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Why do boys drool and girls rule? A [Discussion] about why boys are under-performing

LilnoobsLilnoobs Alpha Queue Registered User regular
edited July 2012 in Debate and/or Discourse
Young boys and young men are doing worse in employment, school, and many other socially important areas than their female counter-parts. Why?
Boy-Struggling-with-Homework.jpg
Before we begin, let’s start by asking ourselves, what does the data currently say about young men? When I say young men and boys, I’m referring to boys born in and after the 80's.

One prominent Psychologist, Philip Zimbardo, who wrote The Demise of Guys, attributes excessive Internet use to the social dysfunction and under-performance of boys. You can watch a brief TED talk on his results here. From the YouTube description,
Psychologist Philip Zimbardo asks, "Why are boys struggling?" He shares some stats (lower graduation rates, greater worries about intimacy and relationships) and suggests a few reasons.


Basically, Mr. Zimbardo’s hypothesis is that young men are suffering due to excessive Internet use, namely the arousal* addictions
arousal addictions are different than other addictions because an arousal addict requires more variation and different sources, not more of the same
of gaming and porn. I’ll highlight some startling figures he presents because many of the sources I’ll list cover the same topics.

To begin, Boys are
-30% more likely than girls to drop or flunk out of school. In Canada, 5 boys drop for every 3 girls (important here, because this problem, as we’ll see, is not an American phenomenon)

-outperformed by girls at all levels from elementary to graduate school

-are less likely to get BA’s and graduate degrees, 44% v 56% and 45% v 55%, respectively.

-5 times more likely to have ADHD

What’s going on? These numbers are statistically alarming and something is happening and has happened to a whole generation (or more) of boys
.
Zimbardo presents two possible causes, gaming and porn:
-By 21, boys spend 10,000 hours (417 days) gaming, 2/3 of that time in isolation (6,600hours, 275 days)

-Average boy watches 50 porn clips a week

Because of these arousal addictions, boys are growing up socially dysfunctional, putting them at a major disadvantage in an ever-connected world. Fear of rejection has been replaced by a social awkwardness born from ignorance.

However, some take these same findings and suggest cultural and economic changes are driving the demise of guys, not the Internet necessarily.

Kay Hymowitz, author of the book
9993519.jpg
also highlights these striking contrasts between the genders and provides perhaps another piece of why men are failing. In short, she thinks current culture has created a new stage in life, “preadulthood”, and women are better equipped to handle this “preadulthood” stage. She defines this "preadulthood" stage as
...college-educated, single (not married), young adults, almost always living in cities. It’s taking a lot longer to grow up because it takes so much longer to get educated for work. More and more people are going to college and graduate school and getting professional training. That is the way to find the most gratifying, best-paying and prestigious jobs. That means you already have a number of years where you don’t want to be tied down. Then you add an extremely complex economy that requires moving from job to job and place to place. It’s awfully hard to do that with a husband and children.

She uses the phrase “child-man” and describes how men become stuck in “preadulthood” and embrace, well, the pleasures and leisure’s of being a child over growing up. (Think of the man-children characters of Seth Rogan, Steve Corral, Will Ferrell, and Ben Stiller). Men retreat into this stage because in the “preadulthood” they receive mixed and conflicting signals about what it is to be a man; therefore, men retreat into their selves and become more passive [perhaps this is a link with the excessive Internet use?]. These mixed signals seem to be best summarized in her own words,
The rise of women has muddied the role of men. The culture says we all love fathers, but at the same time it says we don’t need fathers. In the same way, we’re saying men have to achieve and do well in school at the same time that we say we don’t need their income. Women’s independence plays a big, big role in male uncertainty. What is their role? Does anyone need them? And what do they need them for? It doesn’t seem to be money.

Her conclusions for the failing of men seem to be a direct cause from elevating girls without also elevating boys. In short, boys of the 80’s and 90’s were left behind while girls became superstars.

To further expand upon the idea of ‘the rise of women’ and how it may be affecting men, Journalist Hanna Rosin provides a global context of these stark contrasts between genders. Again, many of the comparisons used in the Zimbardo talk and Hymowitz interview are highlighted here: women are just doing better, period. The surprising data from this report is that this phenomenon is a global movement: we see women rising in the East (China, S. Korea, and others) as well as the West. For instance, in S. Korea the preference for “must have a son” has gone down over 50% in about a 20 year period, ~48% in 1985 to ~18% in 2003. In China, women are opening up small businesses faster than men. In addition, Rosin includes new data that suggests the new home-owner is a young, single, female profession, not the typical recently married couple. This stresses the drastic impact these forces are having on our boys at the culture at large.
Who used to be first time homeowners
home.jpg

Who is the new first time homeowner
professional_woman_424.jpg

If the “rise of women” in the 80’s and 90’s is really a direct cause of the fall of man, then why do we see these trends in cultures that did not necessarily go through the female awakening that Hymowitz mentions? Is something more at play? Hymowitz hints at the idea of economic change favoring one gender’s skill-set over another, is that the cause? Are women just biologically better equipped to handle the current world economy? Or do they learn these skills? And if they learn these skills, where do these skills come from, how are they taught, and why are men not also learning them?

