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Why are teen boys jerks?

  1. Jul 22, 2004 #1

    ShawnD

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    It's somewhat generally accepted that teenage boys are jerks because of high testosterone levels. I just saw a program on TV about sex, and there was a chart showing average testosterone levels as men age. The program pointed out that a man's sexual peak based on testosterone levels is not at 18, it's actually around 35. 18 year olds have about as much testosterone as 60 year old men.
    If men have the most testosterone in their 30s, why are most men in their 30s more civilized than teenagers? What makes teen boys such jerks?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 22, 2004 #2

    Math Is Hard

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    Is it just boys? Teen girls can be real byatches! I know I was one!!!
    I think it's just adoloescence. Teenagers act out as a way of asserting their independence.
     
  4. Jul 22, 2004 #3

    mee

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    I also think that they are often trying to gain power and want to do it without being seen as a teachers pet. They also don't have much experience as to what gets results and what doesn't when it comes to trying to become respected. They often don't like being at the mercy of adults in the power struggle either, often feeling that the adults are keeping all the good stuff for themselves, like alcohol, sex, cigarettes, nice cars, high paying jobs etcetera. Some of them see their life as getting a job they hate or having to sell out to those who are in power, which are people who are going to get rich off of their work. Also, some adolescents feel special and that this gives them the right to disdain all that are not as special as them. Just some ramblings as to what might be why teenagers are often jerks. :smile:
     
  5. Jul 22, 2004 #4
    As a teenage boy, I can tell you that I am a jerk to people because I don't like them, simple as that. Being a jerk to random people in your highschool will likely never end up mattering (unless they go nuts and shoot you), and so I act however I want to my classmates. I'd imagine guys in their 30's would calm down because they've found jobs, and being a jerk could get them fired, or make them have a very miserable life for the next few decades, wheras in less than 2 years, I'll never see anyone in my highschool again besides maybe 2 or 3 people.
     
  6. Jul 23, 2004 #5

    loseyourname

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    You know, I never thought of that, but that certainly makes sense. A teenager has little to lose by being a jerk, and heck, sometimes the most popular kids at school are complete a-holes. Adults usually have to at least pretend to be polite in order to get ahead.
     
  7. Jul 23, 2004 #6
    I wish that by being an a-hole that meant popularity/girls, alas, I'm a lonely, bitter bastard at the tender age of 16, woah is me :cry:
     
  8. Jul 23, 2004 #7
    LOL, well try nice for a change!

    But i guess your right.
    That and indeed puberty kicking around.
     
  9. Jul 23, 2004 #8

    Moonbear

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    You mean they eventually grow out of it? :tongue2: Ha ha!

    Having testosterone around will cause a lot of feelings and impulses, and when those are all new, it's harder to control those feelings. Puberty is an emotional roller-coaster for both men and women. Along with the reproductive hormones showing up on the scene, there are the moods those hormones affect, the brain actually starts to undergo some long-term changes as well (some associated with the reproductive system starting up, and others related to the growth spurt and trying to maintain motor control and proprioception). Plus, there are a lot of changes in physical appearance as well that take some getting used to, and that can lead to social awkwardness and self-esteem issues when someone isn't certain of just what to expect. I think, especially for those teens who are the first and last to experience puberty, they go through a period of time when they look very different from all their other same-aged peers, either because they've already developed adult characteristics while all their peers still look like children, or because they still look like a child while all their peers have developed adult characteristics. Plus, there's dealing with annoying things like acne...at a time when you're suddenly interested in being noticed by the opposite sex and want to impress them, out pop all those red bumps all over your face! It's a lot to deal with all at one time.
     
  10. Aug 4, 2004 #9
    heheh, thank god, never did acne trouble me :P
     
  11. Aug 4, 2004 #10
    One word. Immaturity. When they grow up to be men, if they do grow up to be men. They will grow out of it. Wasteo, even you will probably grow out of it. LOL

    Nautica
     
  12. Aug 4, 2004 #11

    selfAdjoint

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    Do they? When Ted Kasinski, the Unabomber, was in HS some of the Jocks locked him in his locker. Some psychologists thought that might be one of the sources of his murderous anger. So they looked up the jocks, now grown and in some cases quite successful men. And the men said just what they would have said as teens. "We were just having a little fun." The personhood of Kasinski was nothing to them; he was just an object to have fun with. I think jerks are forever.
     
