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  1. #1
    Swaying Advice Coach
    atomic sagebrush's Avatar
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    What does it really MEAN to have high (or low) testosterone?? Scientifically??

    UPDATE 12-25-17 - While we are no longer sure that it is testosterone in and of itself that is swaying, we do believe that there are undeniable personality factors that do affect the outcome of sways. We call them "testosterone" but testosterone in women (when it occurs naturally - steroid abuse does have an affect on personality but we don't want anyone using those anyway!) has never been shown to affect personality at all anyway! So don't get too hung up on "testosterone" for your sway - focus instead on doing what has worked for most people most of the time...diet, exercise, number of attempts.

    There is a common misconception about women and testosterone levels. A woman with high testosterone is assumed to be mannish, aggressive, even bitchy, while a woman with low testosterone levels is seen as feminine, weak, and a doormat. (Update - we now know that in fact while there do seem to be personality differences between boy and girl moms, since naturally occuring testosterone does not even affect female personality, it probably isn't testosterone in and of itself that is doing anything for sways) So when we see (or ARE) a woman who does not embody these characteristics, yet pop out 4 of a particular gender in a row and are told our testosterone has something to do with it, it's only natural that we wonder how accurate that information really is.

    1)What is the TRUE definition of dominance??

    In her book "Maternal Personality, Evolution and the Sex Ratio", Valerie Grant lays out the case for her Maternal Dominance Hypothesis - the idea that women who are higher in testosterone and therefore more dominant, have more sons.

    Grant and other psychologists that she quotes who have studied the issue, define dominance as "ruling (a leader), influential, assertive, powerful, commanding, high in control (control freak), masterful (likes to take on and become good at new tasks) and ascendant (enjoys competition and winning, wants to be the best)". Rather than being "someone who kicks those beneath and bows to those above", a dominant person "leads those below and kicks those above."

    Dominance is NOT the same as aggressiveness or being domineering - psychologists have studied these qualities and found them to be NOT linked to dominance. Some people who are dominant might also be more agressive and domineering, but some people who are NOT dominant may also be also these things. Shy, retiring people can be just as dominant as in your face extroverts. It is DOMINANCE that = higher testosterone levels. Being "hostile, argumentative, angry, violent, overbearing, oppressive, bossy, dictatorial, arrogant, and high-handed" can go along with a submissive, lower-testosterone personality OR a dominant, higher-T personality.

    In fact, some researchers with anti-male bias set out to PROVE that high testosterone made people aggressive and warlike, perhaps in an attempt to show that men are inherently more violent than women due to their testosterone. They were unable to do so, and the conclusion of the study was that dominance IS a biologically-based personality trait linked to testosterone, but heightened aggression is NOT and instead comes from culture rather than nature.

    Evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa expanded on this idea in his study "Engineers Have More Sons, Nurses Have More Daughters" http://www.danechristensen.net/stuff/Job-Child.pdf Kanazawa found that there was a pretty significant gender-of-offspring difference between women who were more drawn to technical fields (had more boys) and women who were drawn to nurturing professions (had more girls). Studies have also shown that women who are high in social status do have more sons, as do women who have pursued higher education.

    So, if you feel like you have a pretty low-key personality and are surprised to hear that high testosterone may be why you have more sons, or if you have a frenemy with all girls who is a bit tyrannical, just keep in mind that there is more to testosterone than the traditional view. You don't have to be a bloodthirsty, ball-busting, bitch to have high testosterone.

    2)Cultural/familial factors affecting dominance.

    Another thing to consider is that the culture and family that you are brought up in has a lot to do with the way you express your dominance. In cultures where women are socially expected to behave in submissive ways, naturally their behavior patterns will ~appear~ to be less dominant than women brought up in cultures where dissent and assertiveness is valued and vice versa. In fact, it seems well within the realm of possibility that in a culture that valued ultrafeminine behavior, a dominant woman might actually appear MORE demure than other women because dominance seems to bring with it a certain competitive nature. A dominant woman might very well strive greatly to out-demure a naturally demure woman!

    Women are known to express aggression by non-physical, verbal means and the same is true of dominance. You may not often see a woman busting another woman's chops physically, but we all know there are myriad other techniques that women utilize to lead/control their female friends or compete with other women. Just because you don't have a history of fisticuffs, that does not mean you're not a dominant individual.

