Re: Current Signals of Increases in Testosterone

Janet Jubran (
Wed, 02 Oct 1996 13:21:22 +0000

I would question some of your assumptions about the decreasing age of
sexual maturity in modern people. In the Paleolithic period, the lifespan
was barely 20 years of age. Puberty occured prior to age 13, and
according to Ascent oF Mind, a prolonged childhood is something that has
been increasing over the past few millenia. Also, during the past, the
teens were married by the time puberty set in. This would give them a
societally sanctioned outlet for their sexual impulses which modern teens
do not have. They are told to abstain at a time when sexual drive and
hormones are at their peak.

Your suggestion about increased levels of testerone is interesting,
however. I just disagree with a few of your points.

In article <52ogp3$>, (James
Howard) wrote:

> The following is a post designed for some other newsgroups, that were
> dealing with the subject of a "neurochemical basis of violent behavior."
> Since my explanation of this is based on my theory of human evolution, I
> thought it should be posted here. What you will be reading about is the
> "secular trend." I think the secular trend is the current signal of human
> evolution; it is easily seen and is explanable as an increase in
> testosterone. (Some say the secualr trend is due to increased nutrition.
> If this were the case, blacks should exhibit less of the secular trend than
> whites; the opposite happens to be the case.)
> This is an introductory paragraph for the other newsgroup: Testosterone
> is the basis of violent behavior. That is, testosterone is the basis of
> impulsive behavior. The amount of testosterone determines the ability to
> control, or not, impulses. More men are imprisoned than women. Black
> men (at the college level) produce more testosterone than white men;
> more black men are imprisoned than white men. The following is a letter
> describing this, which has been sent to a number of U.S. congressmen
> and U.S. senators. All, but one, failed to even acknowledge receipt. (It is
> very un-politically correct.) You judge for yourself. This is from 1994.
> "I am a theoretical biologist; my work contains an explanation of
> increased violence in our society. I suggest violence results directly from
> an increase in numbers of individuals of higher testosterone, who arrive
> at puberty early. increased testosterone and early puberty increase the
> probability of impulsive actions. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has
> compiled statistics which demonstrate that I am correct. Males kill more
> than females; blacks kill more than whites. In the remainder of this letter,
> I include references from hightly reputable journals (eg. Journal of the
> National Cancer Institute) that demonstrate the blacks produce
> significantly more testosterone than whites and enter puberty at an earlier
> age. What this boils down to is that individuals of both races, who exhibit
> these qualities, are more apt to resort to violence in a heated moment.
> This is why there is so much black on black and white on white violence;
> these are impulsive actions, not premeditated, thoughtful actions. These
> are thoughtless actions that happen quickly, without forethought. You, or
> your aides, are aware from interviews that many of these kids, who kill
> other kids, are really nice kids when they are not in a stressful, heated
> moment.
> I am aware your background is not biological, nor are the backgrounds of
> those whose advice you seek when confronting the increase in violence
> in our society. You must consider, therefore, that a major explanation of
> human behavior is being neglected by educators, sociologists,
> crimnologists, etc. Their "model" of human behavior suggests that
> almost all human behavior is determined by the environment. It is time a
> biological model is considered. I will explain how this produces violence
> in the remainder of this document; if you read this, you should note the
> same mechanism also explains increased sexuality and learning
> problems in our youth. That is, all of these result from a single change in
> our society, which is very easily produced and increases exponentially.
> This change increases with each generation. Not everyone is affected,
> but more children are affected now than in the past. Therefore, each
> past generation contains more who notice the change. More
> grandparents see it than parents. It occurs earlier in some places than
> others. This is why some people always see these problems in some
> place at some earlier time. I think the "60s" was the time it occurred in
> such magnitudes that it openly impacted our entire society. It is a
> continuing process, but usually takes more time to occur in conservative
> areas.
> My works suggests this is a major biological change that affects both the
> body and brain. Most grandparents and some parents have noticed the
> change in body size and function in children. Children are getting bigger
> and reaching puberty earlier. "The average age of menarche [puberty] in
> the female has dropped from approximately 17 years to approximately 13
> years. Thus, today maturation occurs about 25% faster than it did 100
> years ago." ("Sexual Dimorphism in Homo sapiens," R.L. Hall, Praeger
> Publishers, New York, 1982, page 279). "...children in average
> economic circumstances have increased in height at age five to seven by
> about 1 to 2 centimeters per decade. ...Most of the trend toward greater
> size in children reflects a more rapid maturation; only a minor part
> reflects a greater ultimate size." (Encyclopaedia Britannica 1984; 5:
> 656).
> My work suggests a cause of this change. The hormone, testosterone, is
> rising rapidly in our society. Increased testosterone increases body size,
> aggression, and sexuality in both sexes. (Testosterone is not "the" male
> hormone, men simply produce more.) People who produce more
> testosterone are more aggressive and sexual, therefore, on average, they
> ultimately make more babies than those who produce less testosterone.
> (People who produce less testosterone can better control their sexual
> activity; over a period of time, they will produce fewer children.)
> Ultimately, the percentage of high testosterone people, of both sexes,
> increases at the expense of low testosterone people. This changes the
> averages of everything affected by testosterone. This is why our kids are
> biggfer, more sexual, and more aggressive than in the past.
> The mechanism is simple: higher testosterone boys and girls reach
