Testosterone a ‘toxin’: Is director James Cameron right?

Vianney Le Caer / Invision/AP

Fact Box

  • Testosterone is commonly referred to as the male hormone, but is produced by both sexes. The hormone is associated with aggression and sexual drive. 
  • In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter about “Avatar 2,” director James Cameron was referring to his past with Fox executives, asserting, “A lot of things I did earlier, I wouldn’t do—career-wise and just risks that you take as a wild, testosterone-poisoned young man [...] I always think of [testosterone] as a toxin that you have to slowly work out of your system.” 
  • A 2019 Pew Research study found that 31% of men claimed they were masculine, 54% said they were “somewhat masculine,” and 15% noted very little masculinity. 
  • According to a FiveThirtyEight and WNYC poll, 60% of male respondents felt that society puts pressure on men in “unhealthy” ways, with most in agreement being younger between the ages of 18 to 34.

Andrew (Yes)

Though the headlines have shortened a thoughtful interview to a few attention-grabbing words, the context, as well as content of James Cameron's interview with Rebecca Keegan, makes a compelling case for his claim that testosterone is a toxin. He explained how being a testosterone-fueled young man caused him to explode with expletives over budget issues with Fox executives, behavior which he now recognizes as immature. Clearly, Cameron is not saying that testosterone is toxic in the literal sense, as all humans need it to grow and function; he is saying that the behaviors associated with the hormone are toxic. One must simply read further than the headline.

This isn't a war on men, or some conspiracy to emasculate those with a Y chromosome; this is an experienced and successful entertainment professional who took the time to explain his past and how he feels that testosterone-driven, brash behavior displayed by himself and others in his industry is counterproductive and created a toxic work environment for all involved. Surely no one would doubt Cameron's expertise in the film industry, so if he says a type of behavior known to be prevalent in the industry is unhelpful and toxic, why would anyone doubt him?

It's ironic that those who seem most offended by Cameron's statement—such as outspoken politicians like Josh Hawley, Madison Cawthorn, and JD Vance—are displaying such snowflake-like fragility when an extremely accomplished male leader in an industry riddled with testosterone junkies says the behaviors associated with the hormone are toxic. It seems to illustrate his point entirely.

Elisa (No)

James Cameron’s interview where he claimed testosterone is a toxin, only further contributes to the ongoing attack on masculinity in modern culture. Not only do men absolutely need testosterone for a good quality of life, but just because a few toxic men exist does not mean they represent all men. In actuality, testosterone levels are on the decline in men overall, with researchers calling these changes 'alarming.' Low testosterone levels can lead to erectile dysfunction, infertility, lack of motivation, depression, and many other health conditions. 

Likewise, his comments are a psychological attack on men, who are being made to feel guilty for natural masculinity, a devastating result of modern 'cultural marxism.' This deadly and dangerous belief system is gaining popularity today with its promotion of genderlessness and attack on the traditional man and woman. Cameron's view on testosterone is simply based on myths and misconceptions. According to Men's Health, 'Despite testosterone's explosive reputation, there's no solid evidence that it causes aggression or violence. On the contrary, heightened testosterone is often associated with self-confidence and social success.' 

Let us also not ignore the irony of how the Hollywood elite, such as Cameron, undoubtedly support a trans man's right to access hormone replacement therapy. But in his view, how is giving a trans man something 'toxic' (that is, testosterone) good for them? That contradiction remains unasked and unexplained. 

It seems society daily gets closer to Huxley's Brave New World, with the feminization of men and the masculinization of women. It is now fathomable that traditional men and women may not exist in the future. Luckily, Elon Musk reminded us with a tweet that 'testosterone rocks'—in case anyone really believed Cameron in the first place.

  • chat-ic20
  • like-ic3
  • chart-ic21
  • share-icShare


0 / 1000