Testosterone steals the spotlight; whether it be illegal use in athletics or breakthrough medical therapies, a media storm surrounds the supplemental use of this controversial hormone. Naturally, as testosterone use rises, a discussion concerning the effects creates concern. Aside from adverse physical effects, rage and aggressive behavior is associated with testosterone. How factual is the link?
Testosterone is the principle male hormone classified as an anabolic steroid because it will increase body tissue size and encourage the retention of protein by the body. Produced by both men and women, testosterone is produced in the gonads and is derived from cholesterol.
Testosterone occurs naturally in the body; individuals may supplement additional testosterone to treat certain medical conditions, to treat conditions caused by limited testosterone production, to treat some cancers or to bulk up for competition. The practice to aid sport with the use of testosterone is outlawed by most all professional sport organizations and controlled with routine drug test policies identifying surplus testosterone in athletes.
The idea of testosterone "rage"---that extra testosterone can make someone angry and act out---came into the spotlight recently as a result of the double murder-suicide involving professional wrestler Chris Benoit in 2007. A media frenzy attempted to link Benoit's steroid abuse with this act of extreme hostility, however there has been no concrete evidence linking steroid use as a contributing factor.
Several studies have, however, linked the use and abuse of high levels of testosterone with uncontrollable anger. Men who have high levels of testosterone usually respond to situations in an overly aggressive manner.
Sport governing bodies seek to deter testosterone use in athletes with drug testing policies, punishment for offenders and education-based prevention. Those individuals choosing to use testosterone on their own to bulk up should be aware of the legal and health ramifications and should avoid risky behavior or potentially anger-rising situations.
- "Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience"; Neural Mechanisms of the Testosterone-Agression Relation; Pranjal Meta & Jennifer Beer; 2010
- U.S. Anti-Doping Agency
- "New England Journal of Medicine"; Adverse Events Associated with Testosterone Administration; Shehzad Basaria et. al.; 2010
- "People Magazine"; Chris Benoit's Final Days; Larry Sutton; 2007