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MatsK

Male is now the weak sex?

23 posts in this topic

The day before yesterday I read an article in my favourite newspaper that argued that in the US, males are turning into the weaker sex. Amongst other things, it pointed to an article called '[url="http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/07/the-end-of-men/8135/1/"]The End of Men[/url]' by Hanna Rosin. It says '[size=2][i][font="Arial"]Earlier this year, women became the majority of the workforce for the first time in U.S. history. Most managers are now women too. And for every two men who get a college degree this year, three women will do the same[/font][/i][/size][font=Georgia,]'.[/font]
[font="Arial"][size="2"]Is there anything men can do about this? What do you think?[/size][/font]
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[quote name='MatsK' timestamp='1304589702' post='4806822'][font="Arial"][size="2"]Is there anything men can do about this? What do you think?[/size][/font][/quote]I don't understand the question. My fellow gender aren't getting educated as much as they could be -- so I should do something?
Are there any signs that this trend is actually due to gender [i]discrimination[/i]? (i.e. something that we should do something about).

I thought the point of gender equality was that you don't have to care about gender in work/education any more? You know, meritocratic instead of sexist...

And as for genetic predispositions ([i]e.g. one gender being better at something[/i]), they're just head-starts. People with negative genetic predispositions just have to try harder or be nurtured differently to reach the same levels of merit. Predisposition isn't destiny.
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[quote][color="#1C2837"][size="2"]Are there any signs that this trend is actually due to gender [i]discrimination[/i]? [/quote][/size][/color]
[color="#1C2837"] [/color]
[color="#1C2837"][size="2"]It isn't [i]due to [/i]gender discrimination, but it is actually [i]causing [/i]gender discrimination. The article mentions that some universities are now actually letting in fewer women in order to avoid crossing the 60% gender line. Which to me actually sounds like a good thing. I don't neccessarily believe in meritocracy. If so many girls are applying to universities and actually having better chances of getting accepted than boys, something should be done to level the playing field (which it seems these universities are doing).[/size][/color]
[color="#1C2837"] [/color]
[color="#1C2837"][size="2"]Quote;[/size][/color]
[color="#1C2837"] [/color]
[color="#1C2837"][size="2"]'[/size][/color][size=2][font="Arial"][i]To avoid crossing the dreaded 60 percent threshold, admissions officers have created a language to explain away the boys’ deficits: “Brain hasn’t kicked in yet.” “Slow to cook.” “Hasn’t quite peaked.” “Holistic picture.” At times Delahunty has become so worried about “overeducated females” and “undereducated males” that she jokes she is getting conspiratorial. She once called her sister, a pediatrician, to vet her latest theory: “Maybe these boys are genetically like canaries in a coal mine, absorbing so many toxins and bad things in the environment that their DNA is shifting. Maybe they’re like those frogs—they’re more vulnerable or something, so they’ve gotten deformed.”[/i][/font][/size][size=2][font="Arial"][i]Clearly, some percentage of boys are just temperamentally unsuited to college, at least at age 18 or 20, but without it, they have a harder time finding their place these days. “Forty years ago, 30 years ago, if you were one of the fairly constant fraction of boys who wasn’t ready to learn in high school, there were ways for you to enter the mainstream economy,” says Henry Farber, an economist at Princeton. “When you woke up, there were jobs. There were good industrial jobs, so you could have a good industrial, blue-collar career. Now those jobs are gone.”[/i][/font][font="Georgia,"]'[/font]

[/size]
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There is always discrimination on college entry, we discriminate to choose the candidates accepted. You just have to determine what is acceptable to discriminate on. Innate things like race and gender are clearly unfair ways to discriminate in this case*. Discriminating on academic ability is a reasonably fair, because a) you can work at it and b) it is related to the goal: education.

Fairness is a desirable sub-goal, but not to the detriment of the actual goal. Of course our measurement of academic ability is quite biased, those with good memory but little understanding can perform at the same level as those with lots of understanding but who refuse to rote learn.

Another option is to give males some extra time, as they lag behind females in their mental maturity by a handful of years. I don't know the best way to do that though.

Choose your poison - you've got to discriminate somehow. Or institute a random lottery system - that'll be fair, right?

* Consider how we do consider it fair to discriminate on gender in sports, as it has a role in determining a persons physical peak. It is also interesting to think that we don't discriminate on race, even though that seems to be related too (at least for running!).
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TBH I think men in general just need to step up their own game without holding women back. EDIT: Also I think it would be healthy to stop thinking about this as a competition... Men and women are both essential parts of the world, and it would be wise to work together EDIT: taking advantage of our different strengths.
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How many of these females are going to graduate with some useless arts degree and end up in a managerial position at McDonald's though?

