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Marijuana and the|
Feminization of Males
In the past year the members of my extended family got a surprise and shock when one of its young men announced that he wanted to become a woman and started dressing as a woman and wanted to be referred to as she instead of he. The family accepted his decision but it took some doing for his younger brothers to start referring to him as she.
Then I found that my dearest friend had the same phenomenon occur in her extended family. Actually there were two instances of it. One occurred many years ago when a man who had married and fathered several children changed into a woman. But in the past year a younger man announced that he was going to be a woman. His father accepted his decision as to what would make him happy.
My friend and I had the distinct feeling that something was happening that we didn't understand. I remembered seeing some reference to clinical studies that found that marijuana resulted the feminization of males. There were comments to the effect that such feminization was a good thing because males were too aggressive.
I decided to explore this topic further. I quickly found that there were a number of studies that found that marijuana use resulted in the reduction of testosterone levels in users. There were studies on laboratory animals and human subjects. Some looked at short-term effects and others at long-term effects. It is quite possible that shortly after use marijuana may increase testosterone levels but decrease them in the long term. There were also studies that disputed these studies.
One early study that got significant attention was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1974. The lead author was Robert C. Kolodny of the Reproductive Biology Research Foundation in St. Louis. The study was based on
Twenty heterosexual men 18 to 28 years of age who used marihuana at least four days a week for a minimum of six months without use of other drugs during that interval were studied. Mean (± S.E.M.) plasma testosterone — 416 ± 34 ng per 100 ml — was significantly lower in this group than that in the control-group mean — 742 ± 29 ng per 100 ml — for age-matched men who had never used marihuana.
That was an average decrease in testosterone level of 44 percent. That would be enough to drastically change the effect of testosterone relative to the effect of the natural level of estrogen in individuals.
There are numerous studies with seemingly contrary results, but as noted above the truth may be complex. The short-term effect may be different from the long-term effect.
It is also clear that some of the studies may be due to staunch advocates of marijuana use wanting to deny that there could be adverse effects of marijuana use. One has to make a judgment as to what is valid science and what is the propaganda by marijuanistas.
My judgement is that there is a definitely a significant diminution of testosterone levels due to long-term use. Then the question is: What are the consequences of that diminution of testosterone and the relative level of estrogen compared to testosterone.
And then there is also the phenomenon of men wearing the waist of their pants below their buttocks. To everyone else this looks abysimally stupid. But during millions of years of primate evolution there was a good reason for females to have an instinct to show their butts and for males to be attracted to them. Could this ridiculous practice on the part of young males be a result of feminization?
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