New Study -- Guns Rile Men Up


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BenW
May 12, 2006, 11:59 AM
Interesting, since in my experience men I know who own guns tend to get much less "riled" in a given situation than those who don't. In fact my own experience has been that men I work with who are vehemently anti-gun are much more prone to fits of rage and / or throwing things over situations that I would just shrug off.

And where do women fit into this oh so well grounded study?


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http://townhall.com/opinion/columns/jonahgoldberg/2006/05/12/197117.html

Of course guns rile men up

By Jonah Goldberg

May 12, 2006

The New York Times, always keeping a weather eye for new evidence that guns are dangerous, reported this week that men who handle guns get more stirred up than men who handle children's board games.

The study by psychologists at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., enrolled 30 men and measured the testosterone levels in their saliva. Then the men were divided and given separate tasks. One group was asked to take apart and reassemble a large handgun and then write down instructions on how to put it together. The other group was asked to do the same with the game Mouse Trap.

Afterward, those who handled the gun showed a jump in testosterone levels. Subjects were then asked to drink a cup of water with hot sauce in it and then prepare a similar drink for someone else. Those who handled the gun were more likely to add more hot sauce than those who didn't. This means, according to the paper, that "handling a gun stirs a hormonal reaction in men that primes them for aggression."

Time magazine's Andrew Sullivan gleaned major news here: "A new front has just opened up in the Second Amendment debate. The usual NRA argument is that guns don't kill people; people kill people. I've always been almost-persuaded by this. The missing link is what actually owning or handling a gun does to male psychology. Does it ramp up testosterone all by itself and thereby make firing a gun more likely?"

Sigh.

One could spend all day raising serious questions about the merits of this study. First of all, have you ever tried to put Mouse Trap together? It's really hard, emasculating even, perhaps to the point of causing testosterone to plummet to tea-party-with-your-toddler levels. And why a game at all? Why not a motor or something equally benign but a bit more, you know, manly? And maybe adding extra hot sauce has less to do with aggression than it does with testosterone's effects on a desire for spicy food? Perhaps testosterone levels tend to rise in men invited to participate in a "taste study," only to be handed a big honkin' gat by a total stranger? And what about the ladies? Shall we venture to guess what hormonal fluctuations await women asked to dismantle guns or absurdly complex toys?

But all of this misses the point. A more insidious danger than guns is the rush to medicalize behavior. Let's stipulate that handling a gun causes testosterone levels to rise. Let's also concede that elevated testosterone levels are associated with aggression. So what? Does this tell us anything important or new? Science is learning how to measure all sorts of really interesting things, from the effects of porn on the male brain to the effects of porn on the male brain. Whoops. I guess that answers what those effects are.

Anyway, every day we hear about new studies "revealing" what should have been obvious to sentient beings for generations. A few recent headlines: "Fat kids become fat adults, says new study," "Housewives not as desperate as singles over 40, a new study finds," "Drowsiness, inattention play big role in car accidents, study finds." Every few months, newspapers breathlessly report that - surprise! - men and women are different, children are impressionable, and poisons are bad for you. What next? "Research shows wolverines don't like to be teased"? or "Running with scissors inadvisable, Mayo Clinic reports"?

Folk wisdom has more scientific rigor than we give it credit for. Your grandmother didn't need a double-blind study to tell you that you should wash your hands after you go to the bathroom. And I don't need some paper to tell me that a man will get a small hormonal buzz from getting to play with a gun while the guy next to him is stuck with a lame board game.

The important question is, "So what?" Prohibitionists were correct that alcohol affects the brain a heck of a lot more than handling a gun does. Do we need a new study to tell us that? And when it does, should we bring back Prohibition? So testosterone might jump when men tinker with guns. That no more means responsible men, including cops, can't handle the rush than it means irresponsible men have an excuse when they kill people. The testosterone made me do it! The "NRA argument," as Sullivan puts it, is unchanged.

Long before science conclusively "proves" that human beings are sinful and prone to temptation, we already know exactly that. Identifying the hormones and genes that make this so should not change our views. Science may study humans as mere biological organisms. But civilization and our constitutional order demand that we look at people as something more: as citizens responsible for their own actions first, and as testosterone machines a distant second.

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online. A fantastic podcast with Jonah is now available for free from the Ashbrook Center.

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xd9fan
May 12, 2006, 12:05 PM
or maybe handling a gun......is like handling a woman.....both bring out the MAN in you!:D

CAnnoneer
May 12, 2006, 12:05 PM
Hehehehe, sorry, knee-jerk reaction against leftists. I saw him speak on C-SPAN and distinctly remember a nigh-uncontrollable desire to puke.

sm
May 12, 2006, 12:10 PM
Studies and Statistics can be manipulated / data gleaned can be skewed to favor a position.

I dunno, heart rates go up putting up shelving, a child's playground set, or changing vacuum cleaner bags. "Part A to Part B unless your model has a "-C" then duct tape Part A to part H...".

How about helping a kid do math, or assisting a kid having to read a slanted anti-RKBA/Hunting book for a book report?

