The ‘Male Hormone’

Testosterone has widely been blamed as the root cause of graffiti vandalism in our society and may be the answer to how we as a community can control and implement effective graffiti removal. Graffiti can be associated with other forms of anti-social behaviour such as street racing and theft and the root cause is the same; Testosterone!

We need to go back to the days when males were hunters, most males love the excitement of the adrenaline rush which is nature’s way of increasing performance and protecting them. Adrenaline in the blood increases the senses and in turn performance by increasing the heart rate and blood to the muscles and brain. This reaction when linked to vandalism is known as the testosterone theory.

The average age of graffiti vandal is 15 to 24

Around the age of 15 (puberty) Testosterone builds up in the male until around the age of 30 when it levels off and starts to reduce. With graffiti vandals being primarily teenage males (over 85%) graffiti crime committed by females is rare and usually in association with males, supporting the theory that testosterone is a major contributing factor in the prevalence of graffiti vandalism.

The majority of graffiti vandals derive enjoyment from the recognition of their tag bragging rights and the number of tags they can get up. We also know that graffiti vandals do things with increased risk like train surfing and tagging dangerous places such as outside moving trains, over bridges and on signs high in the air.

These varying degrees of graffiti stem from a range of social problems such as boredom, neglect or abuse but the single common factor amongst all of them is (you guessed it)… testosterone.

How to reduce Graffiti

Apprehension and conviction through the courts very rarely happens. Fines and jail terms are in place in some states however courts rarely impose high penalties for such offences. This is due to the incidence of repeat offenders turning to other crimes such as theft to pay for their fines.

Based on the Testosterone theory, apprehension and police intervention can assist in reducing graffiti, however has shown over the decades to be a very slow, costly exercise that fails to leave a long term solution in place.Diversionary programs for our youth such as sporting activities or competitions go a long way to preventing vandalism as they offer a thrill and a challenge with recognition among peers.

Combined with a coordinated removal strategy this is the only proven method to maintain assets graffiti free long-term and The Graffiti Eaters believe that maintaining an area graffiti free is the most effective tool against graffiti vandals because they come back for recognition and it is gone.

The vandal soon becomes disinterested and goes somewhere else.

We currently have many assets maintained graffiti free such as shopping centres, highways, commercial buildings, council toilet blocks, sporting pavilions, office buildings, schools and railway stations that for many years were covered in graffiti and now with our program are graffiti free. The Graffiti Eaters offer maintenance programs which systematically manage and initiate graffiti reduction in your local area.