Men. Mankind. Male humans. Guys. Boys. Dudes. There are many different words and phrases used to describe the hairier, stronger, masculine half of the human race. But how much do we know about men, really? Well, as it turns out, a lot more than most people might think. If you're reading this right now, it doesn't really matter whether you have an XX or an XY chromosome combination - odds are, at least some of these man facts will be new, interesting, and relevant to your interests.
Let's start with the most interesting man facts: those little bits of trivia that maybe you can use to entertain people on trivia night, but are inconsequential for everyday life. In all seriousness, though, we would bet money that the majority of you reading this right now probably didn't know about these little nuggets of info regarding men, women, and the human race:
What, exactly, is the difference between men and women? Some people may be tempted to go into diatribes about Mars and Venus and all that jazz, but the real, scientific answer to that question can be summed up with one word: testosterone. Both men and women produce testosterone, but men produce levels of it which are over 9000 times higher than women (and that's real math, too!).
What does that much testosterone do in the human body? It does a lot of things, actually. Once a male child hits puberty, testosterone levels spike and that little human starts to develop larger, fully functioning reproductive tissues such as a prostate and testicles. A young man going through puberty will also develop easily identifiable secondary sex characteristics like extra body hair, a full beard, and a preferential distribution of upper body strength. Adult males tend to have greater bone density then their female counterparts, in addition to having larger and stronger muscles. This is all thanks to testosterone.
What about if a man doesn't produce enough testosterone? Well, there can be different consequences depending on how old he is. As an adult, low testosterone levels can lead to osteoporosis and muscular atrophy; mood disorders such as depression or violent behavior; it can even lead to stunted growth and delayed sexual development in young boys. It's important to check in with your doctor on a regular basis to make sure your testosterone levels are healthy (or to check and regularly with your pediatrician if you are the parent of a male child).
What raises testosterone in the male body? Science has many answers to this question. For starters, testosterone waxes and wanes in the male body based on what time of day it is (hint: in healthy men, testosterone spikes happen in the early morning hours), and what time of the month it is. Yes, that's right, men have a monthly hormonal cycle, too. It may not fluctuate as wildly as it does in a woman's body, and there may be fewer hormones involved, but it is a fact.
There are other quirky little things that can boost testosterone levels in men as well. Even something as seemingly insignificant as talking with a woman they find sexually attractive will boost their testosterone levels. The same thing goes for watching porn. Some scientific studies have even shown that merely being around a woman who is ovulating - even though the man cannot consciously tell that she is in a more fertile state than usual - will ramp up his testosterone production. Basically, if a man is thinking about sex, his body is jacking up his testosterone levels in an effort to prepare for copulation and reproduction.
There's a common misconception about muscular development in males and females: that men are significantly stronger and larger, muscle-wise, than females - no exceptions. Oh, but there are exceptions. Plus, the disparity between male and female muscle size and strength - as well as utility - it's actually much closer than most people think.
Between male and female athletes, the muscle mass of the females is as much as 2/3 that of their male counterparts. When most people picture the difference between male and female athletes, most of them probably don't assume that the size difference is that small. They probably picture a double or triple increase in mass for men compared to women. But now you know the real number behind the story!
Many people also believe that because men have a disproportionately larger distribution of upper body strength compared to women that automatically makes them stronger in every conceivable way. Again, this is not a man fact! Pound-for-pound, the average female's lower body strength exceeds that of her male counterparts. Sure, you can get into the nonsense of evolutionary biology and say "Oh, well it's because they have to carry babies and they can't do that on skinny chicken legs," and there's a chance you may not actually be wrong. But men and women each have their own strengths and weaknesses; it isn't as cut-and-dry as "Men are strong and women are weak".
Once you look at the facts, at the end of the day, there aren't really that many differences between men and women at all. They all have the same needs, especially when it comes to pursuing their health and wellness goals. And the more facts we understand about humans in general, the easier it is to accomplish them.
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