Health

Testosterone : new discoveries about the male hormone

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  • Testosterone has long been seen as a metaphor for boldness, brawn and aggression, but is there really anything to the idea of the testosterone-driven male? Prominent scientists explain how subtle the hormone’s effects actually are.

    Some of the hormone’s functions are already widely acknowledged in the scientific realm, including its instrumental role in the development of men’s hair patterns, beard growth, bone growth and density, musculature, sexual function, and overall personality.

    Men with a lot of testosterone have long been accused of violent and competitive behavior. Now the image of the sex hormone is changing. Unlike in the animal world, the general statement “testosterone makes one aggressive” cannot be confirmed in humans, and recent studies suggest that it can actually even promote selfless behavior. One of the leading experts in this field is Jean-Claude Dreher from Lyon. He says his laboratory experiments show that testosterone does not make men aggressive but instead allows them to act in a strategic manner. Those who are more testosterone-charged tend to be friendlier towards others in order to bolster their own social status. British behavioral psychologist Simon Baron Cohen demonstrates how testosterone determines our gender characteristics when we are still in the womb. Meanwhile, his colleague Oliver Schultheiss from Erlangen has found out how testosterone can improve our learning abilities.

    The film tends to a progression of essential questions. What measure of testosterone is considered “normal” and “healthy”, and what amount is excessive? Testosterone substitution treatments have never been more popular among seniors, however would they say they are actually a feasible choice to revive vitality and energy ? What is the hormone’s culpability in the sporting scandals of late years?

    In addition to the health scientists featured in the film, we’re introduced to several men who suffer from testosterone deficiencies. The panel of interview subjects chimes in on testosterone’s ability to impact everything from weight gain to infertility.

    Testosterone: The Making of a Man is a much more nuanced and complex portrait than many viewers might expect. It’s likely to change your view of testosterone and the role it plays in sculpting masculinity

    Directed by: Kirsten Esch

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