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This American Life on Testosterone's picture

The button for inserting links deems to not be working at the moment (I can see it but I can't click on it...). I think I'm serendip-challenged. But anyway -- all these readings about testosterone reminded me of an episode of This American Life that deals with this topic.

Act 1 is about a guy who stops producing testosterone and explains how his life changed, Act 2 is about a transgender individual who is taking testosterone, Act 3 involves the staff of TAL all getting their personal testosterone levels checked and discussing what those numbers mean to them, and the final act is from a mother, talking about her son (reminded me of Kaye's assertion that raising 3 sons gives her some insights into this stuff!).

The part that I found most interesting was Act 3, because it shows how colloquial/popular science understandings of scientific precepts like hormones affect people's daily life. Not everyone is scientifically literate, and the "popular" understandings of testosterone can be really meaningful to people, even if they might not always be completely scientifically accurate. The staff of the show end up feeling really insecure about comparing testosterone levels and unsure about what people will think of them when the truth comes out. One woman says something to the effect of, "having too much would make me seem like an ***hole, and having not enough makes me seem like a pushover, a sucker." It's pretty interesting to listen to this section (and the whole program, if you have the time!) in light of our readings and conversations about this troublesome hormone.

Comments's picture


thanks, kaye!

Kaye's picture

activating the link icon

first---click on the word or phrase in your text that will be the "home" for the link.  that will make the link button available. 

then--click on the link icon to enter the url.