View Poll Results: Are Western men becoming less masculine?

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Thread: Are men in the western world losing their masculinity?

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    Re: Are men in the western world losing their masculinity?

    Quote Originally Posted by spud_meister View Post
    I swear I left my masculinity around here somewhere, but I can't remember where.
    You check your wife's purse?

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    Re: Are men in the western world losing their masculinity?

    Really?

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    Re: Are men in the western world losing their masculinity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Grimm View Post
    Typical female response. However, you're wrong.

    Testosterone affects the development of the brain, hence there is a biological argument here and not just a social argument.

    Size: the male human brain is, on average, larger.
    Risk tolerance: A study found a correlation between testosterone and risk tolerance in career choice
    Attention - ability to focus in on one task
    Memory - males have better memory
    Spatial Ability - testosterone affects the development of the area of the brain that controls spatial intelligence. Hence, males are better at it.

    And so on. These things are all backed up by science. So let's see here..... I said that sports are a sign of masculinity. Gee, what are sports if not COMPETITIVE? And competition is a testosterone-driven trait.
    What I'm getting at is this:
    Masculinity has two components (so does femininity - but that's not what we're focusing on here). One component is always in flux decade-decade and century-century (1,000 years ago - they had flux. 500 years ago - they had flux. Today - we have flux). The other component does not fluctuate so wildly. It's more of a solid standard that you see in a vast array of cultures throughout history and worldwide. It's not enough to just focus on the 'flux' components (drink, entertainment, sport) and hold to that - those will change, they always have.

    Part 1: The STANDARD. The few traits that are found in almost every society - throughout a large span of history. These do not change much, and if they do it's very slow. A vast majority of societies will exhibit these traits, embrace them, and use them as they define masculinity. By this: you'd be able to find similar traits that go back to our European history as a Roman and even Greek society - and odds are - these same traits are found in a vast majority of cultures worldwide.

    Physical attributes: Most people will think slender = feminine, stout = masculine (muscular or fat doesn't matter). However, what people are really focusing on are two things: a notable bustline-to-waist differentia. Masculinity does not contain a 'hips' or 'bust' component. That is in with the 'femininity'. If a male has gynecomastia he is seen as being emasculated. If he has a narrow waist or a pronounced backside, he shouldn't flaunt it (to do so, even if you're not attracted to males, is seen as 'being gay' - and yes, this is a standard. It's taken different names and been met with different responses which fluctuate but being seen 'as a girl' physically is 'gay' in most societies.)

    In our nation's direct history (European) the only time this was not a standard was during the time of the Greeks and some time for the Romans where males who were youthful (smooth complexion/young features - and who stood in controposto post) were heralded as idyllic - it was a sign of physical fitness and agility. That doesn't qualify today. Men do not stand in controposto pose like Woody from Toy Story or Michelangelo's David.

    Superiority over others:This is where your reference to 'competition' and so on might be seen. Competition itself is not governed by testosterone (because women, high in estrogen, are highly competitive as well). What this regards is the FORM that competitive nature is permitted to surface. Masculine = engaging in physical forms of competition. Feminine = engaging in non physical forms of competition *or* competition that focuses on physical appearance and style (Figure skating VS Football.). This is society's default. Why? Because it goes hand in hand with this: holding any position in society, a group, or culture which people rely *on you* or *look to you* to meet their needs.

    Military, Law enforcement, government, judiciary, business management. Any time you have *people* serving underneath you or you have influence over the future of someone's life. you're seen as more masculine.

    Superiority can be seen in your post with your choice of "men are better than women at ___ and ___" type references. You cannot escape (most males can't) that need to feel or be deemed better than others. A lot of men default to this - and it's seen throughout history, the compulsion to prove they're better (and the difficulty in accepting the reality when they're not - such as having 'better memories' and so on).

    Potential - Earnings or otherwise: Yes - the *potential* to succeed is an early sign of 'masculinity' - some might argue it's more an issue of 'lazy' vs 'outgoing' or what not - but I think that gauging one's "potential future as a successful male in society" is the drive by parents and children early on that lead to certain choices which support various 'male-strong' paths in life.

    Part 2: the FLUX. Fashion, entertainment, sports choices. This relies on trends and things that are 'in' - etc. Whatever this is: it's usually "the opposite of what the girls do" and "the girls who do this are 'one of the guys' or 'tomboys'." (Vice versa: femininity flux is anything that's 'not what the boys do' - boys don't paint their nails or wear makeup.) But exactly what that is changes over time.

