Monday, January 9, 2012

Guns & Testosterone

So some bloggers over at Discover Magazine put up a post titled NCBI ROFL: Study proves guns make you an a**hole.  They quote the abstract from a research paper in Psychological Science titled Guns, testosterone, and aggression: an experimental test of a mediational hypothesis:

"We tested whether interacting with a gun increased testosterone levels and later aggressive behavior. Thirty male college students provided a saliva sample (for testosterone assay), interacted with either a gun or a children’s toy for 15 min, and then provided another saliva sample. Next, subjects added as much hot sauce as they wanted to a cup of water they believed another subject would have to drink. Males who interacted with the gun showed significantly greater increases in testosterone and added more hot sauce to the water than did those who interacted with the children’s toy. Moreover, increases in testosterone partially mediated the effects of interacting with the gun on this aggressive behavior."

As the owner of a .40 caliber Glock 22, I have to take exception to this article.  As a man, I guess I fail to see how an increase in testosterone necessarily equates with making one an asshole. What not title the post "Study proves guns make you more manly"?

Of course the NCBI ROFL bloggers are women.  What a surprise.  Hey sweeties, testosterone does not automatically make you an asshole - there are plenty of metrosexual girlie men out there (example at right) who presumably have some testosterone running through their pretty little veins (or maybe not).  Some of us are just assholes by choice.

Hey, how about this post by the same bloggers:  NCBI ROFL: The presence of an attractive woman elevates testosterone and physical risk taking in young men.  Alternative title - "Women turn men into assholes."

I'm afraid Hudson Valley Geologist will just remain an unrepentant male asshole.  Don't ask me for water and hot sauce either.


  1. well, obviously, testosterone level do not directly relate to social skills and behavior. The a-word is uncalled for. And as you point out, other triggers work as well.

    But have you ever wondered why men fight more and harder in bars with pretty women present than in bars with no women present? ;)

    Overall, there is good reason not to entice young males into aggressive behavior by letting them play with guns all the time.

  2. I wonder how the "interacted" with the toy guns -- perhaps had a discussion regarding their feelings?