning at losing, and you'll know it.
To experience these benefits, and other benefits that are offshoots like confidence and your own perceived status within society and without your own tribe, you actually have to get good at something.
That is, confidence is based on evidence. If you're great you'll be confident. The caveat to that is that becoming great requires the knowledge that you are not innately great, and that you need to practice obsessively to get there.
Status, and increases in testosterone from competition require the humility that obsessive work demands.
As with all good things in life, the reward requires a struggle. Choose what struggle, and conversely, what pain you want to incur, and dominate that struggle.
In that same experiment the researchers gave away the $100 reward based on a random lottery (unearned), and the winners experienced no rise in testosterone.
Thus, just like status, high testosterone has to be earned.
You won't have high testosterone if you're fat, weak, lazy, and unhealthy. You won't have high status if you're fat, lazy, and unmotivated.
Testosterone, Aggression, and Status
Another study questioned the notion that high testosterone makes men more aggressive and antisocial.
In the animal kingdom, elevated testosterone levels can lead to greater aggression and overt dominance since dominance often leads to greater status, the winning of a battle that can earn a man his own pride, tribe, group, or troop.
Humans, however, are social animals. And this study shows that elevated testosterone levels lead men to make better decisions for their status, whether than includes aggression or agreeableness.
From the study:
"Here, we tested between these hypotheses in men injected with testosterone or placebo in a double-blind, randomized design. Participants played a modified Ultimatum Game, which included the opportunity to punish or reward the other player. Administration of testosterone caused increased punishment of the other player but also, increased reward of larger offers. These findings show that testosterone can cause prosocial behavior in males and provide causal evidence for the social status hypothesis in men."
From "Testosterone and Dominance in Men".
"Ehrenkranz et al. (1974) showed that socially dominant but unaggressive prisoners had relatively high T, not significantly different from the T levels of aggressive prisoners (who may have been dominant too)."
"Nearly all primate studies that have been interpreted as linking T to aggression (Dixson 1980) may as easily be interpreted as liking T with dominance (Mazur 1976)."
"Recent reviewers have questioned whether, among humans, T is related to aggressiveness per se (Archer 1991; Albert et al. 1994)."
In other words, human dominance isn't necessarily aggression-linked.
If aggression is needed, say, to defend or to defeat physically, then it helps dominance. If it isn't needed, if it even hinders dominance and makes one look weak (like that really short guy who snaps on everyone that's all over instagram), then high testosterone would lead one to avoid aggression yet still gain or maintain dominance.
The Castration of the Modern Male
Again, from "Testosterone and Dominance in Men".
"Many effects that we explain today by T deficiency were obtained since ancient times by castration of men and animals, which was practiced not only to prevent fertility but also to prevent the development of secondary sexual characteristics, produce docility, reduce sex drive, and -- in butchered animals -- to produce fatter, more tender meat. (Among men, testosterone is inversely correlated with body fat; Mazur 1995.) Castrating a male chick, for example, makes its adult flesh more edible, and the capon fails to develop the rooster's head furnishings (red comb and wattles -- markers of reproductive competence), does not crow or court hens, and does not fight other cocks. In Asia, eunuchs were presumed to be safe harem guards because of their lack of both interest and ability to copulate. Male sopranos and contraltos, emasculated to maintain their prepubescent voice range, were prominent in the opera and church music of 17th and 18th century Europe."
Men with low testosterone are less masculine. They contain none or very few of the attributes that make men, men, and that make high T men dominant.
With a society-wide decrease in testosterone, the average man will be more controllable and far more easily manipulated.
Conspiracy theorists will run with this saying that the government is actively lowering testosterone levels in men through our water (chemicals in water have been shown to turn male fishes into female fish via an increase in chemical estrogens in our water supply, rivers, lakes, oceans and so forth).
I don't think it's on purpose. I don't think many people even know about the decline or the ramifications of such a decline.
We know that low testosterone also increases the likelihood of experiencing depression, which is on the rise in men and has been for decades (two-three decades in adults).
Some (feminists, the far left) would even applaud a softer, more compliant race of men, ignoring the primary role of men throughout history as protector and provider.
Simply, dangerous men exist, it's far better to have more dangerous good men than it is to have the dangerous men purely be the bad, evil ones who will always be in the dramatic minority.
There is a castration of the modern male, and on an individual level it is something to at least be aware of and to fight.
You fight it by eating like a man, by eating in a way that will increase your testosterone levels, which is covered in The Man Diet - a book that goes into detail about what to eat and what to avoid to increase your testosterone levels.
You fight this battle by becoming dangerous, or having the capacity for danger, by getting stronger and tougher and not being that soft, malleable man that we see with castration.
You fight that battle by being ambitious, by taking risks (a sign of high testosterone and an effect of high testosterone, risk taking that is).
You are not easily controlled. You are not lazy and you are not easily dominated.
We can see that this doesn't mean you're more aggressive, but that you maneuver in a way, you act in a way, you live in a way as to gain status.
That is, you win.
You set goals. You work hard. You have discipline. You dominate obstacles. You are driven, not down, not wallowing in self-pity, but facing your fears head on as a more than worthy adversary to those things that would keep you soft, sedated, blindly led, and a failure in your own eyes.
Testosterone and Status in Men
No man should be a sedated version of who he can be, yet, with our suburbs, our food-delivery industry, our online stores, and our sports and video games that dominate our time as we sit on our asses living through what we see on the screen, that's how the majority of men exist, not really living.
What precedes this sedation of modern life, the decline of testosterone or the decline of the aggressive, active, pursuit of life that we were bred to partake in?
What do you do, live, dare more greatly, fight and compete, face your fears, dominate, or do you focus on your hormones and let those things come as a result?
The answer is both.
Get after it. And live like a man. Eat like a man. Compete like a man. Even supplement as a man should, in a way that will help you hormonally so as to help you socially.
Get in the gym. Head out to the mountains. Set higher goals and actually achieve them. Don't try, do.
We can go into how this is done, but it's something we know how to do intuitively.
In many ways we're not living human, manly lives. We're animals in a zoo, not roaming wild on the plains. And that's a choice to submit, not something that has to be your reality, how you live, or who you are.
Get high testosterone.
Get after it.
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