Posts Tagged ‘being a man’

The Cost of Testosterone

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

According to Susan Pinker1, psychologist & columnist, there are a number of downsides to testosterone. For example males:-

  • Are more vulnerable to disease
  • Develop more slowly
    • 4 times as many boys have language problems
    • 2 times as many have attention problems
    • 10 times more have social disorders
  • Have more variability, so whilst there are more male geniuses there are also more men who are idiots! (I wondered if this linked to some evolutionary value for the species utilising men both as leaders and beasts of burden?)
  • Take more risks, but this also includes a willingness to put others at risk to satisfy their own needs, for example, being prepared to uproot the family to gain a promotion

A study2 carried out by
the psychology research team of Dr. Matt Newman, Dr. Robert Josephs and Jennifer Guinn Sellers at The University of Texas at Austin examined the impact of testosterone on status and attention which showed that individuals (both men and women) with higher testosterone levels, had a problems paying attention in situations where they found their status to be challenged.

According to a survey, 56% of people working in the testosterone laden environs of the Trading Floors had experienced bullying.

Certainly there are many good things about ‘being a Man’, and I am certainly not suggesting that we should all just get in touch with our female side, but the culture of business is predominantly a male one, and everyone, regardless of their sex, has to play by those ‘rules’. This culture tends to promote competition over co-operation, winning at any price (even if you have to edit the results afterwards to prove you did in fact win…), exploiting resources rather than looking after them.

Perhaps there is a case not just for more women in the workplace, but more of a sexual balance in the values and culture of work. When you consider that the average person in the UK spends 45 hrs per week at work, and many spend far more, and the impact our work experience on the rest of our lives, then you will see that an imbalance here tends to unbalance the whole system. So today, perhaps you should have the balls to be a little less of a ‘man’ and show a little more of your caring side.

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Leo F. Buscaglia

“Want of care does us more damage than want of knowledge” Benjamin Franklin