> sexual maturity faster, increase their numbers faster, and their offspring
> are even earlier and more sexual. People seeking sexual gratification
> are simply more likely to engage each other. Sexual activity is so
> common today that no "stigma" is attached; in fact, there appears to be a
> negative stigma attached to those who do not indulge.
> Prior to puberty, the brain grows more rapidly than the body; it is a
> competition which the brain wins in infancy and early childhood.
> Because of this brain-body competition, puberty is delayed until the brain
> is almost finished in development. Near puberty, however, testosterone
> increases the body's competitive edge for growth and development which
> continues into adulthood. "The weight of the brain [in humans] reaches
> 90% of adult size by age six and virtually 100% by age 12, yet body
> growth continues to age 18 and beyone (note that brain growth is nearly
> finished before reproductive maturity every begins)." ("Patterns of Human
> Growth," Cambridge University Press, 1988, pages 60-61).
> The advanced frontal lobes of the brain develop last and control formal
> thinking, i.e., higher math, proper language (syntax), and the ability to
> form meaningfully predictive ideas (hypotheses). This is Piaget's final
> stage of human thought development. This stage of brain development is
> directly dependent on final development of the frontal lobes "from about
> age 11 to 14," (Science 1987; 236: 1110). I suggest early puberty
> interferes with this important final development of the frontal lobes. For
> example, it was reported that standardized test scores of 13- and 17-
> year-olds of 1986 are lower than those of 1970, whereas the scores of 9-
> year-old children have remained relatively equal (Science 1988; 241:
> 1751). I suggest this decline is the effect of puberty, which, in this
> country, on average, is now occurring between age 9 and 13. Our
> children are, on average, losing the ability to handle math and English.
> More importantly, our children are losing the ability to form meaningfully
> predictive ideas that help control their impulses. "What are the
> consequences of my actions?" Without the function of the frontal lobes,
> symbolized by this question, kids cannot predict the consequences of, or
> control, their behaviors (impulses). Violent acts and sexual activity in
> children and teenagers are actions of impulse. These impulses are
> initiated by the primitive part of our brains, which testosterone mainly
> affects. Children are reaching puberty earlier with each generation, and
> early puberty arrests final development of the brain. This means that, on
> average, our advanced brain is increasingly underdeveloped with each
> generation. This is why so many children cannot control their sexual or
> aggressive impulses.
> It is fact that, on average, the behaviors mentioned above, occur in
> higher incidence in the black population. That is, on average, black
> children have more problems with math and English, score lower on
> standardized tests, exhibit more aggressive and sexual impulse activity,
> and experience family disintegration more than white children. The
> reason, I suggest, is that, on average, blacks, as a group, produce more
> testosterone than whites, as a group. (Take note of the journal source of
> the following quotation.)
> "This report gives the results of assays of circulating steroid hormone
> levels in white and black college students in Los Angeles, CA. Mean
> testosterone levels in blacks were 19% higher than whites, and free
> testosterone levels were 21% higher. Both these differences were
> statistically significant. Adjustment by analysis of covariance for time of
> sampling, age, weight, alcohol use, cigarette smoking, and use of
> prescription drugs somewhat reduced the differences. After these
> adjustments were made, blacks had a 15% higher testosterone level and
> a 13% higher free testosterone level." (Journal of the National Cancer
> Institute 1986; 76: 45).
> The study, above, was of college students. If I am correct that
> testosterone adversely affects learning, then those blacks who are unable
> to meet requirements for college admission, or even complete high
> school, may produce more testosterone, on average. The should exhibit
> even less impulse control; this may be why there are so many black on
> black murders in ghettos. This was not a common occurrence in black
> communities in the depression. Testosterone is increasing over time.
> I have suggested that increases in testosterone in our society are causing
> the overall problems, i.e., increases intestosterone are causing problems
> for both blacks and whites. Therefore, the rate of teenage births should
> be higher in blacks than whites but increased in both, compared to other
> advanced coutnries. This is the case.
> "The rate of teenage births is especially high in the black population. An
> international comparison around 1980 revealed that the black U.S.
> teenage fertility rate was 2.3 times the white and 3.2 times the average of
> 30 advanced countries. The contrast is even greater among the
> youngest teenagers; blacks under 18 years of age had a rate in 1980 that
> was more than three times that of whites. Nonetheless, even white
> teenage birthrates were 40% higher than the average for other advanced
> countries." (Science 1986; 234: 554).
> Not only do blacks, as a group, produce more testosterone, which I have
> suggested, increases the onset of puberty, they do, in fact, reach puberty
> earlier than whites as a group.
> "Black youths are known to enter into puberty at a younder chronological
> age than white yourth." (American Journal of Diseases of Children 1991;
> 145: 142).
> Again, it is my hypothesis that the violence, sexuality, and learning
> problems of our youth result from increased testosterone and early
> puberty in those affected. High testosterone and early puberty adversely
> affects development of the part of the brain which controls impulsive
> behaviors, i.e., the advanced forebrain. This combination should
> generate these problems, and they should be exacerbated in areas
> wheere high sexuality rapidly brings high testosterone males and females
> together. The result is an extremely rapid increase in high testosterone,
> early puberty, and their combined effects on impulse control. As people
> of lower testosterone are literally driven away, the problem becomes
> more concentrated. Impulsive acts also become concentrated; this is
> why there is so much black on black and white on white violence."
> James Howard