a7322c1e570bbc84c1d572062240f561842a1a07_50x50.jpg One possible solution comes from Tony Porter , educator and co-founder of the nonprofit group A Call to Men: The National Association of Men and Women Committed to Ending Violence against Women. Porter’s talk here recounts a horrifying [you will be moved] experience with what he calls “the man box”. The Man Box is the social pressures exerted on young men by other young men to be “a man”. Some might know this term as “the man card”. His personal experience will chill you to the bone, and while his message is clear to stop acting “like a man” to end violence against women, maybe his message holds an additional meaning at heart: how to elevate boys beyond being a “man” so they may succeed on par with their female counterparts who have been elevated beyond being “a woman”. Porter’s speech also touches on the idea of sending conflicting messages to our boys and how this confusion is detrimental to growing up, much like what Hymowitz postulates. He charges us with re-defining manhood and what is to be a man. What does it mean to be a man?

To wrap things up, the data is undeniable: boys drool and girls rule.

Zimbardo, Hymonitz, Rosin, and Porter all ask the question that I am now asking you: why?

For my own take,
I think the main reason boys are failing is because of the economic shifts in society and no clear distinction between childhood and adulthood. The men’s movement and Iron John by Robert Bly speak on the harm this uncertainty has caused men (there is something to say about every culture having a ritualistic passing from boyhood to manhood except the current one). Of course, I ask myself then, why hasn’t this uncertainty also affected women in the same way? Part of the answer, I think, lies in Hymonitz’s words about women always being on an implicit clock (physical changes, menstruation, body development, biological clock, and menopause). But maybe, also, the skills that have been regulated as typical female skills are actually an advantage in today’s professional world and skills regulated to men are seen as a liability (e.g. co-operative vs bull-headed). In short, we need to teach our boys to be more than just a man, as Mr. Porter says. To be an individual, important by one’s own traits and one's own worth. How do we do that though? How do we elevate our boys without devaluing our girls? Because I think the ultimate aim is to raise our boys to the level of our girls, not lower the girls down to the boys.

But what do you think? What have you noticed? Why are boys suffering, and what are some possible ways to halt and reverse this trend?

Sidebar:
These are things I wonder
-Why do boys suffer from higher rates of ADHD than girls? Autism? Both of these at near a 5:1 ratio. Is there a relationship between these neurological diseases and the demise of guys?

-Is this similar to the Lost Generation in Japan?What similarities and differences do these phenomenon have; what can we learn from the Lost Generation to help our boys?

-What specific cultural aspects send mixed and conflicting messages to men?

-What kinds of skills are preferred in emerging markets?






Lilnoobs on
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Posts

  • saint2esaint2e Registered User regular
    I think people noticed a decade or so back that girls were underperforming, so they changed the curriculum/way of teaching/way of grading to accommodate them.

    Now they've "gone too far" and need to readjust the above to even the playing field.

    banner_160x60_01.gif
  • BagginsesBagginses __BANNED USERS regular
    We also rely on romance for elementary and middle school reading assignments.

    Of course, this might all be due to rising rates of aspergers and related conditions.

  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    I haven't read The Demise of Guys. (I want to, I like Zimbardo, but I'm going to read The Lucifer Effect first.)

    Is there a way of framing those statistics that compares them to prior generations of boys, rather than in comparison to girls?

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • LilnoobsLilnoobs Alpha Queue Registered User regular
    So what makes the current way of teaching inherently better for girls over boys?

    And, is this a result of biological function or of societal influence? If biological function, how do we accommodate both sexes? If societal influence, what can we change?

  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    And, is this a result of biological function or of societal influence?

    False dichotomy.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Nurse, Veteran, Army Mom, Ficus, Space Dad, Survivor Contestant God Bless This Mess Registered User regular
    saint2e wrote: »
    I think people noticed a decade or so back that girls were underperforming, so they changed the curriculum/way of teaching/way of grading to accommodate them.

    Now they've "gone too far" and need to readjust the above to even the playing field.
    I don't think encouragement is going too far. Also, STEM fields are still dominated by men, and women often feel they are not a part of such cultures.

    http://www.npr.org/2012/07/12/156664337/stereotype-threat-why-women-quit-science-jobs

    And to the gender disparity in STEM: A fairly nice article with no or little bias

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/karen-purcell-pe/stem-gender-gap_b_1545620.html

    I know, I know, huffpo, but yeah.



  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Nurse, Veteran, Army Mom, Ficus, Space Dad, Survivor Contestant God Bless This Mess Registered User regular
    To address the OP, the balancing of gender and education may mean that men can no longer ride on the merit of simply being men, and will have to actually deliver results. I also think that the worry of male demise is another form of fighting gender equality and a great way to turn away from social gender issues and make it all about men again.

  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Nurse, Veteran, Army Mom, Ficus, Space Dad, Survivor Contestant God Bless This Mess Registered User regular
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    So what makes the current way of teaching inherently better for girls over boys?

