Caffeine. It is delicious.

So, the Red Bull phenom means they’re studying teens and caffeine. It supposedly affects boys more, although the reported evidence of this was given thusly:

“The study, which was published in Behavioural Pharmacology, looked at how consuming caffeinated beverages affected children between 12 and 17 years old. It found that boys would work significantly longer at a computer game to win a caffeinated soda than girls would.”

My response reading that? Girls are still feeling alienated by computer games. Because seriously – you’re a teen, and you’re going to break into a sweat doing something you’re not enjoying for a can of pop?  Unless you’re astoundingly poor, (because pop is one of those luxuries that are more accessible to a poor teen), this seems unlikely to me. You’ll play until you’re done, and you’re going to be motivated by such cues as “being good at computer games”.

Soda, schmoda. Get both boys and girls singing karaoke for pop and see how it breaks out.

Comments

  1. Yeah, on of the first thing I thought of was that the gender difference in this study may have been boy’s competitiveness surrounding computer games. But that may involve testosterone — the chief researcher suggested it could have been a result of “circulating hormones.”

    The findings were that caffeine is more addictive for boys than girls. The researcher was studying how hard a teenager will work to obtain a particular food or drink and that kind of reinforcement mimics drug addiction. Can the reinforcement be redirected to a more healthy habit.

    Teens and caffeine is becoming a serious problem. More and more adolescents are being treated for “caffeine intoxication” at hospital emergency rooms poison control centers. Ethic Soup blog has a some really excellent articles on caffeine,including teens and caffeine:

    http://www.ethicsoup.com/2010/01/caffeine-gender-effect-caffeine-more-addictive-for-boys-than-girls.html

    Another good post:

    http://www.ethicsoup.com/2009/02/caffeine-is-in-everything-how-much-is-in-you.html#more

  2. I think having a female gendered or neutral competition like Bedazzling or Karaoke as one control, and another control where the “reward” was a container of strawberry milk or some other sugar based non-caffeinated drink, would help decide what was competition/testosterone, what was competition/caffeine, and what was culturally gendered behaviour.

    I’m simply unconvinced. There are too many variables here. There’s also the CULTURAL weight of caffeined beverages – is Red Bull, for example, suddenly macho?

    Obviously, I only have the press release, and the press release doesn’t prove anything, but I’m somewhat suspicious.

  3. Hey, isn’t this a writing blog? We want writing updates! Wink-wink!

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