To me, Internet Forums reveal quite a bit. Seems the civil discussions , data presented with documentations and cites and all show more "cool heads" than Internet forums against RKBA, Hunting, and similar.

Easiest way to build up one's self esteem - is to tear down another person's.

Jubei
May 12, 2006, 12:34 PM
And in further studies, Knox College has also determined that men get more excited by seeing a naked woman, than they do when they see a naked wombat.

This study concludes that naked wombats, are unappealing. In future studies, Knox College plans to compare apples, to oranges.

Jubei

Yowza
May 12, 2006, 12:36 PM
They probably had the men disassemble/reassemble a Ruger Mark II. I know that tends to get me riled up!

Next time they should try it with a Sig;)

Rick

MS .45
May 12, 2006, 12:51 PM
I don't understand how putting more hot sauce in the water is considered to be agressive behavior. To me, that seems more of a joking or humurous action.

mordechaianiliewicz
May 12, 2006, 03:13 PM
or maybe handling a gun......is like handling a woman.....both bring out the MAN in you!

+1

In studies of men who watched porn, there were of course jumps in testoterone levels. Does that indicate increased violent tendencies? Not for the majority of us.

Look folks, when men first become men, first have androgens running crazy in our systems, we don't know what to do. Of course we're about 13 at the time. The same is true of estrogen when girls turn into women. Once you're in your later teens, the vast majority of us are able to handle the changes of our bodies.

Another attack at common sense. "Oh, well this affects your body in a way that we believe is strange or perhaps needs to be medicated. Don't control yourself, the government, and anti-depressants will take care of you."

Oh well.... Don't get me started.

BigO01
May 12, 2006, 03:41 PM
Well it's a good thing they didn't study men who were putting together some of the Prefabbed computer desks/furniture with unmarked boards and missing hardware .
If they had they realy would have seen some "riled up" men and women too I imagine .

Art Eatman
May 12, 2006, 03:44 PM
Guns rile me up: When they're pointed at me.

:), Art

ArmedBear
May 12, 2006, 03:48 PM
I don't understand how putting more hot sauce in the water is considered to be agressive behavior. To me, that seems more of a joking or humurous action.

All I learned from the study is that I want to find a company that makes gun-shaped bottles. If I sell hot sauce in them, I'll make a mint!

...and maybe it explains why some of the guys in my trap league make such hot chili for potluck dinners!

MK11
May 12, 2006, 03:48 PM
Jonah Goldberg is a "leftist puke" because he doesn't like this study either? Or is having his byline at the end confusing people used to being spoonfed by Rush and Sean Hannity?

Nightfall
May 12, 2006, 03:57 PM
Perhaps the men got those horrible aggressive feelin's because they had to disassemble and then reassemble a machine with little parts, about which they didn't know anything?

ArmedBear
May 12, 2006, 03:59 PM
BTW since when has the presence of testosterone been a bad thing?

Is it a crime to be male now?

Just_a_dude_with_a_gun
May 12, 2006, 05:34 PM
Guns rile men up and make them more agressive? Fantastic.

I'd better get to the range.

Don't Tread On Me
May 12, 2006, 05:36 PM
Wow...if guns rile people up, imagine how dangerous the gun range is? Or a gunshow? Frightening indeed.. :rolleyes:



I've found firearms, particularly carrying them in public - to be very humbling.

Kingcreek
May 12, 2006, 06:26 PM
Hmmm...
Lets see... I handled BB guns alot, then real guns some, then I went thru puberty (at the normal age). If I had never been exposed to guns, would I have had a delayed puberty? no puberty? could that explain some of these folks' problem?
at almost 50 years of age, I enjoy very good health and vitality. Do I owe this to my father's wisdom in allowing me exposure to guns as a youngster?

"Doctor Ballistic, I think I might have low testosterone."
"Take 2 handguns, and call me in the morning."

Nehemiah Scudder
May 13, 2006, 01:39 AM
Is there a "rush" to shooting? Dunno.

Hkmp5sd
May 13, 2006, 04:55 AM
Your grandmother didn't need a double-blind study to tell you that you should wash your hands after you go to the bathroom.

Reminds me of a story a friend of mine tells....


While leaving a restroom, a man notices another leaving without washing his hands. The man says, "My mother taught me to wash my hands after using the bathroom."

The other fellow responds with, "My mother taught me not to piss on my hands."

Don Gwinn
May 13, 2006, 06:13 AM
We used to have a saying at Monmouth College, home of the Fighting Scots.

KNUCK FOX.

Not really relevant, I'm just saying. I hate those sissies.

Galesburg, by the way, is home of Simpson's Ltd., a big old place with everything from antique Turkish arquebus muskets to FAL's. At one time they had a pair of horse pistols owned by Andrew Jackson, George Washington, and the Marquis de Lafayette.

hksw
May 13, 2006, 02:46 PM
This just in:

Researchers have found that testosterone levels of heterosexual men sky rocket when asked to cut out photos out of Hustler magazines and paste them on a piece of paper as compared to men aksed to dice up onions and placing them in a frying pan.