    And, is this a result of biological function or of societal influence? If biological function, how do we accommodate both sexes? If societal influence, what can we change?
    Girls match boys in math performance until adolescence, where their scores rapidly drop for some reason. There are a lot of theories as to why, but most speak to societal influence. I really don't think there is a biological influence to STEM performance.

  • saint2esaint2e Registered User regular
    Yeah my "gone too far" is quoted for a reason.

    I don't necessarily fully subscribe to this theory, but I wonder about the "men are buffoon" trope in commercials/shows/movies will be put forward as a cause for this trend...

    banner_160x60_01.gif
  • LilnoobsLilnoobs Alpha Queue Registered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    I haven't read The Demise of Guys. (I want to, I like Zimbardo, but I'm going to read The Lucifer Effect first.)

    Is there a way of framing those statistics that compares them to prior generations of boys, rather than in comparison to girls?

    Excellent question, but I don't have that information (if it exists) on me. I assume it's a difficult comparison to make.

    I assume one could compare drop out rates easily enough. For whatever this chart is worth, it seems dropout rates have decreased since the 1960's for both genders, but that doesn't really tell me much. Even in these charts, women tend to drop out less than men, but is that an acceptable outcome? Are boys just more likely to drop out just because?

  • BSoBBSoB Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    Lilnoobs wrote:
    -By 21, boys spend 10,000 hours (417 days) gaming, 2/3 of that time in isolation (6,600hours, 275 days)

    -Average boy watches 50 porn clips a week

    Slackers.

    BSoB on

  • LilnoobsLilnoobs Alpha Queue Registered User regular
    To address the OP, the balancing of gender and education may mean that men can no longer ride on the merit of simply being men, and will have to actually deliver results. I also think that the worry of male demise is another form of fighting gender equality and a great way to turn away from social gender issues and make it all about men again.

    I worry about this concern too, which is why I hesitated for awhile before posting this OP. Trust me, that's in the back of my head with all of these results.

  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Nurse, Veteran, Army Mom, Ficus, Space Dad, Survivor Contestant God Bless This Mess Registered User regular
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    To address the OP, the balancing of gender and education may mean that men can no longer ride on the merit of simply being men, and will have to actually deliver results. I also think that the worry of male demise is another form of fighting gender equality and a great way to turn away from social gender issues and make it all about men again.

    I worry about this concern too, which is why I hesitated for awhile before posting this OP. Trust me, that's in the back of my head with all of these results.
    That is good to hear. I do think there is concern and maybe focusing on the gender aspect actually causes a wedge effect. Our schools are failing in general to prepare technically ready students across the board. We are outperformed in STEM like crazy.

  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    I haven't read The Demise of Guys. (I want to, I like Zimbardo, but I'm going to read The Lucifer Effect first.)

    Is there a way of framing those statistics that compares them to prior generations of boys, rather than in comparison to girls?

    Excellent question, but I don't have that information (if it exists) on me. I assume it's a difficult comparison to make.

    I assume one could compare drop out rates easily enough. For whatever this chart is worth, it seems dropout rates have decreased since the 1960's for both genders, but that doesn't really tell me much. Even in these charts, women tend to drop out less than men, but is that an acceptable outcome? Are boys just more likely to drop out just because?

    Oh, no, I don't consider it an acceptable outcome, it's just that the answer to that question might clue us in onto causes.

    That chart you linked is interesting. It casts a bit of a shadow on Zimbardo's implication that Internet and video games are to blame.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • saint2esaint2e Registered User regular
    As an aside, is it offensive if one purports that Gender X is better, in general, at Task A, and Gender Y is better, in general, at Task B?

    By "is better", I mean "performs better". Is that a bad thing, necessarily?

    banner_160x60_01.gif
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    saint2e wrote: »
    I think people noticed a decade or so back that girls were underperforming, so they changed the curriculum/way of teaching/way of grading to accommodate them.

    Now they've "gone too far" and need to readjust the above to even the playing field.
    I don't think encouragement is going too far. Also, STEM fields are still dominated by men, and women often feel they are not a part of such cultures.

    http://www.npr.org/2012/07/12/156664337/stereotype-threat-why-women-quit-science-jobs

    And to the gender disparity in STEM: A fairly nice article with no or little bias

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/karen-purcell-pe/stem-gender-gap_b_1545620.html

    I know, I know, huffpo, but yeah.



    This thread is specifically about younger men though. When you talk about "such and such field is still dominated by men" it makes me wonder whether everyone in that field is extremely young and retires super early, or are you skewing things by considering men who do not fall under the topic...

  • BSoBBSoB Registered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    I haven't read The Demise of Guys. (I want to, I like Zimbardo, but I'm going to read The Lucifer Effect first.)

    Is there a way of framing those statistics that compares them to prior generations of boys, rather than in comparison to girls?

    Excellent question, but I don't have that information (if it exists) on me. I assume it's a difficult comparison to make.

