Male Answer Syndrome

Is there such a thing as Male Answer Syndrome? It’s a term brought up by the Magliozzi brothers, and I believe that I have it. If I hear a question phrased anywhere in my vicinity, I have an almost overwhelming urge to spout an answer.

I first heard about M.A.S. 15-20 years ago. It tied in nicely with my wife’s theory that most of society’s problems are directly or indirectly caused by Testosterone Poisoning.
M.A.S. is exemplified by the inability of many men to say “I don’t know” to any female person.
Males in positions of authority seem to be especially vulnerable to the syndrome.
Typical MAS alternative responses include “I don’t think that’s what is important here.”

All of the above is of course tongue-in-cheek, although I think there’s a huge germ of truth to it.

Interestingly, this syndrome seems to affect medical students of both genders equally.

I’ve only noticed a few people who do that. I knew one at school - I used to amuse myself by asking questions loudly within his earshot just so he’d pipe up with an answer. It was a little mean, really.

However, the one person I currently know who does it - and who does it far more, and more annoyingly, than anyone else I’ve met - is a woman at work. She’ll jump in with answers to customers’ questions even if they were clearly directed at another person.

I personally get an urge to give an answer if I think I know it, but I have no trouble saying “I don’t know”, or keeping my mouth shut if an answer from me might not be welcome.

I’ve know a few females who suffer from this malady from one extent to another. Mastering one’s ignorance – or understanding what you do and do not know and distinguishing between empirical knowledge and plausible guesswork – is not something that most people are born with.

Seems like a classic example of misandry.

I think Know-It-All Syndrome is a better term. I’ve run into many males AND females with that condition. <Your choice of deity> help you if you dare to correct them.

Well, since I’m right (and I AM right), I don’t understand why anyone would object to me ending a stupid discussion by contributing the correct answer. It’s the least I can do and a service I am happy to provide, with no expectation of recompense beyond your gratitude and respect. And worship. Can’t forget about the worship.

I think the SDMB has a higher-than-normal ratio of Answer Syndrome patients.

Or impatients, I guess.

Obviously, if you don’t have the immediate answer to any question asked within a mile radius, you are stupid, inferior, and probably gay.

Though one of the above posts does make me wonder if it’s more based in that or on arrogance. I guess it depends on individuals.

I know a weird guy that we make up idiot questions just to laugh at him when he has a ready answer. What’s a Jomby Sale? Got him going last week about yard sales etc. Then I said well the song says
“Hoist up the John B Sails”

My understanding was that Male Answer Syndrome specifically refers to Men who will bluster, obfuscate, or just plain make shit up rather than admit “I don’t know” to a woman. More an issue of gender dynamics than one of know it all’s who can’t keep their mouths shut.
But New Age Sensitive Guy that I am, I’m not afraid to say I don’t know. I think I do, but I’m not positive.

I feel that I may agree with you.

My problem with that argument is that I don’t see any evidence that it has anything to do with women; people like that will do the same towards men.

Do you also do that thing where person A asks person B about something, and before Person B has the chance to answer, you (person C) interject with your answer? :mad:

Yeah, I’m person B… :frowning:

There was an article in the Utne Reader about 25 years ago on Male Answer Syndrome. It was illustrated with a photo of Cliff Clavin, the windbag mailman from Cheers. (I suspect the Brothers M read the article.)

We’ve all known people like that. It seems to stem from a combination of insecurity, a misguided fear of looking weak, and a lack of self-awareness that they’re not fooling anybody.

A letter to the editor in a follow-up issue of the Utne Reader sarcastically praised the article. The writer said he looked forward to future articles which examined why African Americans liked watermelon, and why homosexuals were always hair dressers.

Answer Syndrome Patients, huh?

Aspies then?:smiley:

I don’t know

Rebecca Solnit has a new collection of essays called Men Explain Things To Me. The title comes from the first essay about a man who once explained one of her own books to her at a party. He asked her what she did and she answered that she was a writer and she’d just published a book on the photographer Eadweard Muybridge. He then proceeded to hold forth about this *amazing *new book about Muybridge he’d read about in the New York Review of Books. Maybe she’d heard of it? In any case because of her interest in Muybridge she would certainly enjoy hearing him tell her all about it … .

He was so caught up in explaining her own book to her he completely ignored her polite attempts to correct him. Eventually one of her female friends had to break in and tell him bluntly that the author of the amazing Muybridge book was standing right in front of him.

Yes, like 100%.