Posted: August 29th, 2013
The article talks about the implications a hormone like testosterone has on human beings conduct, activities, capability of interaction and success in life. In addition to this, the writer considers whether there is a big difference between males and females. He is also concerned whether the difference is determined by the level of testosterone a person produces. The instances of different scientific studies, which are related with the effect testosterone has on human conduct, are also mentioned in the article. The thesis of the article states that the writer believes testosterone has a major implication on human beings. This applies to both male and female beings in a physical way. Apart from that, the hormone’s effect on a human being’s social life, conduct and life’s prosperities (Hoberman, 15).
Sullivan beliefs include the existence of a direct relationship between the level of testosterone in people and social issues. The writer chose to write on a personal context because he talks about the effects of testosterone from his opinion. This is evidenced by the way he expresses his personal experiences. For example, he says that when he used this hormone it made him experience loss of physical strength, depression, decreased stamina, among other problems. It could have been seen as an interesting turn of events because when the writer started using this hormone, he felt strong and active. Only to later on start having health problems. As a result, Sullivan considers the implication of testosterone as a personal issue, as it may vary from person to person. Thus, Andrew Sullivan considers the importance and the influence of this powerful hormone in the personal context (Hoberman, 45).
I would like to disagree with some points on masculinity made by Sullivan. I am sure other transsexual men would object some ideas from Sullivan. They would disagree that masculinity can just be put in a bottle and then injected into a person. I am in agreement with Sullivan that a man is not defined by the fact that he has a penis or not. On the other hand, it is controversial to say that masculinity is defined or determined by whether or not there is presence of some levels of hormones. Presence of male hormones is characterized with traits considered being those of the male gender, as it is viewed by Western countries (Hoberman, 50). It is not fulfilling to define masculinity with just the male hormones. Adding more to that, what would we say about the women who have body systems with considerable levels of testosterone? They are certainly not men. This opinion suggests that women with testosterone will act like men, which is a fallacy.
I continue to disagree with the idea that testosterone makes men act manly and have aggressive behavior. As one reads this article, he or she can relate it with a certain Medieval Jewish article about free will. It says that even though humans have a God, they are free to make choices. It is not possible that their actions are predestined. It would even be difficult to question a wrong doer. After all, he was meant to do those actions (Hoberman, 67). Sullivan’s thoughts also suggest the same. Since men have testosterone, they are allowed to be violent or aggressive. It is similar to saying that if men commit murder or defilement; they are just confirming the proverb of boys will always be boys. This thought is very unacceptable.
It is disagreeable for Sullivan to say that people in less privileged places are more exposed to crime and sexuality than those who live high social status. He actually says that the ghettos with soaked testosterone have high levels of illegitimacy and high crime rate. He continues to put down some records showing how black men have more levels of this hormone than white men. According to Sullivan, it suggests that races are now being used to describe men’s biology. This is wrong because it means that the white men are being considered more superior to black men. I think it is very misleading to make people believe that race determines testosterone levels and some people are superior to others. Another point from this idea is that it could mean that black Americans are more dangerous to stay with, if the testosterone makes them aggressive and violent. It is apparent that the writer is using biology as a cover up of racial segregation (Hoberman, 78).
The areas I would agree with the writer is his experience with testosterone. It would not be a risk to believe about the effects of testosterone, since he has first hand experience. He is also transparent because he honestly says why he had to use this medication. He is open about every change and experience he went through. Unfortunately, as he writes on he starts to be controversial especially politically. To some point, I find his opinions very offensive and not true. He says that women cannot be political leaders because they are not biologically suitable. This is not true at all.
According to Hoberman (89), the biological composition of a human being cannot hinder him or her from being a leader. This is especially if the cause of disagreement is about hormones. If the writer stated that high levels of testosterone would lead to aggressive behavior, then people with high levels of this hormone will suit political careers. Politics require people who are aggressive in what they believe. The article by Sullivan is based on personal opinion, but on the other hand, it is encouraging many vices. For example, racism, discrimination towards women and issues of social status. Skin color does not determine how much testosterone a man will have. Research clarifies that hormones are determined by genetics and not race (Hoberman, 211).
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