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Publisher's Summary

Testosterone propels our drive for exploration and risk, for competition and creation, and even our survival. The effects of testosterone permeate the traditions, philosophy, and literature of every known culture - without it, the world would be a drastically different place. It also has a role in humanity's darker side, contributing to violence, hubris, poverty, crime, and selfishness. Recent revelations of the science of testosterone show that high levels will deplete compassion and generosity, and even reduce the affection we show our children.

In The Virility Paradox, internationally renowned oncologist and prostate cancer researcher Charles Ryan explores this complex chemical system responsible for a diverse spectrum of human behaviors and health in both men and women. Ryan taps his vast experience treating prostate cancer with testosterone-lowering therapy, observing that this often leads to profound changes in the patients' perspectives on their lives and relationships. Often, for the better.

He also explores the connections between testosterone and conditions like dementia, autism, and cancer, as well as the biological underpinnings of sexual assault and the effects it has on on everything from crime to investing to everyday choices we make.

©2018 Charles J. Ryan (P)2018 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

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Honest and Approachable

The Virility Paradox is an honest exploration of how testosterone affects men, women, and modern society. I emphasize “honest” because, to me, that is the most striking feature of this work: the author is always careful to point out the distinctions between accepted facts, hypotheses, and his personal opinions; any data or statistics presented are clarified with how they might be misleading or insignificant. I find this honesty refreshing in the overwhelmingly sensationalized landscape of modern pop-science.

The value in reading The Virility Paradox comes from understanding the benefits and risks of both raised and lowered testosterone. Indeed, this is the titular “paradox” the author explores in detail. In addition to delving into topics one normally associates with testosterone (sports, sex, aggression), the author also demonstrates the significant impact testosterone has on other aspects of life: careers, aging, even poetry.

Often during my time with this book, I have reflected on how testosterone has influenced my life, behavior, and decisions. By helping us see through the fog of our hormones, we stand a chance of wresting a modicum of control from our biology. This, to me, is the greatest treasure to be gleamed from The Virility Paradox.

This book really comes alive for me during the author’s personal anecdotes, which he uses to frame each concept he explores. The author is a doctor who studies, treats, and specializes in prostate cancer, so most of his stories are about his patients, but a few are about his family or himself. Every anecdote feels personal, sincere, and heartfelt. Some are tragic while others are humorous. They serve as a kind reminder that there still are people (like the author) who dedicate their lives to good and valuable things that improve the world.

As for the vocal performance, P. J. Ochlan’s diction and inflection are always clear and appropriate, which is all anyone can ask from a non-fiction reading.

I heartily recommend The Virility Paradox to anyone who enjoys learning, especially about themselves. The author explains his research in an approachable and enjoyable manner, so fear not if you do not have prior knowledge in this subject; I certainly did not.

Happy listening!

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