Before you click the back button, hear me out. This is not a sociopolitical rant.
So much has changed over the last three decades – so much that it has altered not just our lives, but our anatomy as well.
You see, we’re living in an age that is obsessed with convenience. Every consumer demands convenience. Every business puts a price on convenience. Our technological advances are focused on convenience. Most of the things that were invented in the last three decades are meant to make our lives easier, and while we’re glad that we’re enjoying all of these things in our lifetime, our bodies are changing and adapting to the new ecosystem of convenience.
In typical Darwinian fashion, the male body has begun to evolve in the last 30 years. The lack of physical activity, competition, aggression, and control has taken its toll on the male body. We’re no longer the man we once were, and the next generation, perhaps, would never experience what it’s like to be manly again.
Over the last 30 years, the average testosterone levels for men 40 and older have declined drastically. Men now have 20% lower testosterone levels compared to men in the 1980s. Scientists have yet to figure out exactly why testosterone levels have declined sharply over the last decade, but many theorize that the changes in our environment are the ones to blame. The hormone that makes men manly is slowly declining, and we can only guess what went wrong.
Let’s start with technology.
Cars, lifts, personal mobility scooters, even our shoes have been engineered to make mobility easier for everyone. With mobility, technology has a trajectory that will always be geared to target the least amount of effort a person has to exert to move from one place to the other. Back in the 80s, it was commonplace for kids to walk two miles to get to school. Now, some adults would take their Segway to go the distance of a football field.
Physical activity is one of the factors that affect testosterone levels. Physical activity builds and maintains muscle mass, strength, and endurance. The lack of physical activity drastically reduces testosterone levels. Testosterone is one of the hormones responsible for controlling muscle growth, and without much muscle to be gained, the body no longer needs as much testosterone to function.
Let me clarify myself. I’m not against technology or making life easier for us. I’m merely making an observation based on the facts. Technology is great, but a part of recognizing its benefits is also realizing what we’re giving up to make our lives easier. No man wants to be less of a man just to save a few calories by taking a car instead of walking. The collective effect of having a sedentary lifestyle drastically drags testosterone levels down, and men are unwittingly taking part in this descent to neutrality.
Health, Diet, and Nutrition
Our diet has also changed so much over the last few decades. We now have access to food that we never had back in the day. We now understand the dynamics of nutrition better. How we eat has changed. We process foods a lot more than we used to. We now prepare food with as little effort as possible and still get a great outcome.
We now know how to take apart herbs and isolate the active phytochemical compound to concentrate its effects on the body. We now know more about testosterone-boosting herbs than we did back in the day. We now use supplements properly. You remember back in the day when all supplements were just grass clippings of herbs? We now have standardized extracts that make ingredients more potent and effective.
Mortality has improved. Diets have become more specific. Workouts have become more targeted. The way we work out has improved. We know more about our bodies now, and that translates to better health and longevity.
You can look at professional sports these days and see older athletes playing at the highest level. You can only assume that the older athletes like Brady, Brees, and LeBron are taking something to increase their testosterone levels because their drive, motivation, and physical performance are just as good as it was when they first started playing pro sports. We’ve greatly improved in the field of health and nutrition, but there are just not enough men who benefit from supplements to even out the difference.
The drastic reduction of average testosterone levels in men is already evident in the public’s perception of masculine behavior.
Masculinity is now perceived as toxic. The patriarchy is now perceived to be oppressive. Confidence is now confrontational, and boldness is off-putting. Testosterone influences male behavior directly. It’s the hormone that drives your competitive edge, the “alpha” mentality, and confidence.
I believe I must stress again that these are mere observations, and this article is not intended to be a commentary on socio-political issues.
The point I’m getting at is that the declining average testosterone levels in men may have led to the change in perception of personality and characteristics that are directly influenced by testosterone levels. These days, it’s almost a sin to stand by your masculine behavior.
As a result, masculinity is suppressed. Testosterone levels keep declining, and the end of this deterioration is nowhere in sight. Manly men are disappearing, and all we can do is maintain optimal testosterone levels to protect our manliness somehow.
If the trend keeps on, who knows what will happen in the next 10, 20, 30 years? Would our perception of a manly man improve? Only time will tell.