Where did all the manly men go?

There’s been a lot of talk recently about what’s the matter with men these days. Some folks think men just don’t seem as manly as they used to be. When they compare their grandfathers with men today, the latter just don’t seem to stack up. Plenty of theories get thrown around as to the reason behind this perceived decline in manhood — changing economy, video games, feminism — and much of it is bunk.

But there is in fact one thing about manliness that we can objectively point to as being in decline. Testosterone levels.

Most of you probably know that your individual testosterone levels fall as you age. But studies have shown that men today, across the population, have about 20% less testosterone than men the same age did just two decades ago. That’s a huge dip.

What’s causing this decline? Rising obesity is a huge part of this decline. But even when rising obesity is taken into account, it doesn’t explain the whole decline. It has been theorized that environmental toxins also play a big role. Many modern household products and foods contain chemicals that raise your levels of estrogen, and decrease your T.

Not only does this society-wide drop in testosterone negatively impact men’s health and well-being, but it also likely affects the preponderance of traditionally masculine ways of thinking, acting, and feeling.

So if you’ve ever felt like men today just don’t have the same swagger, the same virility as your grandpa did, that they don’t look and act as masculine as the strapping men you see in black and white photographs, well it turns out it’s not all in your head. There’s a reason guys today are more like the Biebs than the Duke, and it’s partly because we don’t have as much T flowing through our veins anymore.

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