Manliness and Civilization

27 Aug

Feminist Claptrap about Masculine Hormones

Mangina Alan Alda is credited with inventing the phrase “testosterone poisoning.” Wikipedia tells us that in an article in Ms. Magazine (man card permanently revoked!), he wrote:

“Everyone knows that testosterone, the so-called male hormone, is found in both men and women. What is not so well-known, is that men have an overdose… Until recently it has been thought that the level of testosterone in men is normal simply because they have it. But if you consider how abnormal their behavior is, then you are led to the hypothesis that almost all men are suffering from testosterone poisoning.”

The theorized link is between male hormones and aggressiveness. Does the link hold? Well, Wikipedia further down tells us that “Neuroscientist Christoph Eisenegger at the University of Zurich has conducted a study and concludes that the evidence debunks the myth that testosterone causes aggressive, egocentric behaviour, suggesting instead that the sex hormone can encourage fair play, particularly if it improves a person’s status.[5] According to a study published in Nature, ‘a single dose of testosterone in women causes a substantial increase in fair bargaining behaviour, thereby reducing bargaining conflicts and increasing the efficiency of social interactions. However, subjects who believed that they received testosterone—regardless of whether they actually received it or not—behaved much more unfairly than those who believed that they were treated with placebo.'” (emphasis and italics added)

The Ultimatum Game

Also from Wikipedia:

“The ultimatum game is a game often played in economic experiments in which two players interact to decide how to divide a sum of money that is given to them. The first player proposes how to divide the sum between the two players, and the second player can either accept or reject this proposal. If the second player rejects, neither player receives anything. If the second player accepts, the money is split according to the proposal. The game is played only once so that reciprocation is not an issue.”

It is a model for social interaction. As the book Priceless tells us (page 120):

“The ultimatum game has become an ur-experiment, the scientific equivalent of a catchy riff that lends itself to endless sampling and remixing. It has been played with members of the globe’s diverse cultures; with children, the autistic, the high-IQ, and men having exceptionally high levels of testosterone; with players who have been given a hormone that increases trust in strangers; even with chimpanzees splitting a prize of ten raisins. The game’s continuing fascination rests on how behavior changes, or doesn’t change, with context. Like a well-oiled weathervane, the experiment’s archetypic economic choice is sensitive to subtle pressures that affect us all the time yet usually go unnoticed.”

Different cultures react differently:

“‘My Israeli game theory professor was proud to note that Israel is one of the few places where low offers were given and accepted’ in the ultimatum game, economist Presh Talwalkar wryly noted. For what it’s worth, the ‘Israeli myth’ owes to a 1991 study comparing behavior in Pittsburgh, Ljubljana, Jerusalem, and Tokyo. The most common proposer offer was 40 percent among Israelis, versus 50 percent for Americans. That’s not much of a difference, really (as we will see). But it led to a mystique of Israelis as the chosen rational people—or else it played into the old Shylockian stereotypes. One of the four-city study’s coauthors, Hebrew University’s Shmuel Zamir, recalls a young Israeli coming up to him, ‘visibly upset.’ He complained, ‘I did not eam any money because all the other players are stupid! How can you reject a positive amount of money and prefer to get zero? They just did not understand the game! You should have stopped the experiment and explained it to them.’

When Colin Camerer described this ‘crosscultural’ study to UCLA anthropologist Robert Boyd, Boyd objected that it was no such thing. ‘Pittsburgh is not a culture,’ he said, ‘it’s a place on a map.'”

It is interesting that some cultures are less inclined to an even 50-50 split. Other research showed that what Fukuyama called “high-trust” cultures are more given to the even split. This leads to an intriguing question: what happens in a culture of low trust? Does such exist?