    Regardless of the culture or family you are brought up in, some of us are naturally more dominant than others, but we simply express it in socially approved ways that are unique to our society and upbringing.

    3) Life experiences that affect dominance

    Things like birth order, school experiences, past history of competition, race, socioeconomic status (both current and past), successes and failures, all of these things add up to create the person you are today. So you could be a very meek mild-mannered woman by nature, who happened to be the first-born in the family and played basketball in high school the year your school won the State Championship, and these life experiences acted to raise your testosterone higher than it would be had you had a different set of experiences. Or you could be a naturally dominant woman who has experienced discrimination or a lifetime of financial struggles and this has served to lower your T levels.

    Keep in mind that the reason why these mechanisms help to sway is that they helped our ancestors to survive for many millions of years in very harsh conditions. If a woman's tribe/village was conquered and all the males killed (which happened many times and sadly continues to happen even nowadays) the genes of a woman who continued to produce sons under these circumstances would probably die out. And in many primates, high ranking females actually will kill the male offspring of less dominant females (!) So these mechanisms have evolved to allow us to shift our gender ratio according to our dominance.

    4) Your testosterone levels may have changed over time regardless of your personality, or your personality may have changed too subtly to notice.

    Grant believes that women have children of both genders because of changes in their testosterone levels as a result of social cues, and presents a good deal of data to support this conclusion. She is less a believer in diet than I am (or at least she was at the time she published her book) but I would just add that we KNOW that changes in diet do lower testosterone, as does loss of muscle mass and aging.

    Your self-image was formed somewhere during the course of your life and it may very well be totally accurate. But my experience has been that things have happened over the course of my life that have changed me in subtle but very real ways and even though my self-image has not changed much, I must admit I am a different person than I was at 20, 30, or even 35. It's not always apparent, but sometimes things happen and I realize I handle them totally differently than I would have at a younger age. So you may not SEE your high/low testosterone-linked behaviors, even though they're there (and of course since I wrote this essay I did go on to conceive a daughter and my personality felt very different in some ways to the person I was at 20, 25, 30, even 35.)

    5) There are other aspects at play besides testosterone.

    We really have NO idea why high testosterone sways blue and low sways pink. It could very well be that testosterone sways in some way that is affected by other biological functions. After I had my second son, I was talking to a woman I knew who had 3 boys and then a girl and she told me all about Shettles and how it had worked for her. At the time I filed it in the "interesting info" file but after my cut-off with DS 3 failed and I started researching more into swaying and the Trivers Willard hypothesis, I remembered that she had also been diagnosed with thyroid cancer immediately after having her baby girl.

    So YES, she probably had higher testosterone levels to begin with (she was a minister's wife and very influential in the community) and that's why she had 3 sons, but who knows what effect the thyroid cancer had on her body chemistry when she conceived that little girl??

    It seems well within the realm of possibility that the reason testosterone sways is because it causes some other effect within our bodies. Higher T does create a higher sex drive so we probably DTD more, more EWCM and therefore higher pH, more likely to have a female orgasm...any or all of these things might be the actual mechanism by which higher t sways blue. If you change those things, regardless of what your testosterone level is doing, you will still be swaying pink.

    Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Eleanor Roosevelt...all very strong and influential women - all had daughters. Eleanor followed up her daughter with 5 sons!! Testosterone clearly has a huge part to play in swaying but it's not the ONLY part.
    Last edited by atomic sagebrush; December 25th, 2017 at 12:33 PM.
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  2. #2
    Dream Vet

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    I know that Valerie Grant's ideas include that the egg is "primed" for x or y sperm, and that is a very difficult notion in terms of swaying. So I have been especially frustrated with the higher T = boys theory, because it feels like it locks you into something if you have high T. I get the idea from reading her that swaying would be difficult, and even a mistake. I find her very depressing. Thank you so much for this essay, AS. I guess I have so many associations with beig laballed "high testosterone" that are all negative, like there is something really wrong, and this puts things in perspective.

  3. #3
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    Love this K! Really makes sense to me, when/if the time comes I would love to pick your brain about how to sway blue.

  4. #4
    Swaying Advice Coach
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    lindi, Grant even goes so far as to believe that you conceive the gender child that you are best suited to raise and she warns against gender selection because of this. To me this is downright laughable because most people have at least one child of both genders. In other words, I think she's right about a good deal of things, but she isn't right about everything.

