Culture Wars, Psychology, recent, Recommended

Twelve Scholars Respond to the APA’s Guidance for Treating Men and Boys

Introduction — John P. Wright, Ph.D.

John Paul Wright is a professor of criminal justice at the University of Cincinnati. He has published widely on the causes and correlates of human violence. His current work examines how ideology affects scholarship. Follow him on Twitter @cjprofman.

Thirteen years in the making, the American Psychological Association (APA) released the newly drafted “Guidelines for Psychological Practice for Boys and Men.” Backed by 40 years of science, the APA claims, the guidelines boldly pronounce that “traditional masculinity” is the cause and consequence of men’s mental health concerns. Masculine stoicism, the APA tells us, prevents men from seeking treatment when in need, while beliefs rooted in “masculine ideology” perpetuate men’s worst behaviors—including sexual harassment and rape. Masculine ideology, itself a byproduct of the “patriarchy,” benefits men and simultaneously victimizes them, the guidelines explain. Thus, the APA committee advises therapists that men need to become allies to feminism. “Change men,” an author of the report stated, “and we can change the world.”

But if the reaction to the APA’s guidelines is any indication, this change won’t happen anytime soon. Criticism was immediate and fierce. Few outside of a handful of departments within the academy had ever heard of “masculine ideology,” and fewer still understood how defining traditional masculinity by men’s most boorish—even criminal—behavior would serve the interests of men or entice them to seek professional help. Instead of passing quietly into the night, as most academic pronouncements do, the APA’s guidelines did what few such documents have ever done: They engendered a social media maelstrom, and likely not only lost professional credibility, but potentially created new barriers for men who need help.

It is tempting to excuse the APA’s guidelines as the byproduct of a select group of scholars whose intentions were good but whose delivery was tone-deaf. In today’s hyper-politicized environment, good intentions are often converted into the currency of ill-will. Yet the APA was forewarned by at least one psychologist that the guidelines would not be well received; that the document’s overtly partisan language and politically progressive narratives would not encourage men to receive services, but to keep them away.

When it became clear that those warnings should have been heeded, the APA found itself in an untenable position. Unfortunately, instead of calming the storm by acknowledging the validity of at least some criticism, the APA doubled-down, releasing a public statement asserting that the APA supports men, and the guidelines had been misunderstood and mischaracterized. In the same statement, they explained, “When a man believes that he must be successful no matter who is harmed or his masculinity is expressed by being sexually abusive, disrespectful, and harmful to others, that man is conforming to the negative aspects associated with traditional masculinity.” In other words, according to the APA, these selfish, violent, and abusive behaviors are not an issue of a person’s character, nor are they related to a person’s individual pathology. They are about “masculinity”—especially “traditional masculinity.” For added authority, the statement was signed by three presidents of the APA.

What should we make of not only the guidelines, but the APA’s inept handling of the criticism?  To better understand these dynamics, three of us, Quillette columnist and psychology professor Clay Routledge, along with criminology professor John Paul Wright, and Psychology Today contributor Pamela Paresky, sought commentary from a diverse range of voices, including therapists who focus on men’s issues, researchers whose work examines the complexity of men’s lives, and writers with diverse viewpoints. While we make no claim that the comments below are representative of the full range of views, we gave authors full editorial control over the content of their commentary and encouraged them to feel free to address both the positives and the negatives within the guidelines. Since we solicited many responses, we asked each contributor to limit her or his response to around 300 words.

We are heartened by the criticism that emerged from the APA’s guidelines. Why? Because we don’t believe that most of the backlash resulted from crass political motives. Instead, much of it was rooted in a deep concern about men and boys. The culture wars have not been kind to men, and data from an assortment of surveys tell us that boys and men are not thriving. Documents can be edited, but goodwill is a commodity no one should erase. If the APA is truly concerned about the mental and emotional health of men, it will recognize the goodwill and constructive intent underpinning much of the criticism, and consider the feedback as a starting point for a broader and more productive discussion of how to most effectively provide successful treatment for boys and men.

Flipping the APA on its Head — W. Keith Campbell, Ph.D.

W. Keith Campbell is a professor of psychology at the University of Georgia. He has authored and co-authored several books including The Narcissism Epidemic. Follow him on Twitter @wkeithcampbell. 