“To an anthropologist, all four cities were part of the same homogenized global culture. The story got more interesting when one of Boyd’s grad students, Joe Heinrich, performed ultimatum game experiments with the Machiguenga people of eastem Peru. ‘He came back and said, can you come and look at my data?’ recalled Camerer. ‘So I went over to UCLA, and Joe said, “I think I made a mistake because they made a lot of low offers, and they were all accepted. Except for one, and that was even suspicious because I had a Spanish-speaking assistant with me who spoke the local dialect, and that guy kind of bullied him into it: ‘I don’t think you should take that.’ So I think they all were accepted.” ‘

The Machiguenga are among the most asocial peoples on earth.” (emphasis added)

Punishing cheaters is the basis for civilized society

The Israeli who was annoyed at people who wouldn’t accept even token amounts when he would get the lion’s share was doubtless sincere in his confusion. We have moved from a society that valued social cohesion and group progress to one of a “winner-takes-all” mentality. As the Ultimatum Game shows, however, there is an inbred cultural meme in most successful cultures to punish narcissists who profit at the expense of others. This is necessary to social peace and societal advancement. Where does the meme arise, and how is it enforced?

Terence Burnham has also played the Ultimatum Game:

“The ultimatum game is a simple negotiation with the interesting property that people frequently reject offers of ‘free’ money. These rejections contradict the standard view of economic rationality. This divergence between economic theory and human behaviour is important and has no broadly accepted cause.”

He wondered at the effect of that violence-causing, society-destroying androgen, testosterone.

“In a variety of species, testosterone is associated with male seeking dominance. If low ultimatum game offers are interpreted as challenges, then high-testosterone men may be more likely to reject such offers. In this experiment, men who reject low offers … have significantly higher testosterone levels than those who accept.”

So, as this experiment shows, high testosterone men will go out of their way to punish “cheaters” who violate accepted social norms, even if it means foregoing personal gain in the process. That our society has grown less just as it has become more feminized, and that more and more people have a cavalier disregard for established social norms, is part and parcel of the same syndrome. Restoration of Patriarchy, led by manly men, is essential to justice and social harmony.


Posted by on August 27, 2012 in Masculinity, The Decline, The Tribe


22 responses to “Manliness and Civilization

  1. The Man Who Was . . .

    August 27, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    It is utter foolishness to suggest that testosterone is not associated with aggression. Nonetheless, it is also true that testosterone is associated with many virtues.

  2. Zorro

    August 27, 2012 at 4:02 pm


  3. Daniel de León

    August 27, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    What is not so well-known, is that men have an overdose

    What isn’t well known huh? Sorry EA, but I stopped reading after that.

  4. David Collard

    August 27, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Alda is an ignoramus and unscientific. It is impossible for men to have an “overdose” at a normal level. That is illogical. Men have the correct amount of testosterone for our evolved needs. I notice that Alda speaks of “they” as if he were not a man. And perhaps he is right.

    Testosterone has sometimes been called the “genius hormone”. Its low levels in women probably help explain why women have achieved so little creatively.

  5. Will S.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    I was going to make the same point DC already did; the normal amount for men to have can not simultaneously be an overdose, a ‘poisoning’; that is incredibly illogical.

    Spot on, EA.

  6. Daniel de León

    August 27, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Testosterone has sometimes been called the “genius hormone”

    Is that so? Well then this is terribly ironic. If that is indeed true, then Mr. Alda is very patently testosterone deficient.

  7. sunshinemary

    August 27, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    This makes the word-wide drop in testosterone levels in men over the past two decades even more concerning. I googled it and read a bunch of information (here’s one source: )
    and it was interesting to me that research shows two influences – one is environmental toxins and the other is helping to raise children. It’s concerning…soon everyone will have manboobz perhaps. 😉

  8. David Collard

    August 27, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    Daniel, I saw it called that some time back. There are many reasons given for women’s lack of intellectual achievement, but one aspect is certainly their relative lack of mental and physical drive, which is due to testosterone. Women are far more passive in this regard. That is one reason, no doubt, that women do well in education, where they are being spoonfed, but do much less well in the real world, where imagination and drive become more important. You will notice that women want to get jobs in companies, but almost never create the companies themselves.

  9. infowarrior1

    August 28, 2012 at 6:56 am

    Now with the BPA, obesity and lack of good nutrition men’s testosterone is artificially low.

    Now with exercise avoiding plastics as much as possible eating well as well as certain herbal medicines can raise those testosterone levels.