    I assume one could compare drop out rates easily enough. For whatever this chart is worth, it seems dropout rates have decreased since the 1960's for both genders, but that doesn't really tell me much. Even in these charts, women tend to drop out less than men, but is that an acceptable outcome? Are boys just more likely to drop out just because?

    Oh, no, I don't consider it an acceptable outcome, it's just that the answer to that question might clue us in onto causes.

    That chart you linked is interesting. It casts a bit of a shadow on Zimbardo's implication that Internet and video games are to blame.

    It's clearly smutty books and that fangled rock and roll music that is to blame!


  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    zimbardo ewwwwwwwwwwwwww

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    To address the OP, the balancing of gender and education may mean that men can no longer ride on the merit of simply being men, and will have to actually deliver results. I also think that the worry of male demise is another form of fighting gender equality and a great way to turn away from social gender issues and make it all about men again.

    I worry about this concern too, which is why I hesitated for awhile before posting this OP. Trust me, that's in the back of my head with all of these results.

    The issue with this line of thought is that, if there truly is a problem, not having the discussion now "because sexism" ensures that any real problem will be magnified, ingrained, and damaging before it can ever be addressed.


  • LilnoobsLilnoobs Alpha Queue Registered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    I haven't read The Demise of Guys. (I want to, I like Zimbardo, but I'm going to read The Lucifer Effect first.)

    Is there a way of framing those statistics that compares them to prior generations of boys, rather than in comparison to girls?

    Excellent question, but I don't have that information (if it exists) on me. I assume it's a difficult comparison to make.

    I assume one could compare drop out rates easily enough. For whatever this chart is worth, it seems dropout rates have decreased since the 1960's for both genders, but that doesn't really tell me much. Even in these charts, women tend to drop out less than men, but is that an acceptable outcome? Are boys just more likely to drop out just because?

    Oh, no, I don't consider it an acceptable outcome, it's just that the answer to that question might clue us in onto causes.

    That chart you linked is interesting. It casts a bit of a shadow on Zimbardo's implication that Internet and video games are to blame.

    Yeah, I really think the arousal addictions are a symptom of a larger cause, but they still enable boys to hang out with other boys more than girls, exacerbating the social dysfunction Zimbardo has studied in college-aged men.

  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Nurse, Veteran, Army Mom, Ficus, Space Dad, Survivor Contestant God Bless This Mess Registered User regular
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    To address the OP, the balancing of gender and education may mean that men can no longer ride on the merit of simply being men, and will have to actually deliver results. I also think that the worry of male demise is another form of fighting gender equality and a great way to turn away from social gender issues and make it all about men again.

    I worry about this concern too, which is why I hesitated for awhile before posting this OP. Trust me, that's in the back of my head with all of these results.

    The issue with this line of thought is that, if there truly is a problem, not having the discussion now "because sexism" ensures that any real problem will be magnified, ingrained, and damaging before it can ever be addressed.

    No one hit the no discussion button.

  • LilnoobsLilnoobs Alpha Queue Registered User regular
    saint2e wrote: »
    As an aside, is it offensive if one purports that Gender X is better, in general, at Task A, and Gender Y is better, in general, at Task B?

    By "is better", I mean "performs better". Is that a bad thing, necessarily?

    I think it's fine to talk about general trends. That's what I'm talking about here at least; of course not all boys are failing. Heck, isn't one whole generation called the multi-taskers just because they multi-task?

  • LilnoobsLilnoobs Alpha Queue Registered User regular
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    To address the OP, the balancing of gender and education may mean that men can no longer ride on the merit of simply being men, and will have to actually deliver results. I also think that the worry of male demise is another form of fighting gender equality and a great way to turn away from social gender issues and make it all about men again.

    I worry about this concern too, which is why I hesitated for awhile before posting this OP. Trust me, that's in the back of my head with all of these results.

    The issue with this line of thought is that, if there truly is a problem, not having the discussion now "because sexism" ensures that any real problem will be magnified, ingrained, and damaging before it can ever be addressed.


    Which is why I eventually posted the OP ;-)

  • LilnoobsLilnoobs Alpha Queue Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    saint2e wrote: »
    I think people noticed a decade or so back that girls were underperforming, so they changed the curriculum/way of teaching/way of grading to accommodate them.

    Now they've "gone too far" and need to readjust the above to even the playing field.
    I don't think encouragement is going too far. Also, STEM fields are still dominated by men, and women often feel they are not a part of such cultures.

    http://www.npr.org/2012/07/12/156664337/stereotype-threat-why-women-quit-science-jobs

    And to the gender disparity in STEM: A fairly nice article with no or little bias

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/karen-purcell-pe/stem-gender-gap_b_1545620.html

    I know, I know, huffpo, but yeah.



    This thread is specifically about younger men though. When you talk about "such and such field is still dominated by men" it makes me wonder whether everyone in that field is extremely young and retires super early, or are you skewing things by considering men who do not fall under the topic...