I ran a little thought experiment with the APA traditional masculinity model: What kind of society do you get when masculine values are centered on emotional self-focus rather than stoicism; cooperativeness rather than competitiveness; submissiveness rather than dominance; and kindness rather than aggression? Would men be happier and healthier in such a society? Well, given how bad traditional masculinity is, reversed masculinity should be flourishing in other cultures. Oddly, the APA doesn’t offer any examples. The closest example I found was this hot take on Asian men (birthplace of Genghis Khan—literally the most badass male ancestor of all time). The APA notes that “at least among white college students, Asian-American men are viewed as less manly than white or black American men.” We aren’t told if that is good or bad. If you look at the massively underpowered and poorly sampled study, it turns out that 250 psych undergrads think masculinity lines up with physical strength and athleticism, and place men’s masculinity in the order of black men being most masculine, Asian men the least, and white men in the middle. The closest you find to the flipped masculinity script are peace-focused masculine cultures that exist as protected subcultures in larger liberal cultures (e.g., India currently protects Tibetan spiritual culture—explicitly nonviolent groups like the Jains, etc.). Without this protection, peaceful groups get killed off. When there isn’t war, cultural aggression is celebrated in ceremony and sport, like this proud masculine display at the India-Pakistan border. No traditionally masculine men at the border means no men of peace in the nation.

My Warning to the APA About the Draft Guidelines — Chris Ferguson, Ph.D.

Chris J. Ferguson is a professor of psychology at Stetson University. He has published one book on video game science, Moral Combat: Why the War on Violent Video Games is Wrong as well as a murder mystery, Suicide Kings. Follow him on Twitter @CJFerguson1111.

In August, 2018 before the APA’s Council of Representatives (of which I am a member) voted on the controversial practice guidelines for boys and men, I shared with them a review I conducted of the proposed guidelines. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful in interesting the Council in discussing the scientific merits and shortcomings of the guidelines. The version finally announced publicly has some superficial changes, but fundamental problems remain. Specifically, the guidelines lack a broad scientific base, particularly an understanding of biological contributors to gender identity, tend to use terms such as “traditional masculinity” in ways that lack conceptual integrity and are often stereotyped, and tend to read too often as a sociopolitical ideology than a balanced and nuanced scientific review.

I don’t doubt the need for practice guidelines for men. Men do struggle with many issues, such as lower school success, higher suicide and violence. A data-based, objective and compassionate document could have been useful. However, the APA’s practice guidelines’ obsession with “traditional masculinity” ultimately failed to help practitioners find compassion and understanding of those with values different from their own, and have probably offended and turned away many men who might most have benefited from psychotherapy.

Unfortunately, from my view the APA has a poor track record of biased and scientifically misleading policy statements including practice guidelines. Usually such statements exaggerate the consistency, quality, and policy applications of a field of study. The APA’s statement on violent video games, my own field, does not resemble the actual science, which has not provided good evidence for links with aggression. Other statements on issues ranging from abortion to a divisional review of spanking have, likewise, stoked scientific controversy. In many cases, statements are developed by scholars reviewing their own work and declaring it beyond debate, a clear conflict of interest. At present, the APA’s policy statements often read like marketing tools rather than objective reviews. Fixing this will require significant change in how APA policy statements and practice guidelines are developed and reviewed. Until then, they should be regarded with skepticism.   

Who Will Mount Up and Ride to the Sound of the Guns? — B. Christopher Frueh, Ph.D.

B. Christopher Frueh is a professor of psychology at the University of Hawaii, Hilo. Under the pen name “Christopher Bartley,” he is author of They Die Alone and other hardboiled novels. Follow him on Twitter @christobartley.

The APA’s latest manifesto is an embarrassment to the discipline of psychology. It is an abdication of scientific responsibility, denying biological and evolutionary realities in favor of a progressive fantasy pushed by “social justice” and “feminist” ideologies. It is harmful to all members of our society and dangerous to our national security. Masculine qualities like rugged individualism, courage, stoicism, ambition, and a willingness to protect and sacrifice for others helped secure the freedom and prosperity that so many now take for granted.  

At a time when many academics are virtue-signaling by whining about “toxic masculinity,” taking offense at every imagined “microaggression,” and listing their “pronouns” in their email signature blocks, we should ask where does this line of absurdity end? Perhaps the next APA manifesto will seek to abolish religion, athletics, heterosexual marriage, eating meat, etc. Whatever happened to common sense? And where does this take us? Will we next ban books, movies, and podcasts by people named Ernest Hemingway, Clint Eastwood, or Jocko Willink?

How will this affect our armed forces, police and fire departments, and all the other dangerous but important jobs that must be done? Who will volunteer to mount up and ride to the sound of the guns to protect our nation and its founding principles when masculinity has been smothered in our society?

“We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.”

