Testosterone Causes Aggression?

Nowhere near that simple. In fact, it’s a ridiculous stereotype. And we needn’t even get into the strong link between estrogen and aggression, do we? Nope, we can just keep saying testosterone makes boys thuggish animals, and estrogen makes girls nurturing carers, and be done with it, right?

Treating our young men as if they are by nature ready to explode into violence (sexual or otherwise) at any second if we don’t shame and tame them, while at the same time pretending young women are sweet little angels to whom violent behavior is a bizarre aberration, is dysfunctional insanity on multiple levels. But it’s not just widespread, it’s an unconscious assumption most of the population appears to unquestioningly work under. Should it be any wonder, then, that we’re not only seeing a rise in violence in young women, but a rise in the number of boys feeling like garbage about themselves and failing to succeed in life? This isn’t the only problem our flagging population of young men faces, but it’s certainly not helping the problem.

*Update*: Might our attitudes about these things help contribute to outrages like this? I suspect so.

  • Ruth H
  • http://www.deanesmay.com Dean Esmay

    Ruth: Yeah. I credit Hoff-Sommers with being the first to start yelling about this growing problem back in the ’90s. Some of her analyses bug me at times but on the whole she could not be more right on the problem, and the growing nature of it.

    Men and boys: far more likely to have special ed needs, far more likely to drop out of high school, far less likely to go to college, far less likely to graduate college, far more likely to be alcohol or drug addicted, far more likely to have literacy problems, far more likely to be long-term homeless, 11 times more likely to go to prison, far more likely to be killed on the job, every bit as likely to be the victim of domestic violence as a woman, 3-4 times more likely to kill themselves… and NOBODY GIVES A DAMN.

    Worse, when they acknowledge it at all, the attitude is “well what’s wrong with them, why don’t they shape up?” Is there any point at which we say “what’s wrong with us and how we’re treating them?”

    Those of us who’ve been writing about this for years have pretty much decided it’s time to stop being nice about it. It appears that screaming at the top of our lungs is the only thing that works.