Testosterone is Like Cocaine

Women and men both have testosterone. Men have 10 to 20 times more of it though. And testosterone has strong effects on muscle growth, feelings of confidence, and mood (among other things). When people are given extra testosterone, they feel more energetic, more confident, and more aggressive. 

One of the things about men that exasperate women is that he is "overconfident," which, in a technical sense, he is. He feels more certain about what he's doing and the decisions he makes than she does, generally speaking. He's more likely to feel he's right and he's more likely to be wrong than she is (click here to read more about these differences and why they exist). 

This overconfidence seems like a flaw, but it is also an advantage, and that's why evolution selected for it. To see how it's an advantage, check out an article by two women in The Atlantic: The Confidence Gap. Basically, if someone has more confidence, he's more likely to speak up, to put his ideas forward, to act on his ideas, etc. It adds up to greater success, even though he's more likely to make mistakes, more likely to be wrong, and more likely to pitch dumb ideas.

There is a benefit to you if you understand this. If you're a man, it can help you make better decisions to realize your feeling of confidence isn't necessarily correlated to how right you are. And if you're a woman, it's in your best interest to understand that the man you're talking to is under the influence of a very powerful cocaine-like substance.

Adam Khan is the author of What Difference Does It Make?: How the Sexes Differ and What You Can Do About ItPrinciples For Personal GrowthDirect Your Mindand co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English)Follow his podcast, The Adam BombYou can email him here.

In Women But Not In Men, and Vise Versa

I've been collecting instances of sex differences that show up in diverse fields. I came across another one today. It was from an interview with Stephen Kopecy, MD, a heart specialist at the Mayo Clinic. He was talking about research on using aspirin daily to prevent heart attacks and strokes.

In the interview, he said, "Aspirin reduces the risk of stroke in women but not in men (first stroke). Aspirin reduces the risk of a heart attack in men, but not women."

Many people try to deny or minimize the differences in the sexes, but they are extensive and pervasive. To learn more about it, and what good it might do to know about the differences, read this: How the Sexes Differ (and What You Can Do About It).

Some Like It Hot

Does it seem like your mate likes the temperature of the room colder or hotter than you do? This may be a biological difference.

I just read a little article in a really great newsletter called The Whippet. A study on bats found that female bats stayed in the warmer valleys and the male bats tended to go to the higher, cooler mountain areas. And that across the board, in both birds and mammals, females feel colder. Their core temperatures are actually not any colder, but they feel colder, and the researchers think it's an evolutionary adaptation to making sure their offspring stay warm. If the mother feels cold, she will tend to stay in warmer places, and very young animals are not very good at staying warm.

Read more differences between the sexes here: How the Sexes Differ (and What You Can Do About It).

Adam Khan is the author of What Difference Does It Make?: How the Sexes Differ and What You Can Do About ItPrinciples For Personal GrowthDirect Your Mindand co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English)Follow his podcast, The Adam BombYou can email him here.

Feeding the Ocean Might Reverse Climate Change

I watched a video a couple days ago, by Freethink. They make pretty good videos — interesting, and relatively short. Here's the video: The Highly Controversial Plan to Stop Climate Change. It's about the idea of putting iron (the mineral) into the ocean as a kind of fertilizer for plankton.

The idea is that plankton is the base of the food chain in the ocean, and there would be more plankton if the ocean had more iron. The lack of iron is the main thing that limits their reproduction. So when you add iron, the plankton multiply like crazy, which provides food for the next biggest animal that eats them, and that provides food for the next biggest animal, etc., all the way up the food chain.

Whale poop contains a lot of iron and there used to be a lot more whales in the ocean pooping.

Plankton is the world's most abundant life form. The plankton in the ocean make about 70 percent of the oxygen in our atmosphere. That's way more than the Amazon rainforest and all other forests combined.

One important possible consequence of adding iron to the ocean is carbon sequestration. When the plankton die, a percentage of them would sink to the ocean floor and get buried for hundreds or thousands of years. So CO2 would be pulled out of the atmosphere by the plankton and then sequestered under the ocean floor.

This is, of course, a very controversial idea because we don't really know what the long-term consequences of it would be. Several experiments have been done on a small scale, and it seemed to do exactly what they thought it was going to do, but what they tested was limited.

But one entrepreneur took the idea and ran with it. He was hired by some indigenous people living in a village called Old Massett to try it. The people in Old Massett rely on salmon, and the salmon runs were getting smaller, so they paid Russ George to put iron in the ocean near their village, and sure enough, the next two years, the salmon yield was record-breaking.

More plankton equals more of everything up the food chain, which equals more salmon surviving.

Rush George got in trouble for doing this, and environmentalists were up in arms around the world about it, justifiably feeling frightened by the thought of a lone actor or even a lone country feeling they had the right to put something in the ocean that may affect life in the ocean or even affect the whole world's climate. Who gets to decide whether or not something like that can be done?

The idea, however, seems to be a good one, it seems to do what people think it's going to do, but what if there are negative consequences we're unable to anticipate until it's too late?

The reason I wanted to write something about this is that the topic of climate change is covered everywhere. You can't really watch much of anything or read much of anything without hearing about climate change and the impending doom it will bring. And yet I have never heard of the idea of putting iron in the ocean. And it's not even new. It's been around since the 1980's. In the description below the video, I found three articles about it. They're all good — long, detailed and authoritative — explaining how and why this idea has merit.

Scientists aren't one hundred percent certain it would reduce CO2 in our atmosphere, but it seems likely it would, and it could do the job on a large enough scale to make a real difference. And a side effect would be an increase in yield for the fishing industry, which would be good for all of us. So it looks like something worth experimenting with (in a way that's safe until we are sure about what we're doing).

Any viable idea that might help reduce the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is worthy of our attention. So check it out and share it with your friends. Here are the three articles I mentioned:

The Complicated Role of Iron in Ocean Health and Climate Change

The Climate Renegade

Engineering the Ocean

Adam Khan is the author of Principles For Personal GrowthSlotralogyAntivirus For Your Mindand co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English)Follow his podcasts, The Adam Bomb and Talk to Klassy. You can email him here.



Women Retain Stronger and More Vivid Memories of Emotional Events Than Do Men

The differences between the sexes are interesting, and knowing about some of the differences is surprisingly helpful in a relationship. You can read more about that in How the Sexes Differ (And What You Can Do About It). I just came across another sex difference in the book, Hold Me Tight.

The author, Sue Johnson, says that when she asks couples to reveal to each other their attachment fears and longings, "the female partner will probably find this task easier." Throughout her book, Johnson goes out of her way to play down differences between the sexes, sometimes explaining them as mere socialization. And still, she can't help but acknowledge important differences because it comes up again and again in her counseling sessions, and the many studies on the subject are impossible to dismiss.

Johnson created a couples therapy called Emotionally Focused Therapy, which has been shown in independent studies to be the most effective form of couples therapy. 

The reason women will probably find the task easier, Johnson says, is: "Women have been shown in many studies to retain stronger and more vivid memories of emotional events than do men. This appears to be a reflection of physiological differences in the brain, not a sign of the level of involvement in the relationship."

Read about why it helps to know the differences between the sexes here.

Adam Khan is the author of Principles For Personal GrowthSlotralogyAntivirus For Your Mindand co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English)Follow his podcasts, The Adam Bomb and Talk to Klassy. You can email him here.

Makeup, Shampoo, Nail Polish — Are They Dangerous?

I just watched a four-part series on HBO Max called Not So Pretty. It's worth watching. The cosmetics industry is not very strictly regulated in the United States. On the ingredients labels, when it says "fragrance," the company doesn't have to reveal what chemicals it used because it's protected as a trade secret. And some of those chemicals are potentially harmful. 

The cosmetic industry can put a product on the market without testing its ingredients for safety. Lots of hair products, makeup, nail products, etc., have been linked to cancers and infertility problems. Products with talc — and a lot of products have talc — probably contain asbestos, which causes disease.

Some plastics used as containers for things like makeup and shampoo can leach into the product, get absorbed into your skin, enter your bloodstream and disrupt your hormones.

When consumer groups have tried to get stricter legislation to oversee these industries, the industry responds with legions of paid lobbyists, who descend on Congress and sway the vote or kill the bill. 

If you know anyone who works in a nail salon or anyone who is having trouble conceiving a baby, tell them about this documentary. And all of us should see it because these are products almost everybody uses every day. Four episodes, roughly a half hour per episode. Check it out: Not So Pretty.

Adam Khan is the author of Principles For Personal GrowthSlotralogyAntivirus For Your Mindand co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English)Follow his podcasts, The Adam Bomb and Talk to Klassy. You can email him here.



When a Relationship is in Trouble

I've written a lot about the differences between the sexes. I find it interesting, and it's also surprisingly helpful in a relationship. You can read more about that in How the Sexes Differ (And What You Can Do About It). I just came across another sex difference in the book, Hold Me Tight.

The author, Sue Johnson, says that when their relationship is in trouble, "men typically talk of feeling rejected, inadequate, and a failure; women of feeling abandoned and unconnected."

Johnson created a couples therapy called Emotionally Focused Therapy, which has been shown in independent studies to be the most effective form of couples therapy. She also points out that women have one additional response to distress: Something researchers call "tend and befriend." When women feel a lack of connection, they sometimes increase their attempts to connect with others.

Read about why it helps to know the differences between the sexes here.

Adam Khan is the author of Principles For Personal GrowthSlotralogyAntivirus For Your Mindand co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English)Follow his podcasts, The Adam Bomb and Talk to Klassy. You can email him here.