Testosterone Sucks. Why are Men Needed?

Women are better than men. I hate to say it, but it’s true. Look around dude. Historically, men have dominated women since the beginning, which still continues today. That’s bad enough. But women outmatch men on just about every moral indicator: crime rates, rape, domestic violence, murder, (“murders by women are so rare that they don’t even show up meaningfully in the crime statistics” p.78), ability to trust, giving, sharing, and empathy. Men are psychopaths, sociopaths, and serial killers. These are generalizations of course but they are true as such.

The explanation, according this this wonderful book by Paul Zak, isĀ testosterone. It turns men into assholes, risk takers, sex fanatics, and punishers. To anyone who has entered a college bar, this should be no surprise. How many women hunters do you know? Predictable, as men get older they lose testosterone and get better.

Why Women are Better

Women not only have very low levels of testosterone, but they have an extra special hormone that promotes good behavior: Oxytocin. A multitasker, this hormone is released during sex, pregnancy, breast feeding, and whenever a person shows trust or goodwill. Oxytocin has been linked to many pro-social behaviors in many experiments (detailed in the book), mostly empathy and trust. Women are more empathetic, and empathy is the basis of all moral systems.

Why Men are Needed

The obvious answer is that men are needed to make babies (although with the advent of science that’s probably not true anymore). But more interestingly, testosterone has a nice side-effect: justice. Ironically, testosterone-filled men are needed to keep society in check, to judge and to punish wrongdoers. Natural selection allowed testosterone to hang on for this very reason. We are the enforcers and punishers of a functioning society (and the risk takers). Women, pumped with oxytocin, are too damn nice to punish people. It’s important to know that men do have oxyticin in smaller amounts, but the problem with that: testosterone actually cancels out oxyticin. So when testosterone levels are high, we actually enjoy punishing people for their transgressions, rather than cringing. Who shall throw the first stone?, said Jesus. Crack her fucking skull! shouted some dick.

The good news, of course, is that we can and do transcend these biological limitations. Too much testosterone must be kept in check, and the same goes with oxytocin (too much can lead to too much trust). It’s about balance. With knowledge, critical self-reflection, and love we can become better. Love can be learned, and it comes naturally for most of us.

Testosterone Sucks. Why are Men Needed?

Women are more religious than men. Why?

According to Pew, “Atheists and agnostics are much more likely to be male (64%) than female (36%).” Not only that, women are more religious when it comes to a variety of measures:

http://www.pewforum.org/2009/02/26/the-stronger-sex-spiritually-speaking/

But why? Well, I’ll take my best shot at it. First, my short answer:
Women are more empathetic then men. Religion is tied to empathy. Therefore, women are more religious.

Not convinced? Let me explain. I admit this is a bit of a stretch, and I hate to shit on my own gender; but here’s my long answer:

Let’s start by asking: Are men different from women at all? Yes, I think we all agree. In what ways? Well, size and musculature, but that doesn’t seem to be relevant, does it? What else… We know men have more testosterone which is linked to aggression. We also know that women have more oxytocin which is linked to cooperation and empathy (the so called “love” hormone, which now conveniently comes in nasal spray form!). Okay… How does this link to religion? Hmm. Broadly speaking, if you look at religion without prejudice, I think it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to say that religion generally promotes cooperation (especially within-group), good will towards others, empathy, and love. For example, the entire core of Jesus teachings is two-fold: love God, and treat others as you would like to be treated. Indeed, the golden rule is at the core of all major religions. Therefore, if women tend to be more empathetic then men, then they will be more religious than men. And they are. Oh crap. Am I making a link between morality (empathy) and religion? Yes, I am. Again, this is just my best guess really, I’m not claiming these links are rock solid. Perhaps the different between men and women is not big enough to even require an explanation.

Women are more religious than men. Why?