Stoics Needed

There is something beyond broken about our nation’s discourse on masculinity when the most popular cable news host on the most popular cable network produces a special on American men in crisis and it features testicle-tanning. Yes, feast your eyes on a man on a pile of rocks, groin aglow with radiant red light:

The picture is rooted in two highly dubious assertions. First, that male testosterone levels are falling dramatically. And second, that exposing your genitals to red light can boost testosterone production. 

The New York Times took a look at both assertions, and neither truly holds up. Turns out that we don’t really know how testosterone levels compare over time:

Studies examining changes in testosterone over time are challenging for several reasons, including difficulties in recruiting large populations of normal subjects, daily circadian changes in testosterone, and differences in testing methods over time, noted Dr. John Amory, an expert on male reproductive health at the University of Washington.

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