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[quote name='rip-off' timestamp='1304593491' post='4806843']
Another option is to give males some extra time, as they lag behind females in their mental maturity by a handful of years. I don't know the best way to do that though.
[/quote]

I think giving males extra time sounds like a good idea!
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I don't see no issue here. In the long run, it may be frightening or something (...), but the progress is pretty slow, so I don't really feel the thing. I grew up in this world, so I'm used to it I guess. Anyway, when mammoths are back again, we can prove our physical strength again.

EDIT: my message didn't go through I'm sure. So, it's like heating the pot under a frog, but this gender thing doesn't seem to be a bad thing. But of course, we can (and probably will) make it worse that it should be.
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[quote name='Hodgman' timestamp='1304595865' post='4806851']
[quote name='MatsK' timestamp='1304592049' post='4806838']
[color="#1C2837"][size="2"]If so many girls are applying to universities and actually having better chances of getting accepted than boys, something should be done to level the playing field (which it seems these universities are doing).[/quote]This makes no sense to me. Should they make sure there's equal representation from every year of birth-date, every hair colour, every choice of favorite colour, every skin pigment, every religious dedication, every choice of car-make? Those things are all just as arbitrary as trying to ensure equal representation from both genders.[/size][/color]
[/quote]

I wouldn't say that trying to ensure equal representation from both genders is 'arbitrary'. How men and women are educated and ultimately earning has alot to say for family compositions and birth rates in a society. The article also mentions that the number of single mothers is steadily increasing, as there simply aren't enough partners with equal or better status to choose from, and the girls are steadfastly rejecting the guys with a poor or no education. Also, women with higher education tend to postpone familylife, and by the time they're starting to reach their biological peak of 35-40, they're either finding that there aren't enough potential partners to choose from at a higher or equal status, or that males with a lower status have altogether given up the prospect of marriage and/or dating.

[quote][font=Georgia,]The terms of marriage have changed radically since 1970. Typically, women’s income has been the main factor in determining whether a family moves up the class ladder or stays stagnant. And increasing numbers of women—unable to find men with a similar income and education—are forgoing marriage altogether. In 1970, 84 percent of women ages 30 to 44 were married; now 60 percent are. In 2007, among American women without a high-school diploma, 43 percent were married. And yet, for all the hand-wringing over the lonely spinster, the real loser in society—the only one to have made just slight financial gains since the 1970s—is the single man, whether poor or rich, college-educated or not. Hens rejoice; it’s the bachelor party that’s over.[/font][font=Georgia,]The sociologist Kathryn Edin spent five years talking with low-income mothers in the inner suburbs of Philadelphia. Many of these neighborhoods, she found, had turned into matriarchies, with women making all the decisions and dictating what the men should and should not do. “I think something feminists have missed,” Edin told me, “is how much power women have” when they’re not bound by marriage. The women, she explained, “make every important decision”—whether to have a baby, how to raise it, where to live. “It’s definitely ‘my way or the highway,’” she said. “Thirty years ago, cultural norms were such that the fathers might have said, ‘Great, catch me if you can.’ Now they are desperate to father, but they are pessimistic about whether they can meet her expectations.” The women don’t want them as husbands, and they have no steady income to provide. So what do they have?[/quote]

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Oh, those are some old stereotypes there....
Ah, I've spend too many time on those kinds of forums (men ranting about/hating women because of their own loserness), I guess I should leave this thread right now...

EDIT: just some last words: all those ""big truths"" has excuses. And as a "coincidence", I can see all these excuses all the time even in my not so big um... environment.

So thread closed :P
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Note: I don't hate women. I'm mainly just presenting facts in the article, because I was shocked when I read it. I don't neccessarily think that just because women get higher education it'll result in a society completely biased towards single parents (neither one of which is good; that is, I don't think that single fathers nor mothers present an ideal family situation, mainly because it isn't a 'family'), but I definately think that gender roles in a society (such as which gender is supposed/expected to stay at home with the kids and which gender is supposed/expected to earn the income) has alot to say for family compositions and birth rates.
Ideally the best thing would be if both men and women could split time equally between working and staying at home with kids.
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I didn't say you hate women. But I know that these kinds of threads are just as flame-baits as religious threads, and I'm pretty sure the "women only like macho guys", "macho guys fuck women and the other guys raise their children" etc. big thoughts will come up at some point.