    Figure skating VS Football (obvious reasons, here. Football relies on stout males and physical prowess. Figure Skating relies on feminine traits such as flexibility, poise, and appearances. Curling was a highly masculine sport in Scottland, yet these days most see it as being 'girly' - or 'nerdy'. Nerdy is often associate with the 'effeminate male' who's 'smart'. Other things are: jargon/language used, certain forms of employment (feminine: being a nurse and secretary.)

    Because these things are flux - I disregard all of them. I think they're too menial to place any value in. They'll change numerous times *in my lifetime* so they hardly matter it they swing so wildly. Yet time and again too many people seem to hone in on *these* and make them of a higher importance. Likely: it's because they're personal *choices* and not 'I was born this way, I can't change who I am' - A guy can pretend to like football and force himself to swill beer.

    Other things are changing, though, and this is where thread should focus on:

    Advancements and Changes: Certain industries have altered what people need to do in order to survive. Some changes are unprecedented in the history of human evolution: we no longer *need* to know how to hunt (for one example). We no longer need to collectively know how to redirect water sources to service our needs, or construct our own dwellings to live in (etc). For the first time in history: you do not have to be *exceptionally wealthy* in order to have others *provide you with a needed service or good* in order to ensure your survival.

    - And this is what's changed so considerably that, even before the 1950's and the 1900's, the average citizen of the US no longer retained certain traits that were *standard* for survival throughout our history.

    If we apply the 1800's standard of masculinity and femininity to society today you'd have a VERY different picture. A vast majority of our population (Yep - I wager more than 5/8) wouldn't qualify for either. . . and I don't think that testosterone levels have *anything to do with that*

    Life itself has shifted - what was once frowned on (being the intellectually withdrawn and socially inept individual) can be the exact thing needed to set yourself up with a satisfactory life (in the new, technology reliant world we have).

    And on and on - but you get my point?

    Don't place too much value in menial crap that fluctuates and does NOT matter. NO myths. Masculinity and Femininity have notable, relatively unchanging components seen throughout history and they're unified by these.

    I'm tempted to included being 'educated' as a standard because it's been an essential component of life since the days of the Greek - but I'm not too sure about that.
    Last edited by Aunt Spiker; 02-28-14 at 05:21 PM.
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    Re: Are men in the western world losing their masculinity?

    Quote Originally Posted by clownboy View Post
    You check your wife's purse?



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    Re: Are men in the western world losing their masculinity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Muhammed View Post
    A vegan diet is unbalanced that's why it's unhealthy. You mentioned supplements. I think natural supplements to a vegan diet such as meat, fish & eggs would do fine. And actually that is what most call themselves do. They cheat once in a while. So what.
    Prove it using links to unbiased facts/data?

    An irrelevant link to a non-scientific study of selected studies does not trump medical science.
    From the linked study you say was 'non-specific'

    'Fifteen placebo-controlled treatment groups with baseline and ending measures were analyzed. In addition, 32 reports involving 36 treatment groups were assessed in simpler models to ascertain the results.'

    This study was run by one medical doctor and six Ph.D.'s.


    The mechanism of the endocrine disrupting compounds found in soy have been known for decades. We know how they work.
    Then you should have no problem providing plenty of links to large unbiased, scientific studies performed recently that proves your statement.

    1st of all, red meat does not cause health problems. That's a myth. Beef is an extremely nutritious health food. The only downside is that it tends to be expensive, which is why nefarious scoundrels will use cheap toxic soy as a filler in hamburger.
    From just the first link on Google I found about the negative effects of red meat:

    'Negative Health Effects of Red Meat
    Regardless, nutritionists hardly need more evidence about the potentially negative health effects of eating red meat. For starters, the saturated animal fat in red meat contributes to heart disease and atherosclerosis. Recent research also shows that frequent red meat eaters face twice the risk of colon cancer as those who indulge less often. Red meat is also thought to increase the risks of rheumatoid arthritis and endometriosis.

    Meanwhile, according to the American Dietetic Association, vegetarian diets can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, colon cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, kidney disease, hypertension, obesity, and other debilitating medical conditions. While red meat is a key source of protein and vitamin B12 in North American diets, nutritionists explain that properly planned meat-free diets easily provide these important nutrients while keeping you healthier in the long run.'


