Many of history’s greatest discoveries have been accidental. Gravity, botox, anaesthesia—take your pick. However, this week’s surpasses them all, as an investigation into men’s testosterone levels has revealed why hipsters (the Yuppies du jour) are often so passive aggressive.
The research, conducted by Durham University, found that men’s testosterone levels are largely determined by their environment during childhood. What does this have to do with kombucha, Colombian snow and SUV Porsches? Because men who grow up in luxury are likely to have higher testosterone levels in later life than those who spend their childhood in more challenging environments.
This was established by measuring men’s exposure to infectious diseases, which tend to be less prevalent in affluent areas. Published in Nature Ecology and Evolution, this study challenges the legacy theory that testosterone levels are controlled by genetics or race.
When will I stop being passive aggressive? You tell me. You’re the smart one with all the answers.
— Loula (@L_O_U_L_A) June 18, 2018
As reported by Science Daily, “The study found that Bangladeshi men who grew up and lived as adults in the UK had significantly higher levels of testosterone compared to relatively well-off men who grew up and lived in Bangladesh as adults. Bangladeshis in Britain also reached puberty at a younger age and were taller than men who lived in Bangladesh throughout their childhood.”
The report attributes these differences to “energy investment,” revealing that it’s difficult to develop testosterone if there are other demands placed on the body—like fighting off infections. This led the lead author of the study, Dr Kesson Magid, to conclude; “A man’s absolute levels of testosterone are unlikely to relate to their ethnicity or where they live as adults but instead reflect their surroundings when they were children.”
“In environments where people are more exposed to disease or poor nutrition, developing males direct energy towards survival at the cost of testosterone.”
So there you have it. The next time your Eastern suburbs barista throws shade at your #basic coffee order, take a deep breath and remember this article.