Testosterone causes violent and sexual behavior in men.
Many people believe that testosterone, the primary male sex hormone, causes aggression and horniness in men. We see a hot blonde’s firm ass and start lusting after her wet warmth; we imagine a sociopath terrorizing our family and start lusting after his sticky blood. In both cases, the reason is testosterone, right? Wrong. This is not how hormones work. Human behavior is much more complex.
Testosterone modulates violent and sexual behavior in men.
Extremely low testosterone. Castration, which eliminates testosterone, radically decreases masculine behavior, but does not eliminate it. What remains depends on social conditioning: the more experience a man had with sex and aggression before castration, the more sexual and violent tendencies continue afterwards.
Extremely high testosterone. Anabolic steroids radically increase masculine behavior, but do not produce it. Again, social learning is a critical factor: only a man who knows how to get laid will have more sex once he has 1000% more testosterone than a normal man, and only a man who is socially conditioned to be aggressive (traumatized, paranoid, etc.) will be more violent once his testosterone is at such a supraphysiological level. Exogenous testosterone does not cause, but amplify preexisting patterns of sexuality and aggression.
Everything in between. In healthy males, testosterone fluctuations within a normal range do not alter masculine behavior. For example, high vs. low testosterone does not predict how a man will behave when threatened or insulted: a high-T man might stay calm, while a low-T man might snap. Their actions say more about their fetal and childhood environment and their prefrontal/executive functioning than about their testosterone levels.
Conclusion. Rather than causing aggression and horniness, testosterone (similar to alcohol) merely exaggerates preexisting patterns of violent and sexual behavior. Hormones work like volume controls, not like on-off switches.
How to Boost Testosterone Levels
Masculine actions stimulate testosterone secretion—having sex, being aggressive, achieving goals, pursuing competitions, and winning in any area of life. Even watching porn, talking to women, or watching one’s sports team win raises testosterone levels. Therefore, if you want to boost your testosterone levels naturally, the best way (besides diet, sleep, and exercise) is to start taking action: approach attractive women, compete in sports, work toward a goal you have set for yourself—and start winning! Whatever you do to challenge yourself will increase your testosterone.
The real question, however, is: Why exactly do you want to increase your testosterone levels? Because you hope it will make you more “alpha”? Because you feel like you need more testosterone to be worthy of pussy? Because you think your muscles are too small? Because this is how supplement companies have fucked up your mind with their marketing? Or do you understand how vital a good hormonal balance is for a strong, healthy, and happy life?
Whatever it may be, we should not forget that testosterone can make us egocentric, overconfident, delusionally optimistic, unreceptive to feedback, and imprudently impulsive. Testosterone, even though it makes us feel good and powerful, can tone down our impulse control, diminish our willpower, and impair our freedom to do the harder thing. On the other hand, testosterone is related to pride, which can fuel the power of our will.
Crucially, the effects of testosterone are context-dependent: in an environment where violent dominance is rewarded with social status, testosterone tones up our aggression; in an environment where the most magnanimous person becomes the alpha, testosterone makes us more generous, considerate, and forgiving. Testosterone modulates our behavior to elevate our competitive drive and ultimately our social status, but what elevates social status always depends on the group context.
Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst
by Robert Sapolsky (2017)
The Trouble With Testosterone
by Robert Sapolsky (1998)
Testosterone and Human Aggression
by John Archer (2006)
Testosterone and Aggressive Behavior in Man
by Menelaos Batrinos (2012)
Sexual Aggression When Power Is New
by Melissa Williams et al. (2017)
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