—C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man (1943)

The APA Guidelines for Working with Male Clients: Ambitious but Severely Flawed — Roy Wayne Meredith III

Roy Wayne Meredith III is a graduate student of social work at Columbia University. Follow him on Twitter @thoreausquad.

Practitioners should treat the new APA guidelines with caution. For starters, the document itself is poorly written. It frequently employs passive sentence constructions and modal verbs, such as “may,” “can,” or “it has been suggested that.” This strongly implies that the authors lack confidence in the robustness of the research they cite.

In some cases, this hesitation is clearly warranted. Psychologists such as Scott O. Lilienfeld have demonstrated that microaggression theory, for example, lacks construct validity. Seeing that its proponents classify offenses that range from calling on students too often to outright racist slurs as microaggressions, it is hard to imagine how Lilienfeld could be wrong. However, the authors fail to mention this and other glaring problems.

Some statements are so obvious that I wonder why the authors even bothered to include them, such as “inconsistent and contradictory messages can make the identity formation process complicated for some populations of boys and men.” No kidding.

Nevertheless, the APA deserves praise for emphasizing the importance of fatherhood in childhood development, the gendered bias that therapists often have against male clients, and the pitfalls boys and men face in educational settings. Furthermore, the authors correctly assert that racial disparities in criminal sentencing, health outcomes, and other measures of welfare are significant enough to compel therapists towards social activism. That these are still pressing issues, however, is even more reason to ground our solutions in research that utilizes rigorous methodology.

The APA Guidelines Are Unethical — Pamela Paresky, Ph.D.

Pamela Paresky writes for Psychology Today and is a senior scholar in human development and psychology at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Dr. Paresky’s opinions are her own and should not be considered official positions of FIRE or any other organization with which she is affiliated. Follow her on Twitter @PamelaParesky.

The APA’s code of professional ethics requires that psychologists respect clients’ “dignity and worth” and their “rights to self-determination.” It urges them to “take precautions” about “potential biases,” to refrain from taking on a clinical role when “other interests” could impair their objectivity, and reminds psychologists that they must “establish relationships of trust” with clients. The new guidelines violate these ethical standards. The guidelines’ basic premises are rooted in a set of ideological biases that are likely to impair psychologists’ objectivity, ability to respect the dignity and worth of certain clients, and make it difficult if not impossible to establish a therapeutic relationship based on trust.

The guidelines include, “Psychologists understand the impact of power, privilege, and sexism on the development of boys and men and on their relationships with others,” and “When working with boys and men, psychologists can address issues of privilege and power related to sexism.” Regardless of what a given male client brings to therapy, it appears that “issues of privilege and power related to sexism” can be addressed.

Some of the guidelines are positive. But psychologist Ryon McDermott, who was among those who drafted the APA guidelines, admitted in the APA’s own publication that they contain an overarching ulterior motive: “If we can change men,” he explained, “we can change the world.” 

Changing men starts with the premise that there is something wrong with men. If these guidelines are followed, how will men who see themselves as “traditionally masculine” trust that their sessions will be used for their own goals of psychotherapy rather than to address their masculinity?

Any guidelines issued by the APA should be for the purpose of more effectively treating the problems that clients bring to psychotherapy. Ulterior motives are countertherapeutic and undermine trust. These guidelines subvert the purpose of clinical psychology and will jeopardize the public’s trust in the profession.

The Passive War of Attrition on Masculinity — Natalie Ritchie, M.A.

Natalie Ritchie writes for Child Magazine and is the author of Roar Like a Woman: How Feminists Think Women Suck and Men Rock (2018). Follow her on Twitter @womendontsuck.

For years, feminism has fought a passive war of attrition on masculinity, starving it of honor. With its 2018 guidelines, the inherently feminist APA has gone on the offensive. This assault is not as simple as misandrist pay-back by feminism for a history’s-load of oppression. It has its roots in the feminist need to be man-identical. When your idea of gender equality is a 50/50 breakdown of men and women in any given situation—that is, when you think that 100 percent of women should do what 100 percent of men do—masculinity poses a threat. Making men less like men (and more like women) becomes a backdoor route to making women more like men. Such gender denial is the new Aryanism; unscientific, unprofessional, immoral. Insisting that each gender is “wrong” and must be more like the other to be “right” cripples both, and shrivels the human footprint to only what the genders have in common.

