If you’ve ever interacted with a man in you life, you’ve probably noticed a few different things. Among those things is that they spend a lot of time mansplaining, because they have been socially privileged enough to think this is what they should be doing (sorry, but it’s usually true). Naturally, they have their moments when they are wrong, and they can never admit to being wrong. It’s frustrating and annoying and can drive you crazy. Of course, admitting you were wrong about something is never easy for anyone, and sure, there are women out there who have the same issue, but let’s be real: it feels like a lot of dudes have trouble owning up to their mistakes.
Have you ever wondered why that’s happening? It’s not just a nasty stereotype that we can so easily dismiss – there is actual science behind the fact that guys have trouble admitting when they’re wrong.
You might be familiar with a little thing called testosterone. It’s a sex hormone that both women and men have, although men have a lot more of it. Testosterone is responsible for a lot of “typical” male behavior: it can make someone horny, impulsive, and also unwilling to question these impulses. Confused? Let me explain. New research shows that testosterone can limit a guy’s ability to second guess their responses to things, which means that it can be responsible for men acting stubbornly convinced that they are right.
The study was done by a variety of researchers who were testing the hypothesis that more testosterone can make men rely on their intuition instead of making logical decisions. Researchers looked at 243 men selected at random to receive testosterone gel or placebo gel before taking a cognitive reflection test – basically, a test that determine’s someone’s decision making skills. They found that the group given more testosterone was more likely to make quick judgements on something, even if their guess was wrong. One researcher named Colin Camerer, the Robert Kirby Professor of Behavioral Economics and T&C Chen Center for Social and Decision Neuroscience Leadership Chair, said, “The testosterone is either inhibiting the process of mentally checking your work or increasing the intuitive feeling that ‘I’m definitely right.'”
So what does this mean? It means that higher levels testosterone might cause guys to go with their gut feelings instead of thinking things out in a more logical, step by step process. They truly think that this gut instinct is correct, which is why they have trouble admitting they’re wrong, even if they are. I’m not saying this research gives men an excuse to be stubborn AF, but it’s definitely interesting to learn that they might have hormones that make them feel this way. This way of thinking can also cause guys to be overly confident, as testosterone is believed to have an effect on increasing confidence.
So, yeah, this hormone could be making guys think they are a lot better than they are, which can get… frustrating. It might also explain why guys never really understand why their girlfriends get mad when they mess up. The fact of the matter is that they don’t realize they are messing up, or they do, but not until much later. Again, it’s certainly not an excuse, but it definitely is something to think about, especially if a guy is, for any reason, getting more testosterone than usual. Throw this fact out the next time some dude is swearing you’re wrong, if you’re feeling brave.
What do you think of this new study? Tell us in the comments!