April 15, 2017

"Is it just me, or has testosterone been in the news more lately? I blame Donald Trump!"

"Or maybe Rush Limbaugh. Althouse links to this recently rebroadcast episode of This American Life about testosterone, where there’s an interview with a woman who 'transitioned' into being a man with the help of colossal doses of testosterone."

Says Instapundit, pointing at something I wrote yesterday. After quoting the interviewee's saying that she "became interested in science," he continues:
It’s funny, I was talking to a friend a while back who was very interested in math and science pre-puberty, but lost nearly all interest afterward, and she said, “when the estrogen came in, the science went out.”

Some other stuff in this interview reminds me of my friend (and former editor) Norah Vincent, who lived as a man for a year and wrote a great book, Self-Made Man. She, too, said that as a “bulldyke” woman, she was very masculine, but as a man — in her case, without hormones — she wasn’t all that masculine for a man. And that it was a lot harder to be a man than women think.

Meanwhile, also from This American Life, the most NPR line ever: “I have rage. Unfortunately, it’s impotent rage.” Also, the highest testosterone level among the NPR males is 274, which I believe is treatably low. . . . .

Plus: “If I can’t be the most manly in public radio, where the hell can I be the most manly?”
You might want to connect this to the recent episode of "Survivor," in which a gay man outed a female-to-male transgender. Writing about that a couple days ago, I mentioned that we'd been watching the show believing that "we were looking at a not-terribly-masculine gay man." Varner, the gay man who outed the the other contestant wasn't someone I would assume was gay. He'd have to tell me. Now, Varner caught hell not just for outing his tribe-mate (Zeke). He was also condemned for characterizing closetedness as deception. Here's an interview with Varner:
"I will say that I have spent 10 months stewing in this awful, horrible mistake I made. I have been through I don’t now how much therapy with the show’s therapist, with a local therapist, I have met with and spoken to several LGBT organizations, I have joined the board of a couple of them, I joined a national study on outness. This has changed me drastically. But I don’t want to spend two minutes talking about my experience because this isn’t about me. This is about Zeke. And I can only profusely apologize."
There's a lot there about etiquette and human decency that's complicated by the competition (which everyone knows entails deception and manipulating other people's fears about being deceived and played for a fool (with $1 million at stake)). Varner blundered and is paying a big price. But I wonder how he, as a gay man, felt about Zeke's presenting himself as a gay man. Those of us in the majority — the nongay — should perhaps not be so judgmental about how a gay man feels when a transgender male chooses to present as gay when that person seems relatively unmasculine.

The transgender person Instapundit quoted also said that her — and later, his — role models were James Dean and Jason Priestley, and that "I was better at that as a dyke than I am as a man, I have to say." And:
"It's a bit of a disappointment. It's a bit of a disappointment. I often ask people, what kind of a guy am I? What do you see? And unfortunately, people often respond that they see a nerd, which I never was before. I was always really cool and popular and hip and whatever.
So this person was perceived edgily masculine by people who were seeing what they thought of as a woman, but a boring nerd by those who were perceiving a man. And that was with the testosterone.

ADDED: Nothing against nerds. Nerd can be the identity you embrace. If that's what you want, go for it. 

39 comments:

mockturtle said...

Is all this obsession with hormones supposed to lead us willingly into accepting that gender is only a spectrum? That we are all both male and female? Where will the idiocy end?

Earnest Prole said...

Wasnt it the gay guy on This American Life who ended up with the highest testosterone? I seem to remember it was played as some kind of surprise.

The Cracker Emcee said...

Oh, what a tangled web we weave...

Lewis Wetzel said...

A few years ago I took a class in physical geography at the local community college.
Physical geography is mostly maps and geographic features.
There were twenty men in the class, no women.
The class that occupied the room before us was women's studies. About twenty women, no men.
On the last day of class, the women's studies gals all brought baked goods to share, cupcakes, banana bread, stuff like that.
The all male physical geography class brought nothing for the last day of class. It would have been nice to have a cupcake or a piece of banana bread, though.

Paul said...

"Also, the highest testosterone level among the NPR males is 274, which I believe is treatably low. . . . ."

Well there it is. Pathetic. And it explains a lot about the left, gender "equality", feminism, and the unnatural, toxic mess that is our modern, cultural Marxism infected society. It's a society that wants to commit suicide, that hates itself and the white males that conceived and built it.

dreams said...

I think sometimes people try too hard. Try all you want but you should know that you'll be limited by reality. Acceptance of reality might be the best option.

Original Mike said...

"(with $1 million at stake)"

$500,000 after taxes.

Arthur James said...