“Traditional masculinity” is a sorry litany of criminality, suicide, violence, and “sexism,” the APA claims. Yet it seems that the APA’s real target is the core male trait of taking responsibility. It was responsibility that channeled the male spirit of efficiency into the industrial and digital revolutions’ sensational wealth; that deployed the male instinct for combat to highlight both sides’ viewpoints to the max in the superb Western legal system; that kick-started democracy when the nobles heavied bad King John into signing the Magna Carta; that met Messerschmitts with Mustangs and Spitfires; that turned up to work (or risked livelihood and life to strike for the 40-hour week); that made good fathers.

Many of the male problems the APA laments vanish with taking responsibility. Yet “responsibility” only appears twice in the guidelines’ 36 pages, “responsibilities” once.

A Case Study of Traditional Masculinity — Clay Routledge, Ph.D.

Clay Routledge is a professor of psychology at North Dakota State University. He authored the 2018 book Supernatural: Death, Meaning, and the Power of the Invisible World. He writes a monthly column for Quillette. Follow him on Twitter @clayroutledge.

Instead of focusing on the cherry-picked research, over-reliance on blank slate thinking, or the general progressive ideological bias observable throughout the guidelines, I would like to share a personal, but I hope helpful, anecdote.

The rule in our house when I was a kid was we had to participate in at least one sport or related physical activity. I wasn’t very interested in typical sports so I decided to give martial arts a shot. I was just a scrawny kid with glasses who was regularly picked on by bigger boys so learning how to fight seemed like a good idea. I learned so much more.

For the first few years of training, I was still just a skinny kid but I was developing a variety of psychological, social, and physical skills that would prove very helpful as I got older. Our martial arts gym was old-school, run with military-like structure. Workouts and sparring were intense. The training disciplined my mind and body, gave me the opportunity to work my way through a hierarchical system that rewarded hard work and dedication, and helped me become a strong and focused young man.

The training involved a healthy dose of traditional masculinity—aggression, stoicism, confidence, and competitiveness. Critically, using a traditional martial arts philosophy and traditional military-style teaching methods, this training took advantage of traditional masculinity to build positive characteristics such as dignity, restraint, personal responsibility, and a sense of duty to others.

Mental illness is a real problem that haunts even some of the strongest of men. And all of us, men and women alike, grapple with psychological vulnerabilities and life stressors. But I would argue that traditional masculinity is not the problem. Instead, it can be part of the solution to the problems that plague many modern boys and men. With proper guidance from positive male role models and institutions that give males a code to live by and connect them to a purpose-providing moral system, traditional masculinity plays a vital role in creating healthy men as well as building and preserving safe and prosperous societies.

Psychotherapy Is Meant to Be Personalized Medicine — Sally Satel, M.D.

Sally Satel is a practicing psychiatrist, a lecturer at the Yale University School of Medicine, and a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Follow her on Twitter @slsatel. 

The APA guidelines risk subverting the therapeutic enterprise altogether because they emphasize group identity over the individuality of the patient.  

Psychotherapy is the ultimate personalized medicine. The meanings patients assign to events are a thoroughly unique product of their histories, anxieties, desires, frustrations, losses, and traumatic experiences.

“Gender-sensitive” psychological practice, as the APA calls it, is questionable because it encourages clinicians to assume, before a patient even walks in the door, that gender is a cause or a major determinant of the patient’s troubles.

To be fair, the APA does emphasize that it does not intend to mandate changes in practice. But therapy is a delicate business not readily amenable to guidelines tailored to gender—or to any group affiliation, for that matter. So when the APA encourages practitioners to engage in vaguely defined activities—“address issues of privilege and power related to sexism” or “help boys and men, and those who have contact with them become aware of how masculinity is defined in the context of their life circumstances”—it seems more focused on a political agenda than on the patient.

Leading with an ideological agenda risks alienating the patient and thereby compromises a critically important phenomenon called the therapeutic alliance. In his classic book Persuasion and Healing (1961), psychiatrist Jerome D. Frank describes the alliance as “the therapist’s acceptance of the sufferer, if not for what he or she is, then for what he or she can become.”

Through that therapeutic relationship, the patient gains insight, a degree of mastery over himself and alternative ways of thinking about his problems. Frank believed, as do many therapists today, that the power of a clinician’s dedication to the patient is not only essential, but may also be the most active ingredient in the therapy itself.

People seeking help are in a state of suggestibility. Therapists need to be careful about imposing their “gender-sensitive” worldview on them.

The New APA Guidelines Are Predatory — Shawn T. Smith, Psy.D.

Shawn T. Smith is a licensed, clinical psychologist. He is the author of several books, including The Practical Guide to Men: How to Spot the Hidden Traits of Good Men and Great Relationships. