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Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Quinlan, Dec 9, 2009.
No problem....I suppose there will be further work in the field that will eventually lead to conclusive proof. So if we can't blame testosterone, I guess we'll have to accept that some people act like complete and total morons (deep down, I always suspected it)!
However, testosterone can still be blamed for aggressive behavior with as much accuracy as it has been, it just the relationship isn't as direct as thought. Cultural norms often have the more aggressive people towards the top, and so higher testosterone would cause the person to adopt this trait to rise to the top. Anyway, I can already see a flaw in their experimental plan. They need one more group that received neither testosterone nor placebo. As always more trials and experiments are needed.
Well, science is like watching a movie, you never know what's next. It contradicts and over-rules itself every now and then. You gotta love it, I guess. [QUOTE=N
I think that testosterone does have an effect on agressive behavior, but it is not the end all be all definier if agressive behaviors. I would think many other biochemical pathways would come into play. Personally, I would very much like to go around and find out how high testoserone levels are in my friends (myself included). I could come up with a reasonable pattern that way . One thing I always have wanted to know is to know how high or low all of my hormone/neurotransmitters are at all times, and to have a scale for each. That would be SO interesting!
I don't pretend to have the answer, but I would really, genuinely love to know why boys seem so attracted by weapons and fighting. I just cannot relate. I bought my boys a giant plastic candy cane at the dollar store, and they are using it as some kind of samurai war stick. WHY? If it is not testosterone, then what?
It's play, like lion cubs. Learning to be predators...
Why is it that when my little cousin sees an action figure laying around she treats it like a baby doll and nurtures and pretends to feed it?
Because she already plays with dolls, maybe? Dolls that were introduced to her while she was still in the crib? A girl-child's first toy is usually a doll. Girls are taught to nurture from practically infancy.
its practically the same deal with boys.
Yes, excellent question. And why can't action figures have tea parties if they want to? Anyone ever noticed the look little girls get on their faces when they see a baby? They sort of glaze over and go all mushy. When I would bring my babies to playgrounds it was a sure way to be surrounded by little girls and women. A few little boys would come up, look curious, maybe ask a couple of questions and then leave. But the girls? It's like I had a little tractor beam wrapped up in a onesie! Like a living, breathing opiate. And my older son explains to me earnestly that he loves playing with guns, would never use his formidable power for evil, and actually doesn't want to kill anyone. But still, he loves -- with a PASSION -- any kind of weaponry or battle play. I cannot overstate how much he loves this stuff. And I cannot believe this is a result of my or my husband's parenting. There's something going on here, maybe not testosterone, but I have doubts about this study.
I was waiting for someone to bring this up. I'm sorry to say, but little of what your children do are based off of how you raise them. Children do begin their learning process from their parents, when this is almost all the contact they get, but once they start frequently interacting with peers, they will learn so much more from their playmates than from their parents. [I tried to find a quote that I remembered in my psych book, but I can't find it. It effectively said that a small child learned a Vietnamese word for water from her Vietnamese parents, but as soon as she started going to a daycare, she learned "wawa" and immediately decided that this word was superior to the Vietnamese one, and refused to use anything but "wawa."] [however, another quote almost along the same lines, from the article I was looking for the quote in is "The belief that Motherese [a language made up by parents that resembles a simplified version of the language they are trying to teach] is essential to language development is part of the same mentality that sends yuppies to 'learning centers' to buy little mittens with bull's-eyes to help babies find their hands sooner" -Pinker]
So, what you're saying is that the peer group is how we primarily learn? I could kind of believe that. Children are such mimics, they really do try to copy their peer group. I've observed that. However, that makes it even harder to change behavior, or teach healthy behavior likely to make the child healthier, happier and hopefully more sucessful, doesn't it? I mean, it is easy enough to love your child, spend as much time with them as possible, try to teach them right, etc. It takes committment, but most parents are more than willing to do that. But then you get a peer group where violence, drug use, whatever is the norm and you (and your child) are screwed. That sucks.