    Yeah, if you watch the Hanna Rosin talk I listed, young women dominate the professional fields (the fields that are growing in the current economic climate). Young people is important here; generally people born after 1980.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/hanna_rosin_new_data_on_the_rise_of_women.html

    About 7:15 she discusses women in the workforce and displays a nifty graph. The whole thing is really great though because she even talks about how the current recession is a "he-cession".

    Lilnoobs on
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular

    Girls match boys in math performance until adolescence, where their scores rapidly drop for some reason. There are a lot of theories as to why, but most speak to societal influence. I really don't think there is a biological influence to STEM performance.

    ...

    the balancing of gender and education may mean that men can no longer ride on the merit of simply being men, and will have to actually deliver results.

    I'm going to chop these two quotes together and suggest that women should simply put forth more effort at math. Since that is clearly the problem.

    Or does this logic only apply to male performance? Because for women it can't be them, it must be the fault of someone or something else?

    It's certainly possible that men are lazy and women are oppressed, but it's far more likely that something more nuanced is happening in both cases.

  • RiemannLivesRiemannLives Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    From the point of view of a rather successful 30-somthing in a highly-paid, high-demand field I have to say this quote annoys the crap out of me:
    She uses the phrase “child-man” and describes how men become stuck in “preadulthood” and embrace, well, the pleasures and leisure’s of being a child over growing up. (Think of the man-children characters of Seth Rogan, Steve Corral, Will Ferrell, and Ben Stiller). Men retreat into this stage because in the “preadulthood” they receive mixed and conflicting signals about what it is to be a man; therefore, men retreat into their selves and become more passive [perhaps this is a link with the excessive Internet use?]. These mixed signals seem to be best summarized in her own words,

    You want to know how to be successful in a job that is actually worth having? Where you don't just sell off slices of your time for tiny rashers of cash? Stay a "child-man".

    The traditional 1950s Mr. Cleaver bullshit that this quack is holding up as what these "child men" fail to become is a lie. And in the US today it is self destructive. There are no more union-shop jobs where these idealized Real Men can mindlessly churn out steel and widgets from exactly 9-5 every day while fathering (in the loosest sense of the word) 2.5 children and supporting an undeducated, submissive Christian missus.

    These days you absolutely need to retain a lot of the qualities of childhood your entire time in the workforce. Mental plasticity. The ability to take on an entirely new career at age 40 if need be. The ability and above all willingness to learn entirely new ways of life once you are into the age when Hymowitz's ideal man would have already surrendered all creative thought to the bottle.

    RiemannLives on
  • BSoBBSoB Registered User regular

    Girls match boys in math performance until adolescence, where their scores rapidly drop for some reason. There are a lot of theories as to why, but most speak to societal influence. I really don't think there is a biological influence to STEM performance.

    ...

    the balancing of gender and education may mean that men can no longer ride on the merit of simply being men, and will have to actually deliver results.

    I'm going to chop these two quotes together and suggest that women should simply put forth more effort at math. Since that is clearly the problem.

    Or does this logic only apply to male performance? Because for women it can't be them, it must be the fault of someone or something else?

    It's certainly possible that men are lazy and women are oppressed, but it's far more likely that something more nuanced is happening in both cases.

    It's because when women get to adolescence, they begin spending A BILITIONY HOURS a minute thinking about babies.


  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    I remember there was this thing I read earlier where when you segregate primary schools by sex, boys perform worse and girls perform better. I dunno why but there were some compelling theories

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    <3 RiemannLives

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • LilnoobsLilnoobs Alpha Queue Registered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    I remember there was this thing I read earlier where when you segregate primary schools by sex, boys perform worse and girls perform better. I dunno why but there were some compelling theories

    Perhaps this speaks back to "the man box" Mr. Porter references? If you could provide those sources, I would be interested in reading them.


    From the point of view of a rather successful 30-somthing in a highly-paid, high-demand field I have to say this quote annoys the crap out of me:
    She uses the phrase “child-man” and describes how men become stuck in “preadulthood” and embrace, well, the pleasures and leisure’s of being a child over growing up. (Think of the man-children characters of Seth Rogan, Steve Corral, Will Ferrell, and Ben Stiller). Men retreat into this stage because in the “preadulthood” they receive mixed and conflicting signals about what it is to be a man; therefore, men retreat into their selves and become more passive [perhaps this is a link with the excessive Internet use?]. These mixed signals seem to be best summarized in her own words,

    You want to know how to be successful in a job that is actually worth having? Where you don't just sell off slices of your time for tiny rashers of cash? Stay a "child-man".

    The traditional 1950s Mr. Cleaver bullshit that this quack is holding up as what these "child men" fail to become is a lie. And in the US today it is self destructive. There are no more union-shop jobs where these idealized Real Men can mindlessly churn out steel and widgets from exactly 9-5 every day while fathering (in the loosest sense of the word) 2.5 children and supporting an undeducated, submissive Christian missus.

    These days you absolutely need to retain a lot of the qualities of childhood your entire time in the workforce. Mental plasticity. The ability to take on an entirely new career at age 40 if need be. The ability and above all willingness to learn entirely new ways of life once you are into the age when Hymowitz's ideal man would have already surrendered all creative thought to the bottle.

