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Fixing the Testosterone and Sharing the Power
By Barrington H. Brennen, MA, NCP, BCCP, September 30, 2010


Why are so many men violently aggressive and abusive? Is it because of their testosterone hormone level?  Ten years ago, I wrote in my article, “Is Testosterone to Blame,” that “laboratory research has shown that injecting more testosterone into male and female rats makes them more aggressive. Could it be that dominance in males is excusable and natural because their level of testosterone is higher than that of females?”

An important question is what does testosterone have to do with leadership? If truly the higher the level of testosterone is, the greater the aggression and that men are defined by their aggressive behavior, does that make them de facto leaders? Certainly not! In my book, that only makes men bullies. Why do we like to define a man from the point of view of leadership instead of personhood or character? It also seems that the more “aggressive” a man is, the more we praise him. In marriage, some people say that the man is the provider, protector, and priest. Why is it that we attribute these functions to leadership? In most non-romantic relationships the protector is a hired servant (police, security guard). It is the leader who hires the protector so he or she can be free to lead. It is fair then to say then that if the husband is the protector of the wife or family, he is no more than a servant and not the head. In this case, he should seek ways how to become a “humble servant” and not an “aggressive leader.”

In other words the real challenge we have is not how men are being influenced by what’s between their legs (testicles), but how they are using what is between their ears (the brain). It is clear to me that testosterone is not helping men to think better but only to act badly. What we need are more men who are not dictated to by the flow of hormones but by the wise use of their brain cells. We cannot “fix” the testosterone, but we certainly can train men to think and act differently.

There is far too much emphasis on male leadership and headship in marriage. It is my passion to continue to write about this subject because I am convinced that this emphasis is doing more harm than good. We need to place a greater emphasis on mutuality, partnership, and companionship in marriage. Let us look at Jesus as our example. In Revelation 3:21 Jesus introduces a new concept for many of us. It is truly revolutionary. The verse is talking about what will be the reward for the saints at His coming. Here is what Jesus says:

“Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne.”

Here is my point. If the Supreme Majesty can share power with mortal human beings, why can’t husbands and wives (males and females) share power on earth? Hence, the new words to add to our vocabulary concerning the marriage relationship are “power sharing.” I am suggesting that we should start focusing in our wedding ceremonies, counseling sessions, sermons on Sundays and Saturdays, and during our every-day discussions, on how males and females in general and husbands and wives can become “co-leaders--sharing power and authority in the marriage relationship and all other relationships. We must stop talking about who is in charge. We must stop debating whether or not the husband is the head or the boss. We must stop using biblical texts to try and soften the potential blow of headship in marriage that has ruined so many relationships. Men, if we do not give up or share power it will be taken away from us by force by those power-hungry or misguided women who have been trained so well by us, and the marital wars will continue.

Every year men’s movements pop us because someone is concerned about the direction in which the men are going. They say that too many of our men are “falling away,” in jail, and are becoming violent. The big problem with many of the men’s movements is that the leadership or organizers of these movements are saying that the reason for these problems in society is because men have lost their position as leaders. Hence, to use the words of Tony Evans, they want men to “take back” leadership. Here again, this is defining manhood primarily in the context of leadership, power, and authority. This is not healthy for our men neither for our society. We don’t need more men to “lead” the nation nor do we need more men to “lead” their families. We need, first of all, more men to lead themselves to a self-governed, well-balanced, wholesome, non-violent lifestyle. Then these men will be humble enough to join hands with the females to lead their families and nation together. That’s revolutionary. We certainly do need more men and women to lead together their families and the nation. I strongly believe that women are not looking for men to lead them but men to lead with them. That’s power sharing. That’s co-leadership, just as God planned it in the beginning when he gave Adam and Eve dominion of the earth and not each other (Genesis 1:16-18). They both shared the power to lead on earth.

Related Articles by Barrington Brennen:





Barrington H. Brennen is a marriage and family therapist, Nationally Certified Psychologist and Board Certified Clinical Psychotherapist in the USA.   Send your questions to question@soencouragment.org  or write to P.O. Box CB-13019, Nassau, The Bahamas. Or you may call 1-242-327-1980 or visit www.soencouragement.org 





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