Men And Estrogen


Did you know that the average man has more estrogen than a post-menopausal woman?

This seems to have major implications.

But before I contemplate them, let’s remember that as men age, their testosterone levels fall, just as estrogen levels fall in aging women.

Doesn’t that suggest that the two genders become more alike, hormonally? Or more genderless, perhaps?

Testosterone is what men worry about most, judging from TV and radio ads. They want more energy and they want a stronger pee stream. They want to be more impressive, down there. All kinds of fake supplements promise to make these manly dreams come true.

But you never see ads that target female insecurity about being female. There are products we’re supposed to need to be more attractive, but none that promise to make us more womanly.

Personally, I already feel much too girly. I wouldn’t mind feeling more manly if it increased my sense of direction or gave me a taste for beer, instead of white wine. I’d like the opportunity to mansplain all the time. I’d like to appreciate hard rock more, and to not panic when my computer acts funny.

When I used to lift weights at a gym for bodybuilders, you could always tell who was on testosterone: The men had bad tempers and the women had facial hair. It probably increased their sex drive, but who wants to fuck a bad-tempered man or a woman wearing aftershave? They appeared to sublimate that drive by screaming “TWO MORE REPS!” and grunting like agonized pigs.

I’m going to do some research on the function of estrogen in men, but meanwhile here’s something interesting.

Another study found that testosterone supplementation in elderly men increased spatial memory and verbal memory. This testosterone supplementation also naturally increased estrogen levels due to the enzyme aromatase. If aromatase was blocked, estrogen would not increase and spatial memory improved, but not verbal memory.

Well duh, because men are good at spatial shit and women are good with verbal shit! Our brains are different whether you like it or not.

Unless, as we get really old, our brains – starved of hormones – begin to work alike, with both genders forgetting the name of that actor and wondering where they put the scissors.

Thoughts, cisgender men and women?


photo: Jay Boogie by Campbell Addy



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5 Responses to Men And Estrogen

  1. Romeo says:

    Somewhere I picked up a theory that industrial practices have unleashed great oodles of synthetic estrogen into the environment and men were becoming, over time, much less manly. Numerous years later I heard a thing on NPR (which maybe I listen to because I have low T) about how groups of earthworms that reproduce sexually have higher resistances to diseases than asexual earthworms, which was posited as an evolutionary justification for having males around at all.

    Anyway, fools worrying about testosterone levels is much more tolerable than that Iron John men’s movement thing from back in the early 90’s.

  2. Suspended says:

    I’ve never been the kind of guy to buy into real life role play; I’m a man, therefor I must act this way and like these things. For a start, everyone’s ideas differ greatly.

    I hate rigidity. I hate that people try to gender-ise everything. This is a feminine smell, this is a masculine colour. Says who? And the boundaries change monumentally based on culture. I just can’t pretend I care. If a man wants to smell of roses and wear a pink t-shirt, why is this such a challenge for so many? Why the fuck does it matter so much? Put a woman in a YSL Tux and I’m feeling it (as long as it isn’t Lena Dunham.) Do I think she’s less feminine? I’m supposed to.

    I love creativity, personal expression, people who walk to the beat of their own drum. Difference is a celebration and a welcome relief from the mundane. My son wanted to wear a fur stole to the park. I let him. He found it in the attic and was obsessed with how soft it felt, treating it like he would one of his soft toys, as a companion, a comforter. Did I think it was a bit odd he wanted to wear it? Yes, it was a beautiful Summers day so it was totally inappropriate, but I loved that. I don’t believe in shaming kids for being kids and not yet knowing the bullshit ‘boundaries.’ I know there are parents who would disapprove but they aren’t the kind of parents who truly nurture and love unconditionally, so I have no issue with their shortcomings.

    Is it possible that men want a testosterone supplement as they get older, not as a manliness amp but rather a way to battle age fatigue. Feeling tired makes me feel old and I’d swallow a bottle of those pills just to see if it helped (even though I know the coffee and cheesecake for breakfast and going to bed at 3am when you have to get up at 7am are MAJOR factors.)

    I love the last part about verbal memory and estrogen. That is so funny and fascinating. It made me wonder if female birds are the ones making all the noise in the trees.

    Anyway, I see no harm in the sexes being more alike, or not being. There will always be more variety than most people can cope with. We are an astoundingly complex and inspiring species.

    P.S. I was going to mention how breathtaking Marlene Dietrich was but I was worried it wasn’t a masculine enough observation. See how ridiculous this shit gets.

    P.P.S. Maybe I just drink too much bottled water.

  3. Sister Wolf says:

    Romeo – And don’t forget there are a slew of widely used substances that are knows as endocrine disruptors :

    Suspended – I love to see men wearing women’s clothes and of course women wearing masculine clothes. But I feel many traits are hardwired. I also believe in spectrums – so all these traits exist on a spectrum. Men who are sensitive to words, to color, to tactile things, to smell, are the ones I treasure most. It must be exhausting to try to exhibit cliches of masculinity or femininity all day long!

  4. Suspended says:

    Well said, Sister, I obviously share your sentiments.

  5. Dj says:

    I do not want to become a little old man that’s why i take hormones. It’s scary how the older women get, really old, the more man like they look. No thanks……uggghhhhh.

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