Aggression, boldness, and brawn are all adjectives our society might apply when describing the testosterone-driven male. But the true effects of testosterone are much more subtle and varied than these descriptors would suggest. The DW Documentary series examines the truths behind the most important male hormone with the fascinating Testosterone: The Making of a Man.
Testosterone often gets a bum rap as it is commonly linked to the unseemly instincts of violence and competition. According to the multiple scientists interviewed in the film, however, this reputation is undeserved. In fact, an abundance of testosterone might inspire a greater sense of social openness and selflessness. It might even improve upon a man's ability to learn and strategize.
Some of the hormone's functions are already widely acknowledged in the scientific realm, including its instrumental role in the development of men's hair patterns, beard growth, bone growth and density, musculature, sexual function, and overall personality.
Throughout the course of the film, we hear the intricate details that outline the hormone's production, genetic make-up, and its impacts on male behavior. This field of research continues to evolve, and is closely related to issues of brain function and psychological motivations. We witness the fruits of various test studies as two subjects are given two injections of testosterone of varying volumes. Will it bring about more aggressive behaviors?
The film addresses a series of crucial questions. What amount of testosterone is considered "healthy" and "normal", and how much is too much? Testosterone replacement therapies have never been more popular among seniors, but are they really a viable option to rejuvenate energy and vitality? What is the hormone's culpability in the sporting scandals of recent years?
In addition to the health scientists featured in the film, we're introduced to several men who suffer from testosterone deficiencies. The panel of interview subjects chimes in on testosterone's ability to impact everything from weight gain to infertility.
Testosterone: The Making of a Man is a much more nuanced and complex portrait than many viewers might expect. It's likely to change your view of testosterone and the role it plays in sculpting masculinity.
Directed by: Kirsten Esch