Gloria Brame, Ph.D.

Patriarchy stinking up the liberal blogosphere

Filed By Gloria Brame, Ph.D. | October 25, 2009 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Media
Tags: liberal blogosphere, patriarchy, sexual politics, testosterone

I often complain about the right wing, so I'm happy to report that I have a major problem with the adolescent attitudes towards sex that are just as popular on the left side of the blogosphere.

Snickers were heard throughout liberal quarters this week with the news of a study which demonstrated that male voters on the losing side of the presidential elections experienced a drop in testosterone. "Oooooh!," squealed Wired, "Obama's win turned Republicans into girlie-men, haw haw haw." (Ok, I added the haw-haws.)

Soon every liberal blogger was jumping all over the story. It was such a great excuse to mock their political opponents, how could they not?

I'll tell you how: by growing the fuck up!

Twisting science to have your fantasy pissing contest with political opponents is inexcusable, no matter where it's coming from. In fact, scientists are studying the correlation between mood and testosterone in an effort, of course, to improve the emotional and reproductive lives of men. They are gathering data (thus far inconclusive but very promising) to demonstrate that emotional reactions to events directly impact hormone production.

It was awfully clever for scientists to select voters in a national election for study because they knew, going in, they could count on an entire group reacting powerfully to a single event, and it would be a fabulous way to see what, if any, effect it had on testosterone levels. The results showed that testosterone levels dip when men experience feelings of loss, defeat, grief. This correlates to earlier studies showing spikes in testosterone related to feelings of victory and dominance, which are also in line with studies of other species. It's a magnificent piece of data which will, in years to come, contribute to drugs and treatments to assist men in maintaining better emotional and physical health. It's endocrinology, baby. It's the real shit.

Meanwhile, another fact: lowered testosterone doesn't make a man less of a man. It doesn't make you a "girlie-man," which is patriarchal snark for gay. Lower testosterone can, however, make you a man with dampened energy and diminished appetite for life. Getting fired could lower your testosterone. Losing a ball game too. And, after age 40, testosterone levels naturally begin to drop in a significant percent of men -- including, probably, some of the ones who were giggling over this yesterday.

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Part of me wants to attribute the immature jeering to the increase in testosterone on the winners' side. Oh, those crazy hormonal men. So irrational.

Dang it, I'm getting caught up in the game now too :P

Damn. Jamie beat me to the same joke about winners. :)

Good points about the patriarchal attitude, Gloria. It's easy to make a snap judgment but twisting science is the playground of the religious right - not thoughtful, serious people.