    Red Meat – What are the Negative Health Effects of Red Meat?

    And besides being toxic, soy also contains protease inhibitors which interfere with protein & fat digestion.
    Again, where are your links to unbiased factual proof to back up this statement?

  6. #76
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    Re: Are men in the western world losing their masculinity?

    Quote Originally Posted by DA60 View Post
    Prove it using links to unbiased facts/data?

    From the linked study you say was 'non-specific'

    'Fifteen placebo-controlled treatment groups with baseline and ending measures were analyzed. In addition, 32 reports involving 36 treatment groups were assessed in simpler models to ascertain the results.'

    This study was run by one medical doctor and six Ph.D.'s.


    Then you should have no problem providing plenty of links to large unbiased, scientific studies performed recently that proves your statement.



    From just the first link on Google I found about the negative effects of red meat:

    'Negative Health Effects of Red Meat
    Regardless, nutritionists hardly need more evidence about the potentially negative health effects of eating red meat. For starters, the saturated animal fat in red meat contributes to heart disease and atherosclerosis. Recent research also shows that frequent red meat eaters face twice the risk of colon cancer as those who indulge less often. Red meat is also thought to increase the risks of rheumatoid arthritis and endometriosis.

    Meanwhile, according to the American Dietetic Association, vegetarian diets can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, colon cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, kidney disease, hypertension, obesity, and other debilitating medical conditions. While red meat is a key source of protein and vitamin B12 in North American diets, nutritionists explain that properly planned meat-free diets easily provide these important nutrients while keeping you healthier in the long run.'


    Red Meat – What are the Negative Health Effects of Red Meat?

    Again, where are your links to unbiased factual proof to back up this statement?
    I could be wrong, but I feel Muhammed is pulling your leg.
    "Not learning from mistakes is worse than committing mistakes. When you don't allow yourself to make mistakes, it is hard to be tolerant of others and it does not allow even God to be merciful."

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    Re: Are men in the western world losing their masculinity?

    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    I could be wrong, but I feel Muhammed is pulling your leg.
    Well, if he is - I will remember to not take him seriously any longer...I have better things to do then the above if the other person is just 'fooolin'.

    Either way - thanks for the heads up.

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    Re: Are men in the western world losing their masculinity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker View Post
    What I'm getting at is this.....
    First, I was making general observations in my OP, not conducting a scientific experiment. Yes, sometimes you observe things in your daily life and you draw conclusions that you think best fit those observations, even if they don't have all the weight of proof that one might expect from a true study.

    Let's take a look at what I, quite haphazardly actually, used as examples in my OP for how men are losing their masculinity. I mentioned...


    The type of music they listen to - The type of music someone listens to often describes the kind of person or scene they identify with. It's just an observation, but I think the music men are listening to today is less aggressive, less offensive, and generally more watered down. It's a reflection of the new man - one who dislikes and avoids conflict at all costs. Not a very masculine trait.

    The sudden glorification by many of gays - You never used to see this, now you see it all the time. You also see male feminists, such as the one in the link by GaThomas with the male politician in Sweden who wants to make it illegal for men to urinate standing up. All of this, to me, is indicative of the "new man," which is a man who doesn't want to offend women and gays, who would gladly throw his manhood out the door, bend over and waffle around in order to avoid any hint of conflict or offending anyone. Today's man is a wet fish, not very masculine.

    The disinterest in beer - Drinking beer is a risk-taking activity, and being risky makes it masculine. Just like riding a motorcycle is masculine, skydiving is masculine, going to war is masculine, and so on. Today's man drinks diet 7-up and eats vitamins so he can look good in his skinny jeans.

