“Do you suffer from low testosterone?” “YES! INTENTIONALLY!”

You know those “low testosterone” commercials? The ones that usually feature men doing manly things like construction, playing football or just being dude-like? “Do you suffer from depression, fatigue, decreased sex drive, or weight gain?” Um, yeah, that’s kind of what happens to people as they get older. Those are freaking ridiculous.

Could you imagine a similar type of ad targeting trans women?

“Do you suffer from low testosterone?”
“YES! INTENTIONALLY!”
“Oh…. carry on, then.”

But in all seriousness, I find it somewhat amusing that there continues to be a market for pharmaceuticals aimed at, essentially, “helping men stay manly.” Example: In 2010, Eli Lilly and Pfizer, the two brands behind erectile dysfunction medications Cialis and Viagra, spent nearly $500 million on marketing.

With the patent on Viagra expiring in the UK this past June (and in 2020 in the US, due to an extension provided by the US government), the money isn’t in ED drugs quite as much these days.

“Low T” is the new “ED”

Some estimates state that 70% of men have “low T.” Actually, anywhere between 225–900 ng/dl of testosterone is considered “normal” in men.  Click over to the websites of some of the companies behind the “Low T” ads and you’ll see their range for a “normal” man being much higher than that 225 figure, often with the high end being well above 1000.

Research and innovation goes where the money is. Where is it? It’s in men insecure about their masculinity, willing to dish out cash from age 40-death in an effort to stay “manly.”

Related to the trans community

If I ask my doctor a question about my hormone levels, as a trans woman, she answers to the best of her ability. Still, there’s very little research done on the trans community and hormones. If a tenth of the research was put into trans-specific hormone research as there was in “low T in men” research, that’d be amazing.

Anyway, just a bit of commentary from me. That’s all.

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1 comment

  1. annie

    I have taken and will take hormones from a couple of years after I started having them probably until a few years after my body stops making them, as do 99% of my female friends. Concern about regulating your sex hormones to feel healthy and sane is not the exclusive purview of trans people. Hormones effect many aspects of the way women feel, why shouldn’t it affect the way men feel, too?

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