It’s hard to review this book because it depends so much on whether or not you believe Dr Carruthers’s theory. Put simply, he considers that some men suffer from an andropause (a male menopause) and can benefit from hormone repacement therapy – in this case, testosterone – just as women can.
Carruthers has over 1,000 men with whom he has worked and for whom he claims some impressive results. I’ve spoken to some of them and they believe that testosterone injections or implants have reinvigorated them and given them back their libido and lust for life.
It’s an attractive proposition. A testosterone shot would probably make most of us feel better but would that be treating the cause of the mid-life depression that prompted the search for treatment or simply masking its symptoms?
Personally I think this whole andropause thing is probably at least as much about social changes and the changing role of men as with hard, measurable physical changes. So is this the medicalisation of a social problem? Probably. But with no modern government prepared to deal honestly with social problems unless there’s a buck to made for someone, it’s no wonder that people reach for the short-term fix. The long-term effects are less clear – for both the individual and society. Once upon a time, HRT for women was seen as a risk-free panacea. Not today.
Dr Malcolm Carruthers, The Testosterone Revolution (Thorsons) ISBN: 000712275
Page created on February 28th, 2010
Page updated on March 24th, 2010