    There is a study http://www.biolreprod.org/cgi/rapidp...d.108.070169v1 (you have to download the PDF to read it) where researchers tested Microsorted sperm to see if her conclusions about testosterone "priming" the egg were accurate. They inseminated cows with sex-sorted, sex-sorted and recombined, and straight up sperm and found that any difference that Grant found is probably due to the sperm being damaged during the sorting procedure and NOT that the egg was "choosing" one gender to fertilize it.

    Occam's Razor states that the scientific hypothesis that makes the fewest new assumptions, (given that both hypotheses explain things equally well), is more likely to be the correct one. (You may have heard it described as, 'The simplest explanation is usually the correct one'). Grant makes TONS of new assumptions. That doesn't mean she's wrong. But I ~personally~ believe that there are a lot more simple explanations out there than the egg being primed by testosterone to choose one sperm over another.
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  5. #5
    Swaying Advice Coach
    atomic sagebrush's Avatar
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    Thank you Sunny! I will help however I can!!
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  6. #6
    Dreamer

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    Thanks Atomic another brilliant and interesting read. Where do you find time!

    Even though it may not be true I like the theory that we have the gender we are suited to bringing up. If I have another boy I think I may cling on to that!

    x

  7. #7
    Swaying Advice Coach
    atomic sagebrush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twosweetlads View Post
    Thanks Atomic another brilliant and interesting read. Where do you find time!

    Even though it may not be true I like the theory that we have the gender we are suited to bringing up. If I have another boy I think I may cling on to that!

    x
    Honestly, I like it too for me, myself and I find a lot of peace with the idea, but I DON'T like when it makes people feel bad or undeserving about having a child of a particular gender!

    I am so glad that you find it helpful in some small way!!
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  8. #8
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    blood thirsty, ball busting bitch LOL These articles are great and I love the subtle humor in them. That and "duggaring it out" on another article had me literally LOLing. Great research though! I always though high t levels meant chin hair guess not!
    Nov 09 Jan 11
    Hoping to add some pink to this house soon!

  9. #9
    Swaying Advice Coach
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    No, although I do admit to having one pesky chin hair I am petite and not very hairy (and I like to think I'm not unfeminine!!) but DEF. high in testosterone as anyone who rem. me from IG will attest LOL!!!
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  10. #10
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    @Flava

    Thanks for responding I think you are right about the odds being 50/50. As for following the boy diet, I’ll have to ask my FS, but I’ll probably take on some elements of it like adding more veg and red meat, but nothing that could significantly alter body chemistry.

    @ Atomic

    Thanks for the welcome and the great advice!

    I’m using an open identity donor from a sperm bank (which just means that I get a nice booklet with stats and a profile and any offspring can contact him via the sperm bank once they turn 18), so sadly I’m not in a position to influence his habits. The sperm bank guarantees a minimum of 20 million ‘highly motile’ sperm/ml post-thaw, so I’m guessing (hoping) the biking doesn’t mess with his numbers too much or he would’ve been disqualified from the programme. Won’t know for sure until insemination day though, so keeping fingers crossed.

    As you point out, swaying and HT don’t go well together, so just to keep the record straight for any future readers of this post: always talk to your FS before making drastic changes and don’t do anything that could interfere with your treatment.

    In my own case, if I’d decided to go for pink it would’ve been more of a ‘nudge’ than a ‘sway’. The PCOS I mentioned is from a really old diagnosis made when I was in high school and I haven’t been symptomatic for over a decade. Other than that all my tests came back normal, so my fertility isn't compromised in any way that modern medicine can single out. The amino acids I’m taking are just a precaution recced by my doc and help to improve overall condition along with balancing hormones, so I figured what the heck *shrug*

    Judging from everything I’ve read and the experience of people I know it seems like blood glucose/calorie intake are the most compelling factors when it comes to gender determination, so if I’d wanted to go for a girl I would’ve just switched to low cal options and had yoghurt with cinnamon for breakfast instead of cereal with milk and maybe switched from beef to chicken – nothing that would mess with hormones or lower fertility.
    Last edited by leap_of_faith; July 25th, 2011 at 04:33 PM.

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