    This, I think, hits on a lot of important points. If I'm understanding you right, @RiemannLives, you are suggesting to stay a "child-man" because the qualities of a child are beneficial in the adult workplace, yes?

    Why don't women have a similar phrase, a "child-woman"? Is it because the qualities of childhood are seen as feminine qualities to begin with and such a thing is redundant? Doesn't this, also, in a roundabout way get back to what does it mean to be a man? If a man was clearly defined before by not having these childhood qualities, and a man currently needs this childhood qualities to be successful, then is he still a man? How often do we tell young boys to "grow up"? How often do we tell young girls to "grow up"?

  • SilverEternitySilverEternity Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    To address the OP, the balancing of gender and education may mean that men can no longer ride on the merit of simply being men, and will have to actually deliver results. I also think that the worry of male demise is another form of fighting gender equality and a great way to turn away from social gender issues and make it all about men again.

    I appreciate other comments you make, but I think the growing trends with the under-performance of males is an important thing to examine. I don't believe it will "make it all about men again". However, there may be a little merit to the fact that men have significantly less advantage compared to previous times in history or as you said "the merit of simply being men". I read a book last year called Boys Adrift which provides some interesting arguments and reasons why boys are on average "doing worse" than girls. In high school I was declared a feminist and read the book The Decline of Males which is also interesting but some of the arguments seem more controversial and more about returning to traditional gender roles.

    As a teacher of at-risk students these trends are highly concerning to me. I teach students in a credit-recovery program who have failed an average of 15 high school classes (semester-long classes). Approximately 75-80% of the students in my program are male and I find even in my program females out-perform males (higher graduation rate). Personally I do think Dr. Zimbardo's discussion of "arousal addiction" is relevant, but I think it may just mean that the paradigm for education needs to change. The internet and porn is here to stay I don't think that is something we can change. We adapt education to help students develop skills of persistence. We also need to meet students' needs for a much more engaging, relevant and physically active curriculum. Additionally I think a lack of strong male role-models plays a role. Single-parenthood has increased and anecdotaly I see a difference in the performance of students who have two parents to support them instead of one.

    Additionally (anecdotaly) I think due to our re-framing of gender roles many young men (and older men) I encounter lack self-esteem and don't know where they fit into the world. Maybe this isn't any different than the past, but it is something I notice with my students. If you don't know where you fit into the world or where you want to fit in, it is hard to motivate yourself to strive for something. I think in the past (I anticipate slack for this) men felt more needed in society than they do today. Women don't need breadwinners anymore.

    SilverEternity on
  • RiemannLivesRiemannLives Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    I remember there was this thing I read earlier where when you segregate primary schools by sex, boys perform worse and girls perform better. I dunno why but there were some compelling theories

    Perhaps this speaks back to "the man box" Mr. Porter references? If you could provide those sources, I would be interested in reading them.


    From the point of view of a rather successful 30-somthing in a highly-paid, high-demand field I have to say this quote annoys the crap out of me:
    She uses the phrase “child-man” and describes how men become stuck in “preadulthood” and embrace, well, the pleasures and leisure’s of being a child over growing up. (Think of the man-children characters of Seth Rogan, Steve Corral, Will Ferrell, and Ben Stiller). Men retreat into this stage because in the “preadulthood” they receive mixed and conflicting signals about what it is to be a man; therefore, men retreat into their selves and become more passive [perhaps this is a link with the excessive Internet use?]. These mixed signals seem to be best summarized in her own words,

    You want to know how to be successful in a job that is actually worth having? Where you don't just sell off slices of your time for tiny rashers of cash? Stay a "child-man".

    The traditional 1950s Mr. Cleaver bullshit that this quack is holding up as what these "child men" fail to become is a lie. And in the US today it is self destructive. There are no more union-shop jobs where these idealized Real Men can mindlessly churn out steel and widgets from exactly 9-5 every day while fathering (in the loosest sense of the word) 2.5 children and supporting an undeducated, submissive Christian missus.

    These days you absolutely need to retain a lot of the qualities of childhood your entire time in the workforce. Mental plasticity. The ability to take on an entirely new career at age 40 if need be. The ability and above all willingness to learn entirely new ways of life once you are into the age when Hymowitz's ideal man would have already surrendered all creative thought to the bottle.

    This, I think, hits on a lot of important points. If I'm understanding you right, @RiemannLives, you are suggesting to stay a "child-man" because the qualities of a child are beneficial in the adult workplace, yes?

    Why don't women have a similar phrase, a "child-woman"? Is it because the qualities of childhood are seen as feminine qualities to begin with and such a thing is redundant? Doesn't this, also, in a roundabout way get back to what does it mean to be a man? If a man was clearly defined before by not having these childhood qualities, and a man currently needs this childhood qualities to be successful, then is he still a man? How often do we tell young boys to "grow up"? How often do we tell young girls to "grow up"?


