Last week’s article on PRP and ACI sparked and irritated some readers.
Mostly Tiger fans, of course.
Today’s mailbag contained an email asking me, “Are you claiming Tiger Woods is on steroids?”.
Along with physical characteristics such as acne, facial hair and acromegaly, steroid users usually show signs of aggressiveness, huge egos and vanity, increased sex drive, and illogical thinking.
You can say his “behaviour” on the course from the use of four letter words when he has a bad shot is unusual for calm professional golfer on National TV, but I’ve used the f*** and s*** words occasionally when I play golf. Or when my hard drive crashes. Or bad drivers while driving my car in Italy.
Even his physique looks a lot different than his childhood hero Jack Nicklaus, but that physique can come from a proper weight training program with a good diet and supplements. Especially if your body type is a hyper-responder.
You can definitely say infidelity and increased sex drive, plus lack of clear thinking for a married person is sign of a steroid user, but honestly, that trait (or flaw?) can be seen in both men and women who don’t take steroids. No names, please.
That leaves us with increased aggressiveness, which is usually the clear sign of steroid users. But in Tiger’s defence, a new study has shown otherwise.
New scientific evidence refutes the preconception that testosterone causes aggressive, egocentric, and risky behavior.
A study at the Universities of Zurich and Royal Holloway London with more than 120 experimental subjects has shown that the sexual hormone with the poor reputation can encourage fair behaviors if this serves to ensure one’s own status.
The study’s results, however, contradict this view sharply. Test subjects with an artificially enhanced testosterone level generally made better, fairer offers than those who received placebos, thus reducing the risk of a rejection of their offer to a minimum. «The preconception that testosterone only causes aggressive or egoistic behavior in humans is thus clearly refuted,» sums up Eisenegger. Instead, the findings suggest that the hormone increases the sensitivity for status. For animal species with relatively simple social systems, an increased awareness for status may express itself in aggressiveness. «In the socially complex human environment, pro-social behavior secures status, and not aggression,» surmises study co-author Michael Naef from Royal Holloway London. «The interplay between testosterone and the socially differentiated environment of humans, and not testosterone itself, probably causes fair or aggressive behavior.»
Moreover the study shows that the popular wisdom that the hormone causes aggression is apparently deeply entrenched: those test subjects who believed they had received the testosterone compound and not the placebo stood out with their conspicuously unfair offers. It is possible that these persons exploited the popular wisdom to legitimate their unfair actions. Economist Michael Naef states: «It appears that it is not testosterone itself that induces aggressiveness, but rather the myth surrounding the hormone. In a society where qualities and manners of behavior are increasingly traced to biological causes and thereby partly legitimated, this should make us sit up and take notice.» The study clearly demonstrates the influence of both social as well as biological factors on human behavior.
How about that? All his angles and alibis are covered!