No More “Real Men”
The international survey firm YouGov published a report called “The Decline of the Manly Man.” People who did a survey asked 1,000 American men how masculine or feminine they were on a scale that went from zero to 100. (six). (They did not ask about sexual orientation.)
Less than a third of men in the 18- to 29-year-old group said they felt “completely masculine,” compared to more than half of men nearing retirement age. Thirteen percent of people under 30 say they’re somewhere between masculine and feminine, and 12 percent say they’re slightly feminine.
This year, gender roles have changed as more men stay home to care for their kids, and women have started to do better in school and earn more money.
Andrew Reiner, a Towson University professor who teaches a course called “Real Men Smile: The Changing Face of Masculinity,” said our culture has gradually shifted towards individualism. More and more young people are breaking with the rules. The need for acceptance, however, is still there. In an April essay, Reiner said that “despite the rise of the metrosexual and the number of stay-at-home dads, tough-guy stereotypes are still alive and well.” As men continue to fall behind women in college while outpacing them four to one in the suicide rate, some colleges are waking up that men may need to be taught to think beyond their own stereotypes.
Rejecting the Tough Guy Stereotype
Some young men, who can’t meet the tough-guy stereotype, become ashamed of themselves and start to dislike other people. Others don’t want to be like that stereotype, but they feel like they have to.
The economic situation of young men could change these stories in both expected and unexpected ways. As the wages in the United States have stayed the same for a long time, men’s take-home pay has gone down. When it comes to young men, the Pew Research Center says that they are more likely to live with their parents than with a romantic partner for the first time.
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism said that men’s testosterone levels fell by 17 from 1987 to 2004, or about 1% per year, over that time. “A Generation of Sissies” was written by Forbes in May 2012. It talked about how our culture has changed and how that has led to the decline of the American middle class.
A Generation of Spoiled Kids?
It has been a long time since author John Marriotti said this:
“Sissies: American parents have raised spoiled, lazy, pampered, and over-valued kids who are well-educated but not very important to the rest of us. We don’t pay for their education because we don’t think it’s important enough to pay for. The top 25% of people may be as good, bright, motivated, and successful as ever, likely to be as successful. Most people in this generation are well-educated but spoiled, soft post-adolescent who will have difficulty being self-sufficient as adults. “Sissies” from this “generation of sissies” have been coddled, pampered, misled, misguided, and under-educated so badly that their “take care of me” upbringing can’t last as they grow up. The parents who did this also share some of the blame for the failure of the U.S. educational system.”
Parents who let their kids get away with things are to blame for the decline in American competitiveness, Marriotti says in this video. People get awards just for coming to school. People in the United States tend to put protecting kids’ self-esteem above everything else, and now the consequences are beginning to show.
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