    With regards to your first question: yes. The "child man" that this Hymowitz quack derides is a better role to aspire to than the one she holds up as ideal.

    As to the second, I have no idea. There are not books ranting about the problem of "child-women" (well there probably are because people will write any damnfool thing but they haven't been mentioned in this thread).

    These seem like two disconnected ideas and I am not at all sure what you are driving at by manufacturing this idea of a child-woman to mirror the bullshit about child-men.

    Basicially, to tell anyone to "grow up" doesn't mean any fixed thing. It is a deceptive, bullshit code-statement for "conform to whatever roles I happen to find appealing regardless of their ethics or utility". Anyone seriously suggesting such advice should be viewed as disengenious at the very least.

    RiemannLives on
  • ShivahnShivahn Unaware of her barrel shifter privilege Eastern coastal temptressRegistered User regular
    Lilnoobs wrote:
    Sidebar:
    These are things I wonder
    -Why do boys suffer from higher rates of ADHD than girls? Autism? Both of these at near a 5:1 ratio. Is there a relationship between these neurological diseases and the demise of guys?

    -Is this similar to the Lost Generation in Japan?What similarities and differences do these phenomenon have; what can we learn from the Lost Generation to help our boys?

    -What specific cultural aspects send mixed and conflicting messages to men?

    -What kinds of skills are preferred in emerging markets?

    Actual data on the relative incidence of ADHD is not close to conclusive. For one thing, boys are more likely to have the hyperactive or combined subtype, while girls tend to have the inattentive one. People are much more likely to notice their boy not shutting up and jumping on the sofa than they are their girl losing her pencils at school again. There is significant bias from both teachers and parents here.

    Are severely autistic individuals counted in drop outs and stuff? Incidence is definitely related to sex there, but I'd need to know how stats are gathered and how severe it tends to be before making judgments. It's rare enough that I doubt it alone is a significant cause of the problem.

  • LilnoobsLilnoobs Alpha Queue Registered User regular
    Yeah, I may bring it in later, but men vastly outnumber women in remedial education classes and programs. I've seen it (anecdotaly) in my own classes, but it's also a thing. Why? Are men just idiots? I don't think so, but something is happening that's within our control to fix.

  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Nurse, Veteran, Army Mom, Ficus, Space Dad, Survivor Contestant God Bless This Mess Registered User regular
    To address the OP, the balancing of gender and education may mean that men can no longer ride on the merit of simply being men, and will have to actually deliver results. I also think that the worry of male demise is another form of fighting gender equality and a great way to turn away from social gender issues and make it all about men again.

    I appreciate other comments you make, but I think the growing trends with the under-performance of males is an important thing to examine. I don't believe it will "make it all about men again". However, there may be a little merit to the fact that men have significantly less advantage compared to previous times in history or as you said "the merit of simply being men". I read a book last year called amazon.com/Boys-Adrift-Epidemic-Unmotivated-Underachieving/dp/0465072100/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1342565185&sr=8-1&keywords=Boys+Adrift which provides some interesting arguments and reasons why boys are on average "doing worse" than girls. In high school I was declared a feminist and read the book The Decline of Males which is also interesting but some of the arguments seem more controversial and more about returning to traditional gender roles.

    As a teacher of at-risk students these trends are highly concerning to me. I teach students in a credit-recovery program who have failed an average of 15 high school classes (semester-long classes). Approximately 75-80% of the students in my program are male and I find even in my program females out-perform males (higher graduation rate). Personally I do think Dr. Zimbardo's discussion of "arousal addiction" is relevant, but I think it may just mean that the paradigm for education needs to change. The internet and porn is here to stay I don't think that is something we can change. We adapt education to help students develop skills of persistence. We also need to meet students' needs for a much more engaging, relevant and physically active curriculum. Additionally I think a lack of strong male role-models plays a role. Single-parenthood has increased and anecdotaly I see a difference in the performance of students who have two parents to support them instead of one.

    Additionally (anecdotaly) I think due to our re-framing of gender roles many young men (and older men) I encounter lack self-esteem and don't know where they fit into the world. Maybe this isn't any different than the past, but it is something I notice with my students. If you don't know where you fit into the world or where you want to fit in, it is hard to motivate yourself to strive for something. I think in the past (I anticipate slack for this) men felt more needed in society than they do today. Women don't need breadwinners anymore.
    That is really interesting! I wish I could find the study that showed where male students tend to rate their performance higher than their actual performance and where female students do the exact opposite. There is definitely a perception issue going on.

  • BagginsesBagginses __BANNED USERS regular
    Now I'm thinking at least part of the difference is that boys are expected to earn an income with an after school job in low-income houses and pull more weight around the house.

  • MrMisterMrMister A pup must first get in the water to be successful as a seal!Registered User regular
    This thread is specifically about younger men though. When you talk about "such and such field is still dominated by men" it makes me wonder whether everyone in that field is extremely young and retires super early, or are you skewing things by considering men who do not fall under the topic...

