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Heroes, Rogues, & Lovers: Testosterone and Behavior

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Book Overview

Portrayed as a kind of "demon seed," testosterone is routinely blamed for everything from rape to road rage. At the same time, it is equated with virility, heroism, and technical skill. But, as... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Engaging, informative, thought-provoking, insightful.

Heroes, Rogues and Lovers deserves attention from students of science and contemporary culture as well, surveying testosterone and behavior patterns and considering the role of testosterone in human behavior. This provides plenty of physiological research and insights geared to the general reader, examining its significance in psychosocial circles and in physical effect. Case histories blend with scientific research and history to describe its role in all aspects of human actions.

Fascinating and thought provoking

I read the book 'Heros, Rogues, and Lovers: Testosterone and Behavior' by James and Mary Dabbs in the midst of the presidential debates between Al Gore and George W. Bush. The book caused me to wonder about the testosterone levels of the two candidates as a possible factor in their demeanor. In the third debate, when Gore strode into Bush's 'personal space' during Bush's speaking turn, I thought "now that's high testosterone and wouldn't it be great to get him to spit to find out!" Perhaps Dr. Dabbs and his students had similar thoughts.What an interesting ecclectic book. Where to place it on my shelves? Next to the self help books such as 'Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus'? With the biology and ethology books? Or with my old social psychology books from my college days. Or possibly even in the poetry and literature section. People from all walks of life will find this to be a charming intelligent book about the influence of testosterone on animal and human behavior void of snobbery that so often infects academic works. I especially liked the folksy anecdotes about people and animals that add warmth and color to the book.Now here's an idea for a commercial offshoot to this work: Would it be possible to produce a testosterone self-test kit similar to pregnancy test kits available in the drug store? If testosterone proves to be such a potent factor in how people get along, well think of the possibilities. Parents of dating-age daughters could screen prospective boyfriends and at least raise warning flags about boys with high testosterone. It could be used on a personal basis as a tool to better understand oneself by tracking fluctuations that possibly lead to mood swings. Speaking personally, when I was divorced a few years ago, my body and brain chemistry went bonkers for a few months, affecting my preferences in books, music, TV programs, and on and on. I suddenly lost interest in sports such as football. Gradually, I reverted back to my old obnoxious male sports-oriented self. Was this due to a testosterone swing?I'm looking forward to further research about testosterone and other chemicals that affect our behavior, especially as it applies to the gender wars. The thriving divorce industry suggests a dire need for research that helps us better understand and overcome gender differences. Can't we all just get along?Speaking of the divorce industry, the research comparing trial lawyers to non-trial lawyers was very interesting. Could I venture a hypothesis that matrimonial lawyers will register highest of all lawyer groups on the rogue, er, testosterone scale?

Balanced and Obervational

This book seemed balanced and well-researched. They observed not just men, but the effects of testosterone on both men and women, and the consequences for both sexes of having high or low testosterone, as well as the positive and negative effects having high testosterone has on men and women. It was also interesting to read how testosterone interacts with other hormones, like serotonin. Their conclusions were consistent with human behavior I've observed. I think it would be fascinating to do a similar study on the effects of estrogen; perhaps theres already a book.

Mars and Venus in a Boxing Ring

An entertaining read that provides a scientific context for understanding many different types of behaviors in men, but more interestingly: women. Often neglected in other studies on testosterone, this book explores the many different ways high levels of testosterone manifest in women. Laugh-out-loud funny at times, every reader will see someone they know (or perhaps themselves) in this book! Rather than using high testosterone as an excuse for outrageous or sociopathic behavior, James and Mary Dabbs illustrate how appropriate child-rearing can direct the high testosterone child's energies to positive ends.


A most excellent work! Coauthors, Mary and James Dabbs, produce a consummate book integrating sound research methodology, superb explanations for complex metabolic processes and wonderful stories to illustrate the research. Who would think that a book about testosterone and its influence on behavior in both genders across multiple species would be such a page turner, but it is one. I can't wait for the sequel and the movie.
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