Heroes, Rogues, and Lovers: Testosterone and Behavior

Overview

Portrayed as a kind of "demon seed," testosterone is routinely blamed for everything from rape to road rage. At the same time, it is equated with virility, heroism, and technical skill. But, as psychologist James McBride Dabbs explains in this fascinating exploration of testosterone and behavior, the truth is both much subtler and more scientifically interesting. Dabbs weaves intimate case histories with first-hand scientific research to explore testosterone's role in virtually every aspect of humanity-from ...
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Overview

Portrayed as a kind of "demon seed," testosterone is routinely blamed for everything from rape to road rage. At the same time, it is equated with virility, heroism, and technical skill. But, as psychologist James McBride Dabbs explains in this fascinating exploration of testosterone and behavior, the truth is both much subtler and more scientifically interesting. Dabbs weaves intimate case histories with first-hand scientific research to explore testosterone's role in virtually every aspect of humanity-from language ability, cognition, and spatial orientation, to the occupations we enter, and what kind of lovers, husbands, and wives we become-even the way we smile.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780071376280
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
  • Publication date: 8/15/2001
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.62 (w) x 8.62 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Prologue: Beginnings xi
Part 1 Human Nature 1
Chapter 1. The Animal Within 3
Rascals, Heroes, and Colorful People 3
Measuring Testosterone 6
The Fetus 11
Adolescence and Adulthood 15
The Brain and the Mind 19
Testosterone Is Like the Weather 22
Chapter 2. Two Sexes 24
Two Sexes and Testosterone 24
Evolution 25
Natural Selection 27
Sexual Selection 29
Large Tools and Heavy Equipment 33
The Truce Between the Sexes 35
Individual Differences 38
Chapter 3. Testosterone, Mind, and Behavior 41
"This Is Not What I Had Expected" 41
Simple Thought and Action 43
Spatial Skills 51
Strength, Dominance, and Sex 58
Panache: Looking the Part 65
Part 2 Social Life 73
Chapter 4. Ruthless Creatures 75
Hyenas 75
Violent Men and Women 76
Rambunctious People 81
Winning and Losing 87
Hyena Values and Human Values 93
Chapter 5. Love and Sex 95
Love, Magic, and Molecules 95
Better than Monkey Glands 99
The Seasons of Love 103
Testosterone and Marriage, Like a Rhino (or a Peacock) and a Carriage 106
Why Do Good Women Marry Rascals? 112
Courtship, or the Only Wheel in Town 116
An Evolutionary Model 121
Chapter 6. Earning a Living 125
At the Bar 125
Trial by Combat 128
"A Hard and Shifty Fellow" 131
Tough Women and Tough Work 138
When Should Testosterone Really Make a Difference? 140
Actors and Other Men 141
All the Jobs in the Country 146
The Irony of Testosterone 150
Part 3 Civilization 153
Chapter 7. Dear Ladies and Gentle Men 155
A Kinder and Gentler World 155
Smile! You've Got Low Testosterone! 156
"Getting to Like You, Getting to Hope You Like Me" 161
Two Kinds of People, Two Ways to Live 163
When Your Level Is Too Low 165
Related Hormones 166
Altruism and Mixed Motives 172
Chapter 8. Heroic Altruism 174
A Walk on the Crust of Hell 174
Local Heroes 176
Varieties of Heroic Altruism 182
The Altruism Tax 185
The Mixed Values of Love and War 187
Values Supporting Heroic Altruism 190
Positive Reinforcement 192
Chapter 9. The Taming of Testosterone 194
Ares at Olympus 194
Ancient and Modern Times 194
Tribal Values 196
Joining the Club 199
Power and Legend 202
Belonging and Behaving 202
Too Many Men? 207
"But We Have Free Will" 209
Epilogue: The Circle 213
Notes 217
References 247
Index 269
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2004

    Waste of Time

    This book is very poorly organized. It meanders from one topic to the next in a sort of random fashion. Much of the information is misleading at best. The book leads one to belive that Testosterone is the cause of much behaviour - once again releasing the individual from responsibility for their actions. Do not waste your time on this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2000

    Heroes,Rogues, and Lovers: Testosterone and Behavior

    I now have a clearer understanding of the volatile dynamic between my ex-wife and myself. (In all likelihood we are both high in this oh-so-fascinating hormone). This book has a scientific/biological explanation for some of the energy present in our interactions. An easy read that doesn't condescend to the reader; it has put me on the hunt for more information on this subject.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2000

    Testosterone: Who knew!

    I had read well over half the book before I could put it down. It's good to see illistrations of testosterone in association with good, productive behavior. The bad rapt of 'aggressive behavior hormone' can be somewhat lifted...and perhaps a positive 'self-fulfilling profiecy' of pro-social behavior can enter the mix of what motivates us all. Wouldn't that be nice. Required reading for the hormonally motivated.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2000

    Heroes,Rogues, and Lovers: Testosterone and Behavior

    This book makes a compelling scientific argument explaining heroic behavior. As a woman, I had always assumed that my habit of jumping into fights in bars to break them up was motivated by altruistism while at the same time not really believing I possessed those types of feelings. A very entertaining book that left me wishing it had been devoted solely to high testosterone women.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2000

    Heroes,Rogues, and Lovers: Testosterone and Behavior

    An entertaining read that provides a scientific context for understanding many different types of behaviors in men, but more interestingly: women. Often neglected in other studies on testosterone, this book explores the many different ways high levels of testosterone manifest in women. Laugh-out-loud funny at times, every reader will see someone they know (or perhaps themselves) in this book! Rather than using high testosterone as an excuse for outrageous or sociopathic behavior, James and Mary Dabbs illustrate how appropriate child-rearing can direct the high testosterone child's energies to positive ends.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2000

    Heroes,Rogues, and Lovers: Testosterone and Behavior

    Finally I have an understanding of the men in my life: from brother to father to boss to past and present loves! And better yet: an understanding of the many women in my life as well. Never thought a scientific book could be hilarious and engaging. Read it cover to cover in one night. Was left yearning for more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2000

    Outstanding

    A most excellent work! Coauthors, Mary and James Dabbs, produce a consummate book integrating sound research methodology, superb explanations for complex metabolic processes and wonderful stories to illustrate the research. Who would think that a book about testosterone and its influence on behavior in both genders across multiple species would be such a page turner, but it is one. I can't wait for the sequel and the movie.

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