    I cannot speak to graduate programs across all disciplines, but in philosophy it is still definitely male-skewed even among the younger cohorts. I was born in 1986, which I take to put me solidly in the putatively failing generation of men, and my graduate class has 6 men and 2 women. Other classes immediately below and above me have yet worse ratios. Granted this varies by program, and mine is especially bad for its caliber (places like NYU have more balanced classes), but I do not think the tides of change have yet come anywhere near effecting a majority-female incoming graduate population. Since we are starting the cut-off for this generational phenomenon at 1980, we should also expect women to constitute more incoming junior faculty, but this is also not so.

    I suspect that some of these statistics are too broad to be useful. Women receive more graduate degrees: does this mean that men are struggling? Not if women are receiving those degrees by virtue of attending, in record numbers, 'female-valenced' programs in low-prestige disciplines which men are not in any case much interested in. Nor does it mean that men are struggling if they still get significantly more mileage out of the graduate degrees they do receive--for instance, by way of accruing significantly more tenure track job offers, or being fast tracked into higher-prestige programs, universities, and general academic roles. For instance, even without considering disciplinary boundaries, within philosophy there is a prestige ladder with male-dominated subdisciplines like epistemology, meta-ethics, and metaphysics sitting at the top and female-dominated subdisciplines like applied ethics, normative ethics, and feminist philosophy at the bottom. This ladder has significant consequences when it comes to who gets the the tenure-track jobs, which is, needless to say, a very big deal (most people do not understand how bad the non-tenure academic jobs are). But none of this will show up if you simply start counting graduate degrees awarded and comparing by gender.

    In short, I am highly skeptical that men are outperformed by woman at all academic levels, and that this data is undeniable--I am tempted to deny it based on my narrow knowledge of my narrow slot in my narrow field. Perhaps the case can be made nonetheless, but not, I think, with the sort of low-resolution view provided by the statistics in the OP.

  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    This, I think, hits on a lot of important points. If I'm understanding you right, @RiemannLives, you are suggesting to stay a "child-man" because the qualities of a child are beneficial in the adult workplace, yes?

    Why don't women have a similar phrase, a "child-woman"? Is it because the qualities of childhood are seen as feminine qualities to begin with and such a thing is redundant?

    Probably. That was my thought, anyway.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • RiemannLivesRiemannLives Registered User regular
    I think what is really detremental is that large number of people are still telling men that they need to conform to a set of traditional roles (they usually deceptively phrase this as "grow up") in a world where those traditional roles are no longer a successful strategy.

    Of course that is going to lead to problems. And the solution is not, and never has been, to just hope the world changes back and those old strategies start working again (if, indeed, they ever worked at all outside of TV and movies).

  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Nurse, Veteran, Army Mom, Ficus, Space Dad, Survivor Contestant God Bless This Mess Registered User regular
    MrMister wrote: »
    This thread is specifically about younger men though. When you talk about "such and such field is still dominated by men" it makes me wonder whether everyone in that field is extremely young and retires super early, or are you skewing things by considering men who do not fall under the topic...

    I cannot speak to graduate programs across all disciplines, but in philosophy it is still definitely male-skewed even among the younger cohorts. I was born in 1986, which I take to put me solidly in the putatively failing generation of men, and my graduate class has 6 men and 2 women. Other classes immediately below and above me have yet worse ratios. Granted this varies by program, and mine is especially bad for its caliber (places like NYU have more balanced classes), but I do not think the tides of change have yet come anywhere near effecting a majority-female incoming graduate population. Since we are starting the cut-off for this generational phenomenon at 1980, we should also expect women to constitute more incoming junior faculty, but this is also not so.

    I suspect that some of these statistics are too broad to be useful. Women receive more graduate degrees: does this mean that men are struggling? Not if women are receiving those degrees by virtue of attending, in record numbers, 'female-valenced' programs in low-prestige disciplines which men are not in any case much interested in. Nor does it mean that men are struggling if they still get significantly more mileage out of the graduate degrees they do receive--for instance, by way of accruing significantly more tenure track job offers, or being fast tracked into higher-prestige programs, universities, and general academic roles. For instance, even without considering disciplinary boundaries, within philosophy there is a prestige ladder with male-dominated subdisciplines like epistemology, meta-ethics, and metaphysics sitting at the top and female-dominated subdisciplines like applied ethics, normative ethics, and feminist philosophy at the bottom. This ladder has significant consequences when it comes to who gets the the tenure-track jobs, which is, needless to say, a very big deal (most people do not understand how bad the non-tenure academic jobs are). But none of this will show up if you simply start counting graduate degrees awarded and comparing by gender.

    In short, I am highly skeptical that men are outperformed by woman at all academic levels, and that this data is undeniable--I am tempted to deny it based on my narrow knowledge of my narrow slot in my narrow field. Perhaps the case can be made nonetheless, but not, I think, with the sort of low-resolution view provided by the statistics in the OP.
    In the biological sciences, women now dominate by that metric, but then, you will find that the majority of tenure track positions still go to men, or that the administrative positions are men, while all the women work under them.

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