  10. electricangel

    August 28, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Yep, there’s a reason why pretty much all the beef we eat comes from “male soprano” cattle. But, like everything masculine, feminists wanted to put NOTHING on the positive side of the fence, the same way they took away the pleasures of marriage from men and left them with only the duties. Next time someone insults testosterone as anti-social, send them to that last article.

  11. electricangel

    August 28, 2012 at 8:47 am


    If you go into the Wikipedia article, there’s an even better quote from Carl Sagan: “Why is the half of humanity with a special sensitivity to the preciousness of life, the half untainted by testosterone poisoning, almost wholly unrepresented in defense establishments and peace negotiations worldwide?” Yes, Carl could have used a geometry lesson about the “sensitivity to the preciousness of life” that women exhibit.

    Sagan and Alda: it’s amazing men survived the 70s.

  12. electricangel

    August 28, 2012 at 8:51 am

    @DC, Sunshine,

    I think it’s not so much the hormone, as the process of masculinization that it kicks off. Men are more extreme, and so more likely to be geniuses. They’re also more likely to be retarded.

    The long-term drop in T-levels is noticeable among younger men: I notice more “weak chins” showing signs of low-T than I do amongst older men in their 40s and 50s.

  13. electricangel

    August 28, 2012 at 8:54 am

    @Paul Murray: “70 years ago, the business world had a notion of “taking a fair profit”. A businessman who “charged what the market will bear” was seen as a shylock. These days it’s normal – businesspeople will even justify it as morally right because they have a duty to shareholders.”

    That is a fascinating topic for a post. Does the average profit margin rise in a time of dissention and feminism? Does a society with strong, masculine leadership (like the USA from 1945 to 1969 or 1974) have greater sharing of the wealth, DESPITE men’s aversion to socialism, because that strong leadership opposes winner-take-all divisions?

  14. electricangel

    August 28, 2012 at 8:57 am


    One of the phrases I have come to appreciate is “we lose hormone levels as we age. But perhaps we age because we lose hormone levels.”

    I have a colleague, a late-in-life gay convert (two kids), who is perhaps a little too free with the sharing. However, he has taken the cream that boosts testosterone, has more lean muscle mass, and feels much better, or so he has told me. Strength training is the best natural method to build it, but whatever you have to do to raise it, do.

  15. David Collard

    August 28, 2012 at 9:19 am

    No, I think it is testosterone in part that fuels men’s genius. Good point about women and life and abortion. I think we can forget about that old sentimental idea. Women are bloodthirsty when it suits them, for example on abortion.

    I am 57. I seem to have plenty of testosterone still. I have never been the athletic type.

    Sagan became pussified later in life. His last wife contributed to this. Like a lot of old fart feminists, he had been a big chauvinist once.

  16. David Collard

    August 28, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Razib Khan discussed personality and creativity at his Gene Expression blog
    IIRC some time back. I could probably dig out the URL. The masculine personality helps a lot with the creative drive.

    Good point about feminists. They will snivel all day about the negatives of men. It is misdirection. Men should remind feminists constantly of their sex’s lack of creative and intellectual achievement.

  17. electricangel

    August 28, 2012 at 4:08 pm


    “Men should remind feminists constantly of their sex’s lack of creative and intellectual achievement.”
    One recalls FDR’s comment about some military person: he’s an SOB, but he’s OUR SOB. I think I will use this rejoinder in the future.

    “Razib Khan discussed personality and creativity at his Gene Expression blog
    IIRC some time back. I could probably dig out the URL.”
    I’d love to read this. Razib is my kind of atheist.

  18. boomer babe

    September 2, 2012 at 1:44 am

    It’s possible that many men today have lower testosterone because of PORN and masturbation, along with cannibus smoking. I’ve heard waaay back in the early 80s that THC has an effect on testosterone. along with uber videogame playing— It could be a reason some older guys around or near 70 could have more than younger guys

  19. David Collard

    September 2, 2012 at 5:40 am

    I heard the same thing about cannabis, at about the same time. I have never used it or any other drug. Also I have always resisted masturbating for religious reasons. Further, my liver health improved in recent years, I think. All these factors may explain why I still feel quite high T even at 57.


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