Bad news, fellas. The average man’s testosterone levels are on a seriously rapid decline. Across the world, male T-levels are plummeting, and scientists are scrambling for the reasons why as well as how we can go about fixing it.
Modern Testosterone Levels
To put it simply, men today have considerably lower testosterone levels compared to their fathers, and their fathers before them. A 2007 study revealed a “substantial” drop in testosterone levels since the 1980s. What’s considered substantial? A whopping average of a 1% drop per year. Saying that you are 50% less of a man than our forefathers in 1967 is a stretch, but it is without a doubt that testosterone plays a massive role in masculinity, as well as the emotional and physical regulation of a man’s behaviour.
Why You Should Be Alarmed
If the above doesn’t scare you, consider this: cases of testicular cancer continue to rise throughout the world while the average sperm count is plummeting, although this could be attributed to briefs over boxers. These aren’t questions of masculinity, so much as they are questions of health, longevity, and successful reproduction.
Furthermore, the term ‘dad strength’ may no longer be a myth, with a study from the Journal of Hand Therapy (everyone’s favourite hand strength-related journal) stating that the average grip strength of your everyday man is also on a steady decline. This is despite a gym membership and at least a weekly iron-pumping being the norm among guys – young and old.
What these studies don’t show is the role of testosterone as the ruling influence of masculinity in men. There is no denying that Julius Caesar’s crossing of The Rubicon, Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of Mona Lisa, or even Neil Armstrong’s walking on the moon required a little bit of daring (even foolish) old-school male bravado. Think the young men of today are a little less likely to take risks and are a little frailer than their dads? The massive dips in testosterone are clearly playing a considerable role in this demise of guys.
What’s Causing It?
Unfortunately, there’s no definitive answer. However, with the massive changes in global diet trends across the last 50 years, there’s no denying that food is playing its part. Particularly, obesity is well-known to suppress hormone creation and sustenance, so beer bellies won’t help. Furthermore, our food has become more genetically modified, made to last longer, and less like food than at any time in history. Some theorists go as far as to say that our lack of smoking cigarettes is affecting testosterone levels.
NECESSARY ASIDE: THIS IS NOT AN ADVERTISEMENT FOR SMOKING. SMOKING IS BAD FOR YOU.
Finally, we have evolved from hunters to farmers to builders – all work that requires a strong back and long days of hard labour. However, we are living in the corporate age – sitting at desks, sending emails, and discussing sales goals all day long. Humans will adapt to their environment and as we spend upwards of 10 hours a day in these environments, our need for physically daring stunts begins to diminish. So too does our testosterone.
Consider this article a heads up on the current physiological state of manhood. There is now, without a doubt, a continuing change in how our minds work and how our bodies work. Many people in society will not consider the drop in testosterone to be a matter of concern – some may even celebrate it. But testosterone, that raw and powerful male hormone, has pushed man to do often stupid but sometimes great things. It’s time we begin to prioritise its preservation.
By Jay Bowden