Art Eatman
May 13, 2006, 04:57 PM
If guns rile men, why is it, then, that there is so much smiling, politeness and courtesy at gun shows? I've had gun show tables since back in the early 1970s and rarely saw "riled up" men. Probably more "riled up" women, grumpy because the money was spent on what the guy wanted instead of what she wanted.

:D, Art

meef
May 13, 2006, 05:26 PM
Just think of all the older guys who should be spending their Viagra money on a new gun. Much better investment with apparently much the same results.

And a few hours later, your new gun won't be out of your system. Heck, you can use it over and over. Whatta deal!

:D

Cosmoline
May 13, 2006, 05:49 PM
Bravo sierra. Oceans of it.

Testosterone levels on the tongue? It's monkey gland time all over again.

distra
May 13, 2006, 06:39 PM
Gwinn, Watch it. I'm Siwash from '91 (note not a 'Prairie Fire') :rolleyes:

longeyes
May 13, 2006, 07:45 PM
A more insidious danger than guns is the rush to medicalize behavior. Let's stipulate that handling a gun causes testosterone levels to rise. Let's also concede that elevated testosterone levels are associated with aggression. So what? Does this tell us anything important or new? Science is learning how to measure all sorts of really interesting things, from the effects of porn on the male brain to the effects of porn on the male brain. Whoops. I guess that answers what those effects are.

In the future we can dispense with judges and juries; all we'll need are two medical "experts" to condemn any one to hard labor. "Health" has replaced morality. Exactly so. And we all knows guns are a symptom of a social disease, right?

sacp81170a
May 13, 2006, 09:01 PM
Just think, if Barry Bonds had only bought a few guns and handled them regularly he could have avoided all his problems with anabolic steroids. What's next? Will there be an international commission monitoring Olympic athletes for gun possession? :rolleyes:

Don Gwinn
May 13, 2006, 09:16 PM
Distra, I graduated from Monmouth in 2000, and Knox will always be the home of the Prairie Flamers to me. :D

Knox College (Motto: "Lincoln and Douglas spoke here, and in the next hundred years. . . .did we mention the Lincoln-Douglas thing?")

Real men wear kilts.

distra
May 13, 2006, 11:22 PM
Gwinn, I remember the Monmouth motto: We are the college next to the college where the Lincoln and Douglas debate was held...Sorry, nothing to show for ourselves 'cept these funny dresses :neener: :D

On a more firearms note, are you guys back there ever gonna' get ride of Dailey's cronies so you actual get a CCW law passed? I've tried to influence/council my parents to vote to get rid of these guys. No luck as of yet. It seems IL is good place to be from these days.

Hyunchback
May 14, 2006, 02:00 PM
Smells like...

A study designed with the outcome in mind. Not scientific. What was their hypothesis? "I bet I can make gun owners looks like violent idiots"?

If gun handling increased aggression shooting ranges would be the site of massive violence. NRA conventions would be Armageddon. The SHOT show would be a bloodbath.

As the facts stand I would put money that during any 5 year period in any major U.S. city more people were shot in malls with no gun stores than in shooting ranges in the same city. That would be an easy study to do involving nothing more strenuous than pouring over public records.

But it wouldn't show what the people behind the study wanted to show.

So, if we accept my assertion that more shootings occur at malls than at shooting ranges does that mean we should ban shopping malls?

Since the overwhelming majority of people struck by rounds at shooting ranges are hit by negligent discharges and accidents and the majority of people hit by bullets at shopping malls are hit by a person intent on using violence it shows me that shopping malls cause aggression, no matter how much or how little testosterone one finds in saliva.

flashman70
May 15, 2006, 01:42 PM
I try not to drool when I handle my guns....could cause them to rust.

HiWayMan
May 15, 2006, 02:17 PM
We mustn't forget that not only did the participants have to dis-assemble and re-assemble a handgun and board game, but they also had to write instructions for the operation. I'm an engineer and do technical writing daily. Writing directions on how to assemble a damn board game is a walk in the park. Try writing instructions for the re-assembly of a Ruger Mark II (Thank You Yowza), or any handgun. Most manufactures can't get it right, let alone the layman. I can't think of a single firearm I own that doesn't have some little trick to re-assembly. The trouble is the trial and error of finding it.

As has been the general concensus. This study is pure BS.

Dain Bramage
May 15, 2006, 02:17 PM
The study is absolutely correct. They found that men often affect an exaggerated southern accent, and swear in a colorful but G-rated manner, while rapid-firing their twin six-guns into the ground, causing them to levitate in the air.

Of course their only test subject was Yosemite Sam.:evil:

longeyes
May 15, 2006, 02:38 PM
Testosterone is The Great Satan.

AJAX22
May 15, 2006, 03:36 PM
This is just more irrelevant pseudo science, where was the controll group?

did they have a group that was asked to do the gun project then pour themselves a hot sauce drink?

Maby men with more testasterone like a bit more kick in there drinks?

I mean using this studys logic, working on a v8 motor increases the desire to revert to alcoholism in men.

mousetrap is cake to put togeather compared with an object that 90% of men don't even know what to call the parts.

seriously, if anyoine has the money to finance a study, just let me know what you want it to say, we can make it happen. and do a better job than these jokers.

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