Anyway, equality can be observed in Scandinavian countries. It's so beautiful and cute, I loved it. And it doesn't mean all the "romance" or whatever is missing. Nope, only the stupid and arbitrary games are missing. (awww, when women carry men on motorcycles, or when the thin girl is moving the furniture around and doesn't get it why I want to help her :')
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[quote name='MatsK' timestamp='1304589702' post='4806822']
[font="Arial"][size="2"]Is there anything men can do about this?[/size][/font]
[/quote]

Keep lifting weights and training for UFC. You know, stick to our strengths...

Or, I don't know, stay in school and learn and work hard and not give a flying monkey's ass about what "the girls" are doing.
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Women are classified by most minority definitions. Due to minority scholarship institutions, there is more opportunity for a poor woman to go to school. Additionally, there are many business-oriented classes and grant programs only available to minorities, which give a leg-up on business entry and starting. This is a fairly likely (and intended) result of such programs. They were deemed necessary to break up the affluent (white) male control circles that dominated the higher echelons of business and education for so many years. The real challenge is going to be determining the appropriate time and method to wind down and eliminate these programs. It's fairly taboo to reduce or rebalance such programs.
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[quote name='necreia' timestamp='1304611697' post='4806961']
Women are classified by most minority definitions. Due to minority scholarship institutions, there is more opportunity for a poor woman to go to school. Additionally, there are many business-oriented classes and grant programs only available to minorities, which give a leg-up on business entry and starting. This is a fairly likely (and intended) result of such programs. They were deemed necessary to break up the affluent (white) male control circles that dominated the higher echelons of business and education for so many years. The real challenge is going to be determining the appropriate time and method to wind down and eliminate these programs. It's fairly taboo to reduce or rebalance such programs.
[/quote]

That is generally called "affirmative action".

In the US at least, the SCOTUS addressed affirmative action in education back in 2003. They unanimously agreed that affirmative action programs based on gender and race need to end, but they disagreed on how long it would take, which was the main reason for the split in their decisions.

Yes it will end in the next few years, but for today the reverse discrimination of "affirmative action" is still in force.

Perhaps in a few years it will be unlawful for discrimination based on gender or race. For now it is still quite legal and occasionally required for certain groups to discriminate [i]against [/i]white males, giving preference to women and non-white individuals who may be otherwise less qualified than the white/male applicant.
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If I remember the article correctly, a lot of the argumentation doesn't suggest anything permanent or unalterable in the trend. For example, the author argues things like "manufacturing is declining, and that was one of the last areas where an uneducated man's strength is marketable", which certainly isn't good news for such men, but that just provides more incentive to acquire an education in the future. You also have temporary factors like the massive depression of construction activity reducing employment in a non-degree male dominated field.

A lot of the other ideas I recall being argued were pretty flimsy. "Women are just naturally better at service work, which is where the economy is headed", while incredibly broad, also sounds a lot like "girls are just naturally not as smart as boys and so not as good in school. We should discourage higher education for them and pigeonhole them into Home Ec". That one didn't really hold up, and the author's observation about current trends in service work isn't any better founded. Women are inherently and insurmountably better at ervice work only if you have a cartoonish view of what men are and how they interact with others.

The author chose a hyperbolic and striking title, and then spent a few pages asserting that some things she happened to see today will become ever more prominent in the future. Her basis for these assertions (implicit, perhaps) was that all socio-economic trends continue forever, that social and legal initiatives either have no impact on those trends or those initiatives will also continue forever without alteration, and that the relevant systems are static rather than dynamic (nothing will change to take advantage of these new trends).

But most disturbingly, her assertions (particularly about the "end of men") are predicated largely on the idea that the things she observes in the article are based on innate differences between the sexes which can never be overcome. The effective social differences between genders are either cultural or innate, and only one of those lends itself to an end-of-men thesis. If that position didn't stand up in the past when it was used to justify oppressing women, it's not going to do so now in the other direction.

I agree with the author to the extent that the Western-style economy is on the precipice of the future, and that a striking transition between past systems and future ones will occur. But declaring the end of men as a socially and economically relevant group is indicative of a lack of imagination on her part, at best.
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It has been my experience that women generally perform far better at most male-dominated jobs than men are willing to give them credit for. Woe to the male manager who still harbors an irrational bias against them. That women are graduating at a higher rate than men and filling more managerial positions is not the least bit surprising to me.
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The causes are actually many fold, and also it's mostly a western phenomenon. Its caused by pollution, specifically the endocrine disruptors and estrogen mimics. Males are more susceptible to pollution in the womb and also more affected by the estrogen mimics and endocrine disruptor during development (messes up their brain development and puberty, might be cause of the Autism epidemic). This has been known since the 1970s with decline sperm count (just one warning signs) in the western world (also affects Japan). Many of these pollutants come from the plastics and are residue of the high tech gadgets western society is so fond of. How long was BPA allowed in use ? 40 years? A known and powerful endocrine disruptor? Since the lag time between the affects of these endocrine disruptors is like 20 years (birth -> full maturity), its hard to say how males will rebound once they are removed from the environment, which still will be another 20 years until we get them all. As mentioned its not a factor in the developing world for the most part until they start to massively industrialize and pollute their environment as well..