I am always amazed how transgender male-to-female individuals in reality appear as big strange looking women, authenticity lacking, pitiful delusion the lasting sorrow. I pleasantly discovered genuine femininity in a video of a live performance by Joni Mitchell 'Shadows and Light' with Pat Metheny and Jaco Pastorius accompanying.

vanderleun said...

As Bill Whittle's remarked: "The only reason we have feminism as it is in America is because men are nice guys and we allow it."

Ann Althouse said...

"Wasnt it the gay guy on This American Life who ended up with the highest testosterone?"

Yes. It was the wonderful David Rakoff, who died young. I miss him a lot!

Mary Beth said...

Those of us in the majority — the nongay — should perhaps not be so judgmental about how a gay man feels when a transgender male chooses to present as gay when that person seems relatively unmasculine.

Since speaking to LGBT groups was listed as one of the things that changed him "drastically", I assume he didn't get much support for his actions from the gay members of those groups. Or they were afraid to speak out in his support and disagree with the trans members.

It's also possible they understood his feelings without supporting the action he took as a result but he feels this is too complicated to go into, or would sound defensive, in an interview.

n.n said...

Gender refers to a basket of behaviors and characteristics closely correlated to sex, that together form a constellation uniquely describing an individual. The spectrum ranges from masculine to feminine, where the genders are normal distributions centered on the male and female sex. The transgender spectrum ranges from homosexual to bisexual to crossover. Transgender spectrum disorder refers to those orientations, homosexual, bisexual, and crossover, that fall outside the normal distribution of masculine and feminine with respect to the male and female sex, respectively.

We've been on a progressive slope since establishment of Pro-Choice, selective, unprincipled, and opportunistic. Still, I wonder how much has been natural and planned evolution. Class diversity has been negative progress. Selective-child has been negative progress. It seems that the pursuit of wealth, pleasure, leisure, narcissistic indulgence, and democratic leverage are first-order forcings of catastrophic anthropogenic climate change, which has been narrowly mitigated by conservation of outlook, including: religion (i.e. moral philosophy), tradition, gender, and wholly innocent human lives.

Progressive confusion is characteristic of the transgender spectrum disorder. Perhaps forcing normalization was hoped to relieve the cognitive dissonance caused by the incongruity of opposing natural and anthropogenic forces. Something similar happened with female chauvinism and its demand to resume abortion rites, which aided development of clinical cannibalism (e.g. Planned Parenthood).

Sebastian said...

"It's a bit of a disappointment." Why not change back? If trans surgery is no biggie, and pure subjectivity rules, and no one can deny anyone their personal bliss, why tolerate even a moment of gender "disappointment"?

Paul said...

""Wasnt it the gay guy on This American Life who ended up with the highest testosterone?"

Yes. It was the wonderful David Rakoff, who died young. I miss him a lot!"

Got a number?

tim in vermont said...

I said it a couple days ago, people need to be reassuring dykes, like others seeking to mutilate their genitals and/or breasts, that they are great the way they are.

tim in vermont said...

All men who proclaim loud support for feminism are secretly hoping it will get them laid.

Yes I said all.

rhhardin said...

Men don't feel like men. Their interests just happen to fit the profile on their own.

tim in vermont said...

I spit my coffee at a podcast Insty linked to about a woman who passed for male for a while, then wrote a book. Here's the quote: "Someday scientists may discover that there is a biological component to gender... Maybe it's not totally socially constructed!"

Funny how the same people who never miss a chance to point out that we are all animals, are so deeply in denial.

Lewis Wetzel said...

One of the female pirates in the 18th century, named Mary Read or Ann Bonny, IIRC, went to sea as a man. Just as a common seaman, not an officer. Apparently she passed as a man for years on board a tiny ship. How could she have avoided being "found out"? I mean, those guys didn't have any privacy. You would think that someone would have noticed that she was behaving like a woman disguised as a man. I believe that she got pregnant while in prison for piracy, so she must have been pretty normal biologically.

Original Mike said...

So my love of science is due to testosterone? Thank you, testosterone.

William said...

By voluntarily appearing on a highly rated tv show didn't that person effectively out himself?.......It wasn't so long ago that shock therapy and frontal lobotomies were accepted forms of treatment. Any possibility that penis amputations will someday be looked upon with disfavor?.....Does anyone here know someone who is transgendered or a furry? It seems to me that you have to go out of your way to find such people. Are they trendsetters? I remember when it was extremely rare to see a girl with a tattoo.......I certainly hope that ISIS doesn't infiltrate the furry movement. They could pack a lot of explosives under those costumes......... I myself know something about low testosterone. Low testosterone is not a condition you have to struggle with. It seems more like a relaxing bath.

linsee said...

