As a woman, whenever I show emotion it is consistently dubbed as me just being “hormonal.” Every time any female possesses some anger, or despair, we get a sympathetic nod of understanding from men, accompanied by the infamous statement, “Oh, I get it, you’re on your period.” First of all, no. Second of all, it now seems that women should not be alone in their title of “hormonal b****,” men – you’re right there with us.
Testosterone, the key male sex hormone that causes things like increased sex drive, sperm production, and the regulation of bone and muscle mass, is typically acclaimed by men. They pride themselves on everything testosterone is thought to spur: that musky man smell, manly facial hair and even manlier lust – basically, everything that defines heterosexual males and their masculinity. Low levels of this hormone tends to make men feel like less of a man, which causes the immense number of advertisements attempting to persuade men to intake supplements to increase their testosterone production.
But, in numerous studies conducted by psychologists at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Oregon and the University of Texas have shown that the testosterone hormone actually causes the impulsive behavior and destructive decisions that we, as women, know are the true defining factors of heterosexual males and their masculinity.
Dr. Pranjal H. Mehta and Dr. Jennifer Beer of the University of Oregon and the University of Texas respectively, have discovered that testosterone has the ability to hinder the orbitofrontal cortex of the brain – a cortex that determines a person’s decision-making skills.
With the low level of activity in this cortex in a male’s brain, caused by their high levels of testosterone, men are compelled to make poor, irrational decision that have the potential to be destructive.
Since this cortex is also linked with confidence, though a man could have just made the most unintelligent decision in world history that would cause their family to disown them, they are even more confident than a woman making a positive decision.
These consequences of testosterone are particularly alarming when it comes to financial decisions. Especially considering the economic services such as the people working on Wall Street is a male-dominated industry, the faulty judgment displayed by men has the potential for economic devastation.
Dr. Amos Nadler, a neuroeconomist from Western University, along with a team of colleagues, conducted a study to test the connection between testosterone, the orbitofrontal cortex, and finances. In this study, they gathered a group of 140 male traders and covered 70 in a gel that boosted testosterone levels and the remaining 70 in a general placebo gel that had no effects.
Those with the testosterone gel significantly overpriced assets and were slower to incorporate new data such as increased or decreased values in their trading decisions.
Basically, this means that high levels of testosterone can seriously mess up someone’s bank account.
A woman’s hormones might make us cry over a fly getting stepped on in a movie but at least that won’t cause bankruptcy.
The lesson here is simple; if you need something done or a decision made – ask a woman.