STAFF EDITORIAL: 2008 election brings change in male hormones

Republicans and independents lost in the 2008 presidential election: they lost the presidential race, and they lost their libidos. The men, at least.

According to an article in Tuesday’s Duke Chronicle, 40 minutes after Obama won the election, hormone levels in male supporters of John McCain and Bob Barr dropped significantly. The newspaper cited a joint-survey conducted by scientists from Duke University’s Center for Cognitive Neuroscience and the University of Michigan.

‘We were not out to make a political point with this study,’ Steven Stanton, a postdoctoral researcher and co-author of the study, said. ‘It’s just that this contest, the 2008 presidential election, is a good place (to look at) the consequence of winning or losing a dominance contest in terms of testosterone levels.’

In the study – which included females – the testosterone levels of women remained constant regardless of which candidate they supported.

‘The fact that you can change testosterone levels just by placing a vote instead of fighting it out yourself is really a novel discovery of how testosterone levels can be changed,’ Kevin LaBar, an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience and a co-author of the study, said.

LaBar said the study shed light on the evolution of testosterone from a mediator of social dominance in physical combat to its current state, in which a popular disagreement with one’s opinion hinders it.

It’s no lie that men hate to lose; it’s in men’s DNA to be competitive. But sometimes we take competition too seriously and it ends up overwhelming us.

Competition is as American as apple pie, which, interestingly enough, is English. The bottom line is that competitions will forever be a part of our lives. Men compete with each other for everything. We compete with each other for love interests, money, to see who has the nicer car and home, and, at UH especially, for parking spots.

We are forever involved in a vicious cycle of competitions, but if we recognize that and don’t take it too much to heart, we can learn to lose with grace.

Leave a Comment