Hum, this has been proven earlier already, because treatment with testosterone has no influence on delinquent behaviour. Yes, it's true that men commit delinquent behaviour more often than women, but you must also know that our law system (well, in Belgium at least. I think I can speak for the rest of the western world too) is mainly based on what men think is delinquent behaviour. And maybe we think differently because we're raised differently. (Naetur, I don't mean raised by parents only.) It's both nature and nurture. Meh, I feel hard explaining my views without explaining the big picture. I just hate pseudo science.
One study does not make this true. It doesn't make it false either. Just inconclusive.
There's definitely truth in that, but a recent study showed that when young apes are exposed to a box of human toys they've never seen before, the boy apes most often picked out the "boys" toys and the girl apes picked out the "girls" toys. The researchers think it might be that boy ape brains tend to have a heavier natural leaning towards motor control and the like, so they're drawn to shiny things with moving parts and the like, whereas girl ape brains have a heavier natural leaning towards nurturing and the like, so they're drawn towards dolls etc. Recent research has shown that new parents unconsciously simplify their language so that the baby can more easily pick up speech patterns and the like. I should point out that I'm not talking about that "goo-goo, gaa-gaa" rubbish with this, just about using simpler words with fewer syllables. Peer groups don't completely overrule parental teaching. For example it's documented that teenagers who have a close and open relationship with their parents about sex are more likely to wait longer before they have sex, more likely to use contraception and more able to resist peer pressure.
How are these apes able to recognize that a certain toy requires motor skills and another toy requires nurturing?
This is one study about bargaining behavior. The very specific, limited protocol provides just a single sublingual dose to women. It is unclear whether testosterone blood levels were determined after administration. Testosterone likely has different effects on men, particularly relating to physically aggressive behavior. Anabolic steroids similar to testosterone are known to induce aggressive behavior and emotions in body builders. The authors are likely drawing unwarranted conclusions. That is, they generalize that testosterone does not cause aggression when it appears from the abstract that they only studied bargaining behavior. Only by going back to the original journal article can the validity of the scientific method used be evaluated. However, as peer reviewed journals go, Nature, is among the best.
One possible explanation is that the young girl apes would have watched the adults in their group and noticed that the females did the nurturing whilst the males didn't, so those young girl apes were simply copying what the adults were doing. Human dolls aren't all that different from baby apes, less hair obviously but still built along the same basic structure: two arms, two legs, etc. so it's entirely possible that the young apes recognised the dolls as approximations of baby apes. I remember there was a news story years ago about a kid who fell into a gorilla enclosure at a zoo and knocked himself out, one of the adult females came over, picked him up and basically took care of him (even chasing off some of the other gorillas when they got too close) until the zoo keepers were finally able to get her to put him down so they could get him to the hospital. So it goes to show that apes can recognise humans as being ape-like enough to trigger their nurturing instincts. IIRC the "boys" toys in question were simple things like toy trucks and stuff like that, so just by picking them up and giving them a cursory once over they'd have noticed that the wheels go round or some other part moved about. However it's only fair to mention that the study wasn't the world's most scientific, it was conducted at a working safari park so there was definitely opportunity for the results to have been skewed somehow due to all the humans passing by, plus like I mentioned earlier the young apes weren't separated from the adults before they could pick up behavioural patterns from them (though they were tested at quite a young, pre-juvenile age), so there's that as well. But for all that it still makes sense and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see those results validated in the future. Female mammals are physiologically built towards nurturing after all, and it would be foolish to assume that the brain isn't subject to the same "rules of construction" as the rest of the body.
Hi Defective Creative! I must repeat, at risk of sounding horribly sexist and politically incorrect, you can observe this phenomenom. Get yourself a baby (borrow one -- legally and ethically), bring him/her in contact with young girls (say, 4-8 years old, sometimes younger), and see what happens. Look at the expressions on the little girls' faces -- just watch them! It's almost as if they have been exposed to a drug or something. They glaze over and glom onto you just to stay close to the baby. I just really feel on a gut, non-scientific level, this cannot be explained by socialization. It's just too powerful. It is not 100% true of all girls, but I would guess about 80% of little girls you can observe "this is your brain... this is your brain on baby". I do not by any means intend to imply that being male makes one incapable of nurturing, nor do I mean to imply even that aggression = delinquincy. (It doesn't! You can be aggressive without being delinquent.) Nor do I mean to imply that testesterone and estrogen explain everything.