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Whether in Cairo, Tunis or Tripoli, media images showed that it was mainly men who rose up against those in power.
The presence of so few women in Tahrir Square had less to do with Islamic values than it did with sexual frustration.
Or at least that’s according to a new German-language book by Karin Kneissl called “Testosterone macht Politik” (Testosterone Makes Politics). The hormone, the author says, is the reason why there are more male than female revolutionaries.
Men have nearly 10 times more testosterone than women, which makes them far more prone to risk-taking and acts of aggression. And the younger the man, says Kneissl, the more testosterone floods his body — which is why men fearlessly throw themselves into the front lines whereas women fighting for freedom are more likely to choose lower-profile ways to do so.
Testosterone is an effective catalyst that collects all the frustration generated by different areas of life and focuses them on a single political foe. Kneissl says the main source of frustration channeled in this way is sexual – sexuality that has no outlets. This was the case in Egypt, where a strict moral code forbids any type of sex outside of marriage. And yet marriage is extremely costly and quite simply beyond the means of many men, writes Kneissl, an Austrian journalist, lecturer and analyst with a PhD in international law.
This story was originally published by WorldCrunch.
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