I think of the sex/gender question as having four components. First, chromosomes, which for nearly all humans are unambiguously either XX or XY (but biology is messy, and there is a small percentage that are something else – e.g., XXY, or XO). Second, reproductive organs, which for nearly all humans match the chromosomes, ovaries for XX and testes for XY. The reproductive organs form quite early in pregnancy and begin secreting sex hormones that influence later fetal development (but, again, there are exceptional cases).

Later in development, as the fetal brain development continues, nearly all humans develop a sense of which sex/gender they are (the third component) that matches the first two components; they're cisgender. Those whose components don't match are transgender; but their brains are just as much part of their biology as their reproductive organs, and much more distressed by a mismatch than their reproductive organs are. Some of them want their bodies to match their brains, and they transition medically or surgically or both. Others are willing to live the the mismatch, but want it acknowledged. (In my family there are examples of both.) Some don't want it known.

Also, at that point, nearly all humans develop a sense of which sex/gender they are attracted to (the fourth component), the opposite of what they feel themselves to be. They are gay or lesbian.

The third and fourth components, both chromosome/brain mismatches, appear to be almost entirely independent. But they're both uncommon, and hardly anyone has both kinds. That is, many trans men are attracted to men (and trans women to women).

The tl:dr version: If Zeke is a trans man, he is a man. If he's attracted to men, he's a gay man.

Original Mike said...

""Funny how the same people who never miss a chance to point out that we are all animals, are so deeply in denial."

This whole gender thing is all about the denial of reality. No wonder it's of the left.

Arthur James said...

Here is the exercising of some tragic testosterone: the death of Jaco Pastorious.

https://pastexplore.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/some-additional-thoughts-on-the-death-of-jaco-pastorius/

mockturtle said...

All men who proclaim loud support for feminism are secretly hoping it will get them laid.

And, in my experience, they are the most apt to try. Usually, unsuccessfully. Men who are pro-feminism enjoy the no-strings attached, zero responsibility, sexual-freedom part of it. And they like the convenience of oral contraceptives [taken by women] and of quick, legal abortions.

Paul said...

"Here is the exercising of some tragic testosterone: the death of Jaco Pastorious.

https://pastexplore.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/some-additional-thoughts-on-the-death-of-jaco-pastorius/"

Tragic testosterone? What does testosterone have to do with this?

I know something about testosterone in a way that probably no one else here does.

Even though I'm well into my 50s my testosterone measures at 917 ng/dl. My doc was really surprised (my wife wasn't). Maybe partially from years of intense exercise, but no doubt it's largely genetic.

Not too long ago I went on a steroid cycle of 500mg per week of Testosterone Cypionate for twelve weeks. I gained 15 lbs of muscle lifting weights everyday. At 5 weeks my T measured at 4700 ng/dl, 4 times the natural limit. Rather than "roid rage", anger an aggression, I felt calm, level, super confidant, and ZFG. I had tremendous energy to lift, which was the point.

There are other steroid compounds that do cause roid rage like trenbolone (body builders love it because it produces massive gains in strength and size) but testosterone itself does not, rather it produces focus and level headedness in my experience.

The most interesting aspect of my cycle was my estrogen levels. Testosterone aromitizes into estrogen so in order to avoid the side effects of high estrogen inherent with supra physiological levels of testosterone an aromitase inhibitor is taken. Finding the right dose is trial and error largely and at one point I was taking too much and my estrogen level crashed. I felt awful. Ghostlike, unmoored emotionally, had the chills. I stopped taking the AI and my estriadol level went way up. I got bloated, puffy faced, tender nipples (no real gynomastia though). I took blood tests and figured out the right dose pretty quickly but I realized what women go through as a part of their natural monthly hormonal cycle and how emotionally unstable and erratic fluctuating estrogen levels makes them. Not that that's anything new but I FELT it hormonally as a male rather than just observing it in female behavior.

Women are intrinsically unfit for leadership, with a few exceptions, simply as a result of their biology, and trying to shoehorn them into leadership roles on par with men is pure folly and a recipe for disaster.

Michael K said...

I realized what women go through as a part of their natural monthly hormonal cycle and how emotionally unstable and erratic fluctuating estrogen levels makes them.

In my medical practice I saw a lot of women with fibrocystic disease and my standard explanation included the concept that "normal" for women of child bearing age is pregnant or nursing and the constant cycling is what causes fibrocystic disease in women's breasts who are susceptible.

Maybe that's why most breast surgeons now are female. But I still think it is true although birth control pills and injections may have evened things out a bit,

Alex said...

A woman can take all the T she wants but that will never give her God's T reservoirs. AKA testicles generating rich semen, sperm and testosterone 24/7.

StephenFearby said...

"...Also, the highest testosterone level among the NPR males is 274, which I believe is treatably low. . . . ."


