In 2006, researchers at Knox College in Illinois performed a study on college men ages 18 to 22. Here’s how the study abstract reads:
“We tested whether interacting with a gun increased testosterone levels and later aggressive behavior. Thirty male college students provided a saliva sample (for testosterone assay), interacted with either a gun or a children’s toy for 15 min, and then provided another saliva sample. Next, subjects added as much hot sauce as they wanted to a cup of water they believed another subject would have to drink. Males who interacted with the gun showed significantly greater increases in testosterone and added more hot sauce to the water than did those who interacted with the children’s toy.”
The men were told that they were being studied to determine whether paying close attention to a task altered their later sensitivity to taste. They were tested for initial testosterone levels, and half were then asked to dismantle and reassemble the old “Mousetrap” game, writing a set of instructions on how to do so.
The other half were asked to do the same with a pellet pistol, an exact replica in size and weight of a Desert Eagle handgun. Finally, after being tested again for testosterone, they were given a glass of water and bottle of hot sauce and asked to prepare a “sample” for the next study subject.
According to a description of the study at WebMD:
This hot-sauce trick has been used before. The more aggressive a man is feeling, the more hot sauce he tends to put in the next guy’s drink.
Sure enough, testosterone went up about 100 times more in the men who handled the gun than in the men who handled the children’s toy. And the gun handlers put three times more hot sauce in the water — on average, about a half ounce — than the toy handlers.
The more a man’s testosterone went up after gun handling, the more hot sauce he put in the water.
And since a story like this just wouldn’t be the same without a chart:
Make of it what you will. I report; you decide. But as we’ve seen, the good people at Bushmaster have already made their decision:
– Jay Bookman