Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Demise of Guys

Prisons are filled with young men. Make more arrests and prisons will fill up with them. Last blog David Kennedy's new book Don't Shoot described his anti-gang/drug dealer programs (gangs comprising, at least initially, young men).

Why young men?

Philip Zimbardo is one of my favorite living psychologists. He makes simple the complex world of behavioral research. He's no intellectual slouch - Stanford professor, author of the PBS film Discovering Psychology, former chair of the American Psychology Association.

In his latest TED talk last month he says growing numbers of young men are joining the military, watching TV sports, obsessing on events like Superbowl Sunday, and hanging out with each other in pubs. Of course men have always done that, just not to such an extent.

Ironically, for all their macho bluster about women, Zimbardo says young guys end up preferring male bonding to female mating. He thinks excessive video gaming, Internet porning, and explicitly male media obsessions are a major reason why.

I'm unsure how much of this holds up to evidence. I’m unsure how many of those Millennial malcontents end up in gangs or doing crime.

I am sure his talk called The Demise of Guys is well worth 5 minutes of your time to find out.