According to Dr. Louann Brizendine, if testosterone were beer, a 9-year old boy would get the equivalent of 1 cup a day.
For teenage boys, however, the testosterone that washes over their body by the age of 15, would be equal to two gallons.
Yes, you read that right. Two gallons of
beer testosterone per day, is surging through the body of the average 15 year old male.
And, well, that explains a lot.
As the mother of a son, who thank God, is now well into adulthood, I can speak from experience regarding the intensity of the changes he underwent as he passed from boyhood into adolescence.
My once sweet, charming, and timid little boy morphed into a a wildly aggressive, obstinate, defiant, confrontational teenager, whose lifelong aversion to risk taking behavior became virtually non-existent.
I’m still wondering what I was thinking when I agreed to let him buy a lightening fast Japanese made motorcycle. But that’s another story for another day. Just suffice it to say that my once little “mamma’s boy” was a mamma’s boy no more by the time he reached the age of 15.
In fact, I don’t even know whose boy he was. But he sure wasn’t mine.
Those Who Have Ears to Hear, Let Them Hear
Of all the paragraphs I’ve written at this blog regarding hormones and how they affect human behavior, specifically a woman’s behavior, I believe the following paragraphs are probably going to be some of the most important I will ever write on this topic.
For years I have been trying to communicate to men that what women go through during perimenopause is not, neither will it ever be, a deliberate and willful choice.
Everything in perimenopause – how she perceives herself, the hot flashes and night sweats, the raging mood swings, the depression, the loss of libido, the weight gain, the crazy menstrual cycles – is completely and totally rooted in the fluctuation of her hormones.
And whether you are willing to admit it or not, gentlemen, you too are the sum total of your hormonal development as well.
In fact, everything you think, everything you feel, even the way in which you perceive the world is shaped, defined, and colored in some measure by your hormones.
You may not experience PMS when you have hormonal fluctuations or changes in your body, but your emotional constitution (among many other things) is absolutely affected by your hormones every bit as much as a woman’s. Just in different ways.
Hormones & Perception: The World through Male-Colored Glasses
When a young boy enters puberty there are primarily two hormones which are dominant in his development: testosterone and vasopressin.
Both testosterone and vasopressin are responsible for the rapid muscle and bone growth which occurs during adolescence, along with the growth of body hair, the deepening of the voice, the size of the penis, changes in body odor, and as every parent of an adolescent boy knows, a heightened interest in sex and sexual pursuit.
Another significant change which also occurs due to testosterone and vasopressin is the rapid growth of brain circuitry, which is responsible for profound behavioral and perceptual changes in the male brain. That is to say that not only are hormones responsible for physical changes during adolescence, but they are also responsible for emotional and perceptual changes as well.
Did you hear that, gentleman?
Not only are women subject to their perceptions of reality being affected by the fluctuation of her hormones during perimenopause, but you are too. In fact, the influence of testosterone and vasopressin is so profound and so powerful on the brain circuitry of men, that it warrants yet another post to explore exactly how deep, far, and wide this influence is.
Part II of the chapter “The Teenage Brain” coming soon.
Brizendine, L., (2010). The Male Brain. New York, NY: Three Rivers Press