    ...and sports - Sports are competitive and aggressive, two masculine traits. Interest in sports is down in the past couple decades. And yes, competition is a masculine trait. Winning induces a dopamine surge, which raises testosterone. I'm not making stuff up half-assed, you can look it up. For instance, they did one study that measured serum testosterone in football players before and after a game. The winning team's average testosterone went up during the game and after, the losing team's blood levels were completely tanked after the game. They did another study where they measured testosterone in average males before and after the last presidential election. Men who voted for Obama saw no change in testosterone levels, men who voted for Romney saw their testosterone go in the tank for a few hours after the results were announced. So yes, winning at something actually has a physical effect on masculinity and that's why testosterone-addicted males seek it out.

    the sudden interest in telephones and gossip- co-dependence is a feminine trait, men are more individual. Women travel in packs and giggle and finish each other's sentences and lean on each other for support, men go our own way without needing validation from anyone else. But not today's man, today's man keeps his boyfriends on speed dial or group text so he can share instagram photos of his new skinny jeans.

    the obsession with skinny jeans and metrosexual fashion- Again, a sign of a need for approval and validation from other people, not a masculine trait.

    and a general passive, whining demeanor- Aggression is a masculine trait. A man is direct and confronts problems with directness. Passive aggression is a feminine trait and it comes from not being able to impose your will, so you have to work around the side and backstab. Today's man won't punch you in the nose, he'll go behind your back and start a rumor about you and deny it. Not a very masculine trait. Today's man won't stand up and say what he means and mean what he says (dominant traits, hence masculine), today's man will passively whine and nag hoping that you will solve his problems for him.


    Anyway, back to the point of the OP... while my observations might be subjective I've seen enough in my mind to conclude that masculinity is definitely on the decline. What's worrying is that this decline might be tied to a biological decrease in testosterone, as shown by studies. Researchers speculate that the decline migh be due to chemicals in the environment. If that's true, it's concerning and the public needs to be aware.

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    Re: Are men in the western world losing their masculinity?

    Quote Originally Posted by DA60 View Post
    Prove it using links to unbiased facts/data?

    From the linked study you say was 'non-specific'

    'Fifteen placebo-controlled treatment groups with baseline and ending measures were analyzed. In addition, 32 reports involving 36 treatment groups were assessed in simpler models to ascertain the results.'

    This study was run by one medical doctor and six Ph.D.'s.


    Then you should have no problem providing plenty of links to large unbiased, scientific studies performed recently that proves your statement.



    From just the first link on Google I found about the negative effects of red meat:

    'Negative Health Effects of Red Meat
    Regardless, nutritionists hardly need more evidence about the potentially negative health effects of eating red meat. For starters, the saturated animal fat in red meat contributes to heart disease and atherosclerosis. Recent research also shows that frequent red meat eaters face twice the risk of colon cancer as those who indulge less often. Red meat is also thought to increase the risks of rheumatoid arthritis and endometriosis.

    Meanwhile, according to the American Dietetic Association, vegetarian diets can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, colon cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, kidney disease, hypertension, obesity, and other debilitating medical conditions. While red meat is a key source of protein and vitamin B12 in North American diets, nutritionists explain that properly planned meat-free diets easily provide these important nutrients while keeping you healthier in the long run.'


    Red Meat – What are the Negative Health Effects of Red Meat?

    Again, where are your links to unbiased factual proof to back up this statement?
    Meat and eggs are high in saturated fats, cholesterols, choline, creatines, minerals and other substances that are vital to normal hormone production.

    One of the culprits of low testosterone in 2014 compared to 1980 might be our low fat diets, as fats are essentially the precursors to hormones, and animal fats are more effective in this regard than plant fats.

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    Re: Are men in the western world losing their masculinity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Grimm View Post
    First, I was making general observations in my OP, not conducting a scientific experiment. Yes, sometimes you observe things in your daily life and you draw conclusions that you think best fit those observations, even if they don't have all the weight of proof that one might expect from a true study.

    Let's take a look at what I, quite haphazardly actually, used as examples in my OP for how men are losing their masculinity. I mentioned...


    The type of music they listen to - The type of music someone listens to often describes the kind of person or scene they identify with. It's just an observation, but I think the music men are listening to today is less aggressive, less offensive, and generally more watered down. It's a reflection of the new man - one who dislikes and avoids conflict at all costs. Not a very masculine trait.
    The finest men of the late 18th century listened to Mozart and considered him the pinnacle of Western music. Compare him to even the popular "less aggressive, less offensive" popular music of today, and Mozart is flat-out gay in comparison. Actually, it was only a relatively short period of time when *certain* males listened to hard rock/metal/rap, and what's considered sinister and offensive changes very much over time.

    I don't see there is anything sufficiently objective to that observation that allows drawing conclusions.

