Defining Men

In case of domestic chores men like to do projects in their own time with clear cut beginning and end, without being managed or directed

Watch a man in the mall. Wife is on a shopping spree. As he’s dragging along she doesn’t know that her shopping gives her husband a brain haemorrhage. There's no problem for him to solve while she does shopping, there’s no goal, either, as far as he can tell she’s going to shop forever.

He’s exhausted, frustrated and soon downright demoralized. He seems magnetically pulled to the closet chair and there’s such a struggle to get him out of that chair.

He gets visions of falling asleep on the benches, as minutes turn into hours---very, very long hours. Imagine, the poor fellow is left to take care of kids, as the partner does the shopping. Unless he comes across a beverage shop he may die on the spot.

Men hate like poison, indecisiveness … ‘what-to-buy’ & then ‘getting-suckered-into’ buying something they don't really need. They shudder at the prospect of traipsing through a myriad of stores searching countless clearance racks for just the right colour, style, fit and price of a dress material. Doesn’t matter if they go alone, or are accompanied by someone, they're hardly excited by their shopping, nor by being told how great they look on them. A clear destination/goal where they're going and the desired outcome are very important to men. When they shop, men are on a hunt, on a mission. They want to get in and out as quickly as possible. Shopping stimulates their testosterone. And testosterone defines men. Testosterone regulates his libido, bone mass, fat distribution, muscle mass and strength, and the production of red blood cells and sperm.

Testosterone levels in men fall during the course of the day. There’s a natural cycle that peaks in the morning. During the workday men are depleting their testosterone. When the stress of their day is over, their bodies must relax to restore the hormone. This shift is often set off by the setting of the sun. The brain sends signals to the pituitary gland. A "feedback loop" closely regulates the amount of the hormone in the blood. Men's need for space to be alone is deeply rooted in their biological makeup. They need ‘cave time’ to replenish the testosterone levels which are low at the end of the day. Others may think they’re lazy when in fact men have a biological imperative to rest. They elevate their testosterone level by taking a nap or watching TV or reading a newspaper.

Problem-solving releases testosterone, which’s why men enjoy fixing gadgets/gutters/plumbing/leaks, driving the kids to places and picking them up, emptying the trash, carrying heavy boxes, bringing in shopping bags, mowing the lawn, emergencies, disasters and so on. As they act, they feel competent and powerful. Confidence increases testosterone and doing things that stimulate testosterone will increase a man's confidence. It goes both ways. When a man feels successful his energy and well-being increase because his testosterone levels are normal. When he thinks that he can't make a difference in his relationship his energy and interest drop along with his testosterone levels. This is why being acknowledged and accepted are very important to a man's well-being.

When men don’t feel successful at work or worry about problems that they can do nothing to solve, their testosterone levels begin to drop and they experience lowered spirits until their testosterone levels rise again. Men love to be left alone and at their pace. In case of domestic chores men like to do projects in their own time with clear cut beginning and end, without being managed or directed. In the case of cooperative and collaborative activities, like laundry, shopping, cooking, and cleaning that fail to raise their testosterone levels, many lose interest and energy during activities. They’d pay vendors, push the cart, carry heavy bags etc in the testosterone manner.

Men are calm at home, despite being domineering, competitive, status-obsessed, attention-seeking, factual, and designed to reveal knowledge and skill. When men experience the fight or flight response, vasopressin is released in their bodies and enhanced by testosterone. The combination of vasopressin and testosterone suppresses the production of oxytocin. As a result of the suppression of oxytocin production, men don't have the built-in tranquilizer to deal with stress. It's difficult for men to calm down. In day-to-day activities women have much higher levels of emotional reaction, but at times of great danger when men are ready to fight it’s often women who calm things down.
Jockeying for position is wired into the male brain. Fierce male-male competition is found in animals and it’s ubiquitous in higher primates. Like human males, chimps will bluff, scheme, and even murder to gain or maintain rank. And like human males, they respond biologically to victories and setbacks. The testosterone that runs their competitive circuits ramps up as men anticipate a confrontation, aggression and impulsivity. Younger, testosterone-fuelled men are prone to rash driving, accidents, violence and death. In later life, they’re carried off by heart disease. Testosterone is linked to elevations of LDL, the bad cholesterol, as well as declines in HDL, the good cholesterol. Testosterone is just good at suppressing the immune system as cortisol. This immunosuppression is the reason why men are highly susceptible to infectious diseases, a trend that occurs throughout the animal kingdom. Remember, castrated males that produce no testosterone live about 15 years longer than men who aren't castrated.

In primitive cultures, individuals isolated from their tribe could rarely survive on their own. When men live isolated lives their daily routines can become repetitive habits. Soon, if routine, they get irritated when someone disrupts them because their brain’s social-flexibility circuits are weakened from disuse. This is the story of grumpy old men. Fifty-sixty something men begin to make less testosterone and vasopressin; the ratio of estrogen to testosterone increases as men get older. Hormonally the mature male brain is becoming more like the mature female brain. Welcome to our world, guys! Thus, because older men have lower levels of testosterone and vasopressin, estrogen and oxytocin have a more dramatic effect on them. Oxytocin improves their ability to empathize. It enhances their capacity to read subtle facial expressions.

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