Nootropics and Gender

This is a quick post based on my impressions; I’d like to hear if your own, whether similar or different.

Men and women seem to take a different approach to food, medicine, supplements (eg vitamins) and various “chemicals.” Women seem to be–on average, overall–distrustful of “chemicals” and prefer “natural foods” (eg, “organic, free-range chicken”).

I use “”s on the word chemicals because it is not meant literally–water is a chemical, but most of us are okay with drinking water. People say they are opposed to chemicals in their food obviously are not opposed to anything whose molecular structure can be expressed in a formula, like the oxygen we breathe, (chemical formula O2) but opposed to the addition of novel ingredients synthesized in a laboratory or otherwise derived in some manner and then added to food.

Women seem more likely to be anti-vaxers but pro-prozac; men seem more likely to be anti-prozac but pro-nootropics. Men are more likely to order random chemicals they read about on the internet that promise to make them smarter, stronger, or give them better erections, while women are more likely to go to a psychiatrist and ask for medicines to help them concentrate and feel less anxious. Men drink whey protein shakes to help build muscle after working out and women drink detox superfruit smoothies.

A couple of overarching theories: women probably have a stronger instinctual avoidance of food contaminants/poisons, due to weaker bodies and fetuses that have to be protected from poisons. They therefore dislike “chemicals” and “food additives;” “organic” is really a code-word for “pure.”

Vaccines, which are a combination of two contaminants–“chemicals” and actual viruses–which are then administered in a horrifying way (injection), also trips up these purity instincts.

This makes their fondness of anti-depressants (which are also chemicals) rather odd, but I don’t think they have a literal fear of chemicals. (And, obviously, “women who like anti-depressants” and “women who dislike chemicals” aren’t necessarily the same women.) I think there is a mitigating factor though: psychiatric medications are immediately useful (unlike vaccines, which just make you statistically less likely to someday catch Mumps and the like.)

I don’t think most anti-vaxxers dislike doctors so much as vaccines, which weird them out; women use healthcare at a higher rate than men and overall seem to like doctors, including those who hand out psychiatric medications.

Men seem to think of it as good to use medications (alcohol, or random chemicals ordered off the internet) to make themselves stronger, but not as good to use medications (or random chemicals) to make up for weaknesses. They try to make up for weaknesses by just not being weak (pull yourself up by your bootstraps, bro!) By contrast, women don’t take random pills to “make themselves stronger” or better or smarter, but to make up for their weaknesses.

Both groups may be treating the same problems in similar ways, but thinking about them in different ways. EG, anxious women take anti-anxiety drugs, while anxious men drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes. Adult women actually take more concentration-enhancing ADD medication than men, but men seem massively much more likely to take “brain enhancing” nootropics they found on the internet.

So given, say, a stomach/digestion problem, women seem more likely to turn to elimination diets, organic this and that, and avoiding whatever the health mantra of the day says is best to avoid, while men seem more likely to try to route around the problem with digestive enzymes (overall I think very few people turn to digestive enzymes–food is just much more obvious–but the people who do like enzymes seem to be more male.)

Annecdotally, while I was musing about this post out loud, one of my daughters declared that she would “never order random chemicals off the internet and eat them! Ew!” Meanwhile, one of my sons has been throwing pennies into all the local fountains and wishing for “A drink that will make me think a million times faster.”

7 thoughts on “Nootropics and Gender

  1. When I was losing weight and on Seth Robert’s forum I developed a hypothesis that there was some sort of over-expression of gender going on. The vegan-runner female versus the carnivore male that liked to lift heavy weights. And that people wouldn’t get so crazy if we could have proper family formation at the appropriate time.

    Of course, despite the Shangri-La diet technically having nothing to do with the composition of the diet, it seemed to me those of us who stayed near the low-carb end of the spectrum lost the weight and kept it off.

    I’ve come to not like vaccines particularly much because they don’t seem very effective. The flu shot regularly fails to even include the appropriate strain, and it seems- in general- there is a decline in effectiveness. So you get a shot and maybe two years of temporary immunity, but there isn’t any herd immunity coming from that. And recent outbreaks of measles and some of the flu outbreaks actually appear to be in communities that were largely vaccinated. They didn’t admit it, but the policies schools, governments, and corporations put into place increase the likelihood certain populations are vaccinated, yet the pretend like there are all these people who aren’t vaccinated (while making no mention of immigrants because disease control is less important than blame being thrown at the appropriate scapegoats).

    I think women have a much more personal response- often they see an adverse side effect in their child- or it may not even have anything to do with the vaccine, but if the kid has a bad day right after the shot, well, chances are high they’ll blame the shot. And then they start looking into this stuff.


  2. “Gender”, c’mon evo.
    Now, I just felt like saying this, idk why: tell your daughter to never send nudes of her to anyone, neither to her girl friends, boyfriend or husband.


  3. But it’s overwhelmingly women who go to beauty clinics and get injected with chemicals including literal poison (botox). Of course, it’s rather unacceptable to openly admit it – most actresses and models say they look incredibly young due to good luck and healthy lifestyle.


  4. If you mean a Haidtian purity/disgust reflex, yes, it seems to be stronger in women, because women are more selective about mates and low-value men also seem to cause a disgust reaction. I mean, ask any teenage girl what it would be like to kiss a neckbeardish type and the nearly universal reaction will be “ewww yuck”.

    While men tend to express strong non-attraction more through laughing and jokes than disgust. I mean the classic how to have sex with a morbidly obese woman joke: roll her in flour and look for the wet spot.

    The other two conservative attitudes, authority and loyalty, seem to be stronger in men.

    Interestingly, I have such a strong non-fear of random chemicals, including illegal drugs when I was young, that now that I think if it is surprising, I was not a daredevil in things like, say, skiing overly steep slopes, but that whatever pill a friend brought and claimed it is mdma because he got it from someone who said it is, I was not afraid of that. My brain felt strangely indestructible.

    At 40 it is a little different now, because brutal headaches can happen now if I don’t take care. For example it turned out buying cigarettes from a kazakhstani webshop is not such a good idea. Strangely petrol-like smell and crazy headache.


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