    The sudden glorification by many of gays - You never used to see this, now you see it all the time. You also see male feminists, such as the one in the link by GaThomas with the male politician in Sweden who wants to make it illegal for men to urinate standing up. All of this, to me, is indicative of the "new man," which is a man who doesn't want to offend women and gays, who would gladly throw his manhood out the door, bend over and waffle around in order to avoid any hint of conflict or offending anyone. Today's man is a wet fish, not very masculine.
    So in your opinion, it's "masculine" to be simply a dick towards other people, especially "weaker" human beings? If yes, do you think that's a good thing?

    The disinterest in beer - Drinking beer is a risk-taking activity, and being risky makes it masculine. Just like riding a motorcycle is masculine, skydiving is masculine, going to war is masculine, and so on. Today's man drinks diet 7-up and eats vitamins so he can look good in his skinny jeans.
    Can't confirm this observation. At least in Germany, youth alcoholism is on the rise, mostly due to the fact that most girls catch up with the guys when it comes to boozing up. And again the question: You think alcoholism is masculine, and if yes, is that a good thing?

    ...and sports - Sports are competitive and aggressive, two masculine traits. Interest in sports is down in the past couple decades. And yes, competition is a masculine trait. Winning induces a dopamine surge, which raises testosterone. I'm not making stuff up half-assed, you can look it up. For instance, they did one study that measured serum testosterone in football players before and after a game. The winning team's average testosterone went up during the game and after, the losing team's blood levels were completely tanked after the game. They did another study where they measured testosterone in average males before and after the last presidential election. Men who voted for Obama saw no change in testosterone levels, men who voted for Romney saw their testosterone go in the tank for a few hours after the results were announced. So yes, winning at something actually has a physical effect on masculinity and that's why testosterone-addicted males seek it out.
    When certain people see elections like a sports match -- in terms of "our team winning vs. their team winning" --, I'd guess that's more a sign of naiveté and stupidity than of masculinity.

    Anyway, I can't confirm from my observations in my environment that interest in sports is declining. Both men and women are similarly interested in sports as they used to be a decade before, though the interest in particular sports is subject of trends. And like decades before, most men are more interested in watching sport matchs on the tv than actually doing sport themselves. That is masculine?

    the sudden interest in telephones and gossip- co-dependence is a feminine trait, men are more individual. Women travel in packs and giggle and finish each other's sentences and lean on each other for support, men go our own way without needing validation from anyone else. But not today's man, today's man keeps his boyfriends on speed dial or group text so he can share instagram photos of his new skinny jeans.
    Maybe the men you witness are just growing up and start renouncing the immature superficiality of their youth?

    the obsession with skinny jeans and metrosexual fashion- Again, a sign of a need for approval and validation from other people, not a masculine trait.
    Yeah, and pretty uniforms, medals and so on of past centuries was not vain at all, certainly.

    and a general passive, whining demeanor- Aggression is a masculine trait. A man is direct and confronts problems with directness. Passive aggression is a feminine trait and it comes from not being able to impose your will, so you have to work around the side and backstab. Today's man won't punch you in the nose, he'll go behind your back and start a rumor about you and deny it. Not a very masculine trait. Today's man won't stand up and say what he means and mean what he says (dominant traits, hence masculine), today's man will passively whine and nag hoping that you will solve his problems for him.
    I wonder if it has ever been different. In many old stories and even fairy tales, isn't there the stereotype of the vicious, evil male character who's without honor and will rather backstab than directly confront the hero?


    Anyway, back to the point of the OP... while my observations might be subjective I've seen enough in my mind to conclude that masculinity is definitely on the decline. What's worrying is that this decline might be tied to a biological decrease in testosterone, as shown by studies. Researchers speculate that the decline migh be due to chemicals in the environment. If that's true, it's concerning and the public needs to be aware.
    I'd say to draw that conclusion, we'd first have to find an objective definition of what "masculinity" actually is. Then we have to find verifyable, objective evidence that it actually is less prevalent than it used to be, and that we're not just subjectively assuming that because of our own prejudices.

    If you define masculinity as "aggression" and "will for dominating others", "disrespect for others" and "lack of communication skills", as you seem to do, I'd rather say it's barbaric lack of civilization that's declining.
    "Not learning from mistakes is worse than committing mistakes. When you don't allow yourself to make mistakes, it is hard to be tolerant of others and it does not allow even God to be merciful."

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