  13. Aug 4, 2004 #12

    Phobos

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    There was a recent documentary aired about the scientific studies on the teenage brain. Unfortunately, I have only taped it and not yet had the chance to watch it. But supposedly (from the previews), there are actual physical/chemical differences in the way the teenage brain operates as compared to an adult brain.

    So, social immaturity may be a big part of it, but there may be a physical immaturity that comes into play too.
     
  14. Aug 4, 2004 #13
    I'm immature for life, I'll be making crude jokes about genitles when I'm a grandpa.
     
  15. Aug 4, 2004 #14
    Thats odd. Being a teenager myself I never meant any harm towards anyone. Even if I was a jerk to someone, I probably didnt mean it or it was unintentional. But I do see a major comparison in personalities between the mild-mannered cross country team (of which I am a part of, at most they make innuendo now and then) and the JV/Varsity football team (constant egotistical superiority, etc).

    Then again, im an oddball and I dont quite fit into society. Square peg in round hole.

    Does this mean im suitable for getting ahead in the business world? :tongue2:
     
  16. Aug 5, 2004 #15

    selfAdjoint

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    Probably as a techie, but not as a manager. I have been a manager and was not happy in the role because of the jerk factor. It wasn't that others were jerks toward me, I can handle that. It was that to succeed I had to be a jerk to others. Mr. Nice Guy finishes last in management.
     
  17. Aug 5, 2004 #16
    To who ever started this post? I'm assuming you are female since you don't understand males as easily as I do. I'm a male around the age of 20, and I can tell you that males can be quite disagreeable at times. Well, first of all males and females are like two completely different species. While females are interested in handling problems through debating and thinking, males are into trial and error. When communicating with a young male "jerk" you must realize that his body is not yet familiar with the sudden surge in hormones at this stage. You say that 18 year old males have the same testosterone levels as 60 year old males. You have to realize that by the time a male reaches that age he is able to control his actions more easily. Also at that age males tend to have an increase in estrogen as well, hence the softening of the voice, and the more caring nature of older males. Men ages 13-25 have testosterone levels much higher than their estrogen levels. But this doesn't effect a person's attitude as much as the way they grew up. Males are socially inept to behaving rough and dominant. Society teaches young men to behave as dominators and tough beings. So they do what is best to portray that image that society has imbedded in their feeble minds. You must realize that men are not built physically for excellent communication as women are because of the large gap between the two hemispheres in the brain. So that a-hole is being a jerk to you because he may have some animosity towards you, or he may not like you. He might even like you. But not all males are jerks, and the attitude that you see in some males is not always contributed by their hormone levels. Sometimes that’s the personality of those individuals. Do not always assume anything about a certain set of people, that’s called generalization. So your question about why teenage boys are jerks? should be why that fellow is a jerk to you.
     
  18. Aug 5, 2004 #17
    B.S.

    People get stuffed in lockers all the time, and they don't turn into Psychotic murders. Some people get tortured at school, beaten up and get their things stolen.

    Are they all murders?

    Maybe The unabomber was always angry and bitter, and that's why he was a target at school.

    Getting stuffed into a locker isn't an excuse to blow things up.
     
  19. Aug 6, 2004 #18

    Math Is Hard

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    You always amaze me, Motai, because even though you're young, you always seem so kind and wise beyond your years. I can't help but wonder, how do you deal with the jerks around you at school? Do you just avoid them? Do you ever have to confront them?

    (I have a little brother who is not much older than you and he is perpetually tormented by some really evil, vicious kids at his school. :mad: I wish I had some good advice to give him.)
     
  20. Aug 6, 2004 #19

    Evo

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    It certainly can't help. What kind of moron would do that to another person? How were they raised? Doesn't say much about their parents or their upbringing. Children learn at an early age what is right and what is wrong. Some will rebel at control, but that kind of behavior is not rebelion, it is a basic lack of respect for a fellow human's feelings and is inexcusable.

    I also doubt this was the only indignation this person suffered. No excuse for his actions, but others are culpable as well.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2004
  21. Aug 6, 2004 #20

    hence the statement: "if they do grow up to be men"

    Nautica
     
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