Monday, May 15, 2006

Guns & Testosterone

First off, this spot-on observation from Tam, on the study detailed here:

Take the testosterone away from Russell Crowe or Viggo Mortensen and you're left with Richard Simmons or Leonardo DiCaprio and, assuming that one is post-pubescent and heterosexual, who really wants that?

A woman with a sense of humor and enough guns to equip the British Army. Now that really shoots MY testosterone levels through the roof...

In all seriousness, though, what in the hell was up with the headline of that story? "In Men, 'Trigger-Happy' May Be A Hormonal Impulse"? Take a gander, if you will, how Websters defines "trigger-happy":

1 : irresponsible in the use of firearms; especially : inclined to shoot before clearly identifying the target
2 a : inclined to be irresponsible in matters that might precipitate war b : aggressively belligerent in attitude

Now, how's THAT for anti-gun bias -- not to mention anti-male? I guess this is the next step in the argument that a gun is used as a phallic substitute..."hey, the science shows it folks, you can't argue with that!" It's quite easy to argue with, though, as we've seen all sort of bullshit studies cranked out about every issue under the sun, it seems, and this one is just another one in that sorry bunch.
How about the game itself? Take a look, if you will, at the ages at which this game is aimed: 6, 7, 8, 9. Now, I can't speak for anyone else, but somebody sat me down in a room and told me to do anything with a game designed for kids, suffice it to say, my testosterone levels would be pretty damned low. Really, just what else would they expect? Does anyone want to put any money on the researchers NOT knowing exactly what to expect? A firearm vs. a kid's board game with the score being determined by testosterone levels? Judas Priest. The results of that would be about as predictable as a matchup between a bunch of middle-school footballers and one of the Dallas Cowboys teams of the early '90s. Par for the course, I know, but it gets quite aggravating.
And then, of course, there's the matter of the gun. I agree with Kim du Toit:

We have become gentled, more civilized, more refined, and more, well, more like women. Unfortunately, however, fifty years of social conditioning cannot easily overcome tens of thousands of years of genetic conditioning, which is why little boys still prefer to have swordfights than host dolls’ tea-parties, and why men still get into fistfights. It is an instinct that will not be denied, much to the dismay of those who would attempt to suppress it or deny its existence...when push comes to shove, men will still defend themselves, out of instinct.

This defense of "self" extends to family. Every man I know would cheerfully put themselves in harm’s way to protect their children—it is the most basic male instinct, after sex.

And for many people, including myself, the gun is part of that -- immature elitist snickering about phallic substitute be damned.