-ddn
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[quote name='Khaiy' timestamp='1304617624' post='4807006']
A lot of the other ideas I recall being argued were pretty flimsy. "Women are just naturally better at service work, which is where the economy is headed", while incredibly broad, also sounds a lot like "girls are just naturally not as smart as boys and so not as good in school. We should discourage higher education for them and pigeonhole them into Home Ec". That one didn't really hold up, and the author's observation about current trends in service work isn't any better founded. Women are inherently and insurmountably better at ervice work only if you have a cartoonish view of what men are and how they interact with others.[/quote]

Women performing better at service-based work actually has little/nothing to do with the personal aptitude, but rather the social trust issues between genders. Women are seen as comforting 'mothers' and men are 'villains' in western society ('bad guy', 'the Man', etc). This is why women get higher tips than men in the service industry, why a womans voice is preferred over a mans in automated systems, and so on. Until it's no longer popular to attack men in media, this will simply be the case.

I don't think the author understands the core reasons, but the reality does match.
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With the rise of hipsters, emos and other groups who seemingly want to give off a feminine vibe with questionable clothing choices it doesn't seem like it will be to long before there won't be any "manly" men left.
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[quote name='necreia' timestamp='1304620507' post='4807030']
Women performing better at service-based worked actually has little/nothing to do with the personal aptitude, but rather the social trust issues between genders. Women are seen as comforting 'mothers' and men are 'villains' in western society ('bad guy', 'the Man', etc). This is why women get higher tips than men in the service industry, why a womans voice is preferred over a mans in automated systems, and so on. Until it's no longer popular to attack men in media, this will simply be the case.

I don't think the author understands the core reasons, but the reality does match.
[/quote]

Fair enough, I suppose. Whether or not that's the reason for the phenomenon (and I tend to agree with you here I think, I just try to avoid claiming a definitive explanation for social phenomena), it doesn't support the author's analysis. Societal rewards to women vs. men in a job doesn't have anything to do with the quality of work performance, which is one of the author's key positions on why men are less relevant.

The reality will of course match the author's observations. She's observing reality. But the current state of affairs is insufficient for projecting future trends, and because the author is trying to explain both the current situation and her imagining of the future, she doesn't get much leeway on being wrong about reasons for trends.

And to ddn3, do you think that the chemical feminization of men due to androgens in the environment are driving the trends that the author describes? She talks about socially valued work shifting away from what men are traditionally considered good at, not about men becoming less masculine and so unable to do that work. I don't doubt that chemicals like Atrazine are dangerous in far smaller quantities than companies are allowed to dump in the water, and chemical feminization is a serious issue, but do you perceive a connection between that and the author's position? I would appreciate your thoughts.
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Male and female roles and relations have been pretty stable for nearly 20,000 years (before then early societies were matriarchal according to some theories). Even with the progressive women movements during the early 1900s the roles didn't appreciable change. It wasn't industrialization which brought about the emergence of a more feminist society, since that was going on for nearly 300 years prior. It was only in the last 70 years has the feminist movement really picked up steam (and only in the Western world) and i suspect its most due to the disruptive factors as i mentioned in the previous post. People try to ascribe their own pet theories to sociological events best they can but in reality it usually boils down biology. Ie we got bigger brains because we started eating meat, etc.. but in reality it was because we evolved a better cooling mechanism which allowed our brains to grow bigger without overheating.. etc.. Endocrine disruptors and estro-mimics destabilize the current gender social order allowing a new one to arise, nothing special there, esp when it has a gender affinity. If the endocrine disruptors made men shorter all sudden would she then ascribe that height change to eating habits?

My view it's pure biology and there is plenty of evidence to back it up, sociological theories aside. Male menopause didn't even exist 50 years ago, now it's epidemic. Disruptive hormone mimics cause havoc on both mental and physical development which lingers for the person entire lifetime. It's easy to see what a estro-mimic does to a male but what does it do to the female (earlier puberty, imbalance hormonal system, infertility)? I'm sure both genders are affected and it's affect is un-predictable..

-ddn
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