Category Archives: Society & gender

Posts about social issues and gender roles, including dating, marriage, and family.

We might become a low testosterone America. More research needed, stat!

Summary: There are many threats revealed by science. We obsess about some, such as climate change. Others we ignore, such as falling testosterone levels in men. This loss of our manliness might explain many things. America’s falling crime rates? The increased frequency of women filing for divorce (why hang around with a low-T beta?). Perhaps even our defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the contempt of migrants for our borders.

Testosterone formula on the chalkboard

CNN reports the news, with mockery: “Modern life rough on men“, 18 August 2011 — Opening…

“Didn’t men use to be more masculine? They were more ready to fight back, right? They walked with more swagger, and just did more things their way. Researchers can’t measure swagger – but they can measure testosterone, the male sex hormone most responsible for masculine behaviors – and studies show that testosterone levels in men have been on the decline for decades.

Two major studies have confirmed the phenomenon, one in U.S. men and another in Danish men. In the U.S. study, the total testosterone levels measured in men’s blood dropped approximately 22% between 1987 and 2004.

Of course testosterone levels drop as men get older, but what makes the study shocking is that men today actually have less testosterone than men used to have at the same age. The challenges to men’s health may not be limited to testosterone levels. The amount of sperm in ejaculated semen may be falling too. …”

There are other dimensions to the problem: “Why are men’s sperm rates falling?” by Dr. Phil Hammond in The Telegraph, 17 March 2014 — “Men’s sperm production is decreasing rapidly and the scientific community is struggling to find an explanation.”

Something is happening. Thousands of papers in the past few years examine the dynamics and effects of this powerful hormone. It responds to changes in a person’s social and physical environment. It influences men’s health and behavior in many ways.

Below the fold are summaries of eight papers, among the few that examine the changes during the past few decades in testosterone levels and male fertility. These longitudinal studies are of great value — but complex and expensive — and hence rare. They have been ignored by policy makers, but deserve attention. Lead poisoning helped bring down the Roman Empire. It was one of many factors in its decline, but one that they were unable to see (they knew about the danger of lead pipes, but not other sources of lead poisoning).

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The Premier of Ontario visits a mosque, revealing much about our society

Summary: Small incidents in the news often reveal hidden but large trends in society, if we examine them carefully. Such as a recent visit by Ontario’s Premier to a local mosque. Her political allies cheer; her political foes laugh and mock. But it tells us so much more. {Also, see yesterday’s post: Trump points to Sweden’s problems with migrants. Then they riot, again.}

Kathleen O’Day Wynne, Premier of Ontario.

Kathleen Wynne

Kathleen O’Day Wynne is the first female premier of Ontario and the first openly gay head of government in Canada (see Wikipedia). To build bridges with the local Christian community, she visited a fundamentalist church — and followed the appropriate Scriptural guidance. She sat quietly, head covered — even going beyond the Paul’s advice, to sit in the back of the church.

“Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. 5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head — it is the same as having her head shaved.”  (1 Corinthians 11 4:5.)

“Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. 35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.” (1 Corinthians 14 34:35.)

“A woman should learn in quietness and full submission.  I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.” (1 Timothy 2 11:12.)

Of course, this is impossible. If Premier Wynne visited a church and was asked to sit quietly, head covered, her tirade would have blown the roof off. But, as most readers know, she visited a Toronto mosque on January 30, the day after six died during an attack at a Quebec mosque — and, as the Toronto Sun reported, she obeyed.

“While the men prayed, she sat patiently in the back corner of the mosque waiting to {speak}.”

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Martin van Creveld: women are a problem in the military, not the cure

Summary: Martin van Creveld examines the reason behind the Israel Defense Forces’ enthusiasm to recruit women. It’s the same reason for the enthusiasm of the US military. Men are increasingly unable or unwilling to serve. He discusses some of the likely consequences of this experiment.

IDF woman soldier

 

Military Women Are Not the Cure,
They Are the Disease

By Martin van Creveld.
From his website, 24 November 2016.

Re-posted with his generous permission.

 

For about twenty years now, I have been warning whoever would and would not listen about the dangers of feminizing the military. Now, in my own country, the chicks — no pun intended — are coming home to roost. As readers will know, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are the only ones in history to have made women wear uniform even against their will. However, from the end of the War of Independence (1948) to the late 1970s they only did so in a variety of auxiliary Military Occupation Specialties (MOS) that had little impact on the fighting “teeth.” At that point a shortage of manpower generated by the forces’ expansion following the 1973 Arab-Israeli War on one hand and feminist pressures on the other caused the situation to change. Female officers and enlisted personnel increased in both numbers and importance until the IDF was blessed with three small “combat” battalions made up mostly of women. Albeit that they are deployed along the borders with Egypt and Jordan, where hardly a shot has been fired for decades past.

Fast-move forward. For about a month now I have noticed, in Israel’s most important paper Yediot Ahronot, a series of articles about various combat IDF units. How little the public knew about them. How wonderful they were. How important the missions they carried out, and how daring their feats. Which towns provided them with proportionally the largest number of recruits. And so on. Briefly. the kind of stuff you would expect from a military that has difficulties attracting manpower.

Last week, the reasons behind the various publications came out of the bag. What I had suspected all along has now been announced with great fanfare. Year by year, fewer recruits are interested in joining the combat arms. From 2015 to 2016 alone, the figure went down by two percentage points, from 71.91 to 69.8. The decline is less pronounced among women, more among men. Coming on top of the fact that more and more men do not serve in the first place, the IDF has good reason to worry about its ability to fill combat slots as they should be.

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Will today’s young men marry? America’s future depends which of these answers is right.

Summary: In Will young men break America’s family structure? I asked a question which the comments suggest was too disturbing for many readers. Will most of today’s young men marry, as did previous generations? If not, our society will drastically change. Here are the answers readers gave.

Family holding hands

Will the young men now in high school and college marry in their late 20’s, as men do now? I gave an introduction to this vital issue in “Will young men break America’s family structure?” Here are some additional aspects I did not mention.

Marriage was an asset for our ancestors, as children provided labor whose value exceeded their cost. That changed by the 19th century, resulting in the street children and horrific orphanages described by Dickens. Now children are raised at fantastic cost by middle class families, often paid as child support by absent dads. I doubt many today’s young men, raised with pronatalism scrubbed from their textbooks, will marry to have kids.

The other major benefits of marriage, sex and companionship, are easily available without the risks and cost of marriage. Will this thoroughly unromantic generation of young men follow the traditional patterns in a world so radically changed? Or have the pressures on the institution of marriage grown, so that it snaps (similar to punctuated equilibrium in evolution)?

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Will young men break America’s family structure?

Summary:  Changes in gender relations are among the most powerful forces reshaping America.  Team Trump is the most conservative administration since before the New Deal, but they are powerless to turn this clock back. Below you will see a vision of how our society will change in the decade or so.

Contents

  1. The new life cycle of American women.
  2.  The family’s broken foundation.
  3. Allan Boom explains what’s happening.
  4. For More Information.

See part 2 of this series:  Will today’s young men marry? America’s future depends which of these answers is right.

(1)  The new life cycle of American women

In brief, the family is toast in its current configuration. My guess is that the places where this disintegration have advanced most (e.g., Scandinavia, Los Angeles) society is coasting, supported by inherited cultural traditions which no longer have any foundation. I believe that this is one of our greatest social problems, which the boomers bequeath to future generations much as the Founders did slavery. We are building a new social system, changing the basics but hoping the old dynamics still operate.

Scores of posts here document these changes and discuss their effects. We might see these changes erupt into a crisis during the next decade. The women now becoming adults are the first raised in a culture of third wave feminism. They enter a society in which women are outperforming men in an increasingly wide range of factors (most notably, education), in which the last constraints on young women’s behavior are gone (most importantly, any barriers to unrestrained pursuit of alpha men). It is a golden age for young women.

The median age of marriage for women is 28, a record high for America (see this Census graph). They have roughly a decade to play, with little need to plan for their future. Men will be there to settle upon when they are ready to settle down. But will they?

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Warnings about the horrific effects of Disney’s Princesses on America’s girls

Summary: Feminists warn that Disney Princesses encourage America’s girls to become thin, passive, and submissive — and make them psychologically disturbed. They teach this to young girls. It’s delusional, and illustrates a serious problem.

Disney Princesses - original six

When researching the effects of feminism on society, I stumbled on this presentation by Jaden Maxwell and Cheyenne Taylor, seventh grade students at Mount Pleasant School: “Princesses as Role Models“. Its quality is far above anything I did at their age (they also won 2nd and 4th prize at the math fair). It illustrates one aspect of the education of modern American girls.

Princesses as Role models

Princesses as Role models

They say other ill effects of exposure to Disney princesses are “dependence and submissiveness”.

Impressively, the girls cite sources. The most significant is “Point: Fantasy Princess Role Models Teach Young Girls To Be Dependent And Submissive And Help To Foster An Unhealthy Body Image” by Micah Issitt (in Princesses As Role Models For Young Girls, 2014). Google revealed a large body of works exploring this theme. Sadly, dipping into this sea of feminist advocacy found little research supporting these claims.

That should not surprise anyone, for the concept appears quite daft. Snow White, the first Disney princess, hit the screens in 1937. The mass merchandising of the followed Andy Mooney’s (chairman of Disney’s Consumer Products division) genius invention of the “princess franchise” in January 2000. How has Disney changed America’s women during the past several generations?

American girls are often described as “princesses”, but not for those qualities. Rather, it describes the opposite: aggressive girls with high self-esteem (who are also privileged and materialistic). The earliest use I found of this was “Jewish American Princess“, which became popular after WWII — and was still popular when I was in college in the 1970s.

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Why men are avoiding work and marriage

Summary: The previous post described how men are abandoning the rat race and dropping out of the full-time work force. The usual explanations (given without asking them) are that they’re pawns of economic and social forces, or neurotic Peter Pans that refuse to grow up. While satisfying to Left and Right and partially correct, these ignore the core fact — these men have agency, and are rationally responding to changes in our society. We can learn much from them, for this trend has just begun. The effect on society will be immense.

Lifting the veil to see what I won. Oh, it’s toil & trouble.

For what do men work hard and long?

Men work most often to obtain social status and money, to get women, and to support a family. Economically independent women have radically changed every aspect of that game, especially for the men at the back of the pack.

(1)  Women’s added participation in the work force increases competition for good jobs and depresses wages. This makes running the rat race more difficult for men.

(2)  Sex is now more easily available outside marriage, often without expensive dating rituals. This makes running the rat race less necessary for men.

(3)  Partially liberated from the need for male providers, women increasingly select for dark triad traits (i.e., entertaining jerks, often treating them badly). Some of Taylor Swift’s songs clearly describe how this works. Success in the sex games for betas (most of us are betas) largely comes from learning the game (faking dark triad behaviors). Why should men marry these women (when they’re over 28 and ready to “settle”)?

(4)  Men’s (often illusory) patriarchal rule of the family is gone. Now women need men only to get legitimate children and pay child support after the divorce (women file ~80% of divorces, and divorces end roughly half of marriages). Only 18% of fathers get primary custody of the 26% of minor children who live with only one parent. For more information see the 2013 Census report on Custodial Parents. Why should men marry?

(5)  Gin was the cheap power drink of choice for those seeking alternative lifestyles in 18th century London. Technology has given today’s rat race dropouts more and better alternatives: great booze, designer drugs, rock music, a thousand channels on TV, and computer games (which push the same buttons in the brain as addictive drugs). Marriage now has more competition for a role in men’s lives.

The bottom line: many men are “going Galt”, but in a very different way than In Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged— they are abandoning both work and marriage. See the details here.

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