Ah, treatable. The first thing is to determine if the hypogonadism is primary (disfunctional testes) or secondary (disfunctional pituitary).

If primary, the only recourse is testosterone replacement, usually in gel, skin patch (transdermal), mouth patch, oral tablet (absorbed from oral tissue to blood), injections and implants.

http://www.webmd.com/men/guide/testosterone-replacement-therapy-is-it-right-for-you#1

This is kind of a stupid way to go if the problem is secondary hypogonadism. That is, the testes are capable of making more testosterone if the amount of luteinizing hormone from the pituitary wasn't so low.

Probably the easiest and less expensive way to increase luteinizing hormone is by taking clomiphene citrate (CC), an inexpensive generic drug approved by the FDA for women to induce pregnancy or address polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Problem is that although it has been used for 50 years or so off-label for men, the FDA has not approved it. Not because numerous studies have shown it isn't safe and effective...

BJU Int. 2012 Nov;110(10):1524-8.
Clomiphene citrate is safe and effective for long-term management of hypogonadism.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1464-410X.2012.10968.x/epdf


...but possibly because it is so convenient to take that the FDA believes athletes or bodybuilders may abuse it.

A small company called Repros Therapeutics has been trying unsuccessfully for some years to get the FDA to approve an analog of CC for male hypogonadism. Like CC, all the published studies so far show it as both safe and effective. From their 2016 Form 10K:

"...Based on our own clinical trial screening data, we believe over 70% of men that have low testosterone suffer from secondary hypogonadism, a pituitary defect which is characterized by suboptimal levels of LH (luteinizing hormone) and FSH (follicle stimulating hormone). LH and FSH are the pituitary hormones that stimulate testicular testosterone and sperm production, respectively. Men with secondary hypogonadism can be readily distinguished from those that have primary testicular failure via assessment of the levels of secretions of pituitary hormones, as men with primary testicular failure experience elevated secretions of pituitary hormones. In secondary hypogonadism, the low levels of LH and FSH fail to provide adequate hormone signaling to the testes, causing testosterone levels to drop to a level where we believe pituitary secretions fall under the influence of estrogen, which is enhanced in obese men, thus further suppressing the testicular stimulation from the pituitary.

Enclomiphene acts centrally to restore testicular function and, hence, normal testosterone in the body. The administration of exogenous testosterone can restore serum testosterone levels, but does not restore testicular function and thereby generally leads to the cessation of, or significant reduction in, sperm production. Enclomiphene, by contrast, restores levels of both LH and FSH, which stimulate testicular testosterone and sperm production, respectively."

http://ir.reprosrx.com/secfiling.cfm?filingID=1144204-17-17919&CIK=897075

So far, the FDA has stiffed Repros on its new drug application.

traditionalguy said...

We Testy guys need to pass our testosterone vision tests before going on the attack. Target recognition is necessary before we come see and conquor

rhhardin said...

Modern chromosomes account for the difference between orthochromatic and panchromatic films.

No more red safelights.

Jay Elink said...

Hardcore feminists and SJWs think ANY testosterone is "testosterone poisoning". Just ask'em.

Paul said...

@StephenFearby

Clomid (clomiphene citrate) and Novaldex (tamoxifen citrate) are used by steroid users to restart their HPTA (hypothalmic pituitary testicular axis) in post cycle therapy. They are easy to get on the internet.

EsoxLucius said...

It turns out the republicans are in need of testosterone. In her new book This Is Our Fight, Elisabeth Warren says that she says hello to whiny little Mitch, he turns his head.

openidname said...

Don't read too much into this. I expect Survivor scripted the whole thing. It's just too, too "torn from the headlines," ya know?

dwarzel said...

"But I wonder how he, as a gay man, felt about Zeke's presenting himself as a gay man."

You'd think that, if he really is into dudes, it would've been much less hassle just to remain a woman in the first place.

Lewis Wetzel said...

"Blogger EsoxLucius said...
It turns out the republicans are in need of testosterone. In her new book This Is Our Fight, Elisabeth Warren says that she says hello to whiny little Mitch, he turns his head."
That is called a "cut," and it is always done from a position of power. McConnell isn't whining about Warren cutting him.
But whatever. Fauxcahontas scares men. Because of her Righteousness! Uh-huh.

tim in vermont said...

You'd think that, if he really is into dudes, it would've been much less hassle just to remain a woman in the first place.

It sucks that giving this girl the therapy she needed was too politically incorrect, and that the politically easier path, and God knows mental health workers are highly political, was to mutilate her body. A lot of girls are turned on by gay sex between men, possibly she just wanted to be a part of it.

Swede said...

I "transitioned" into a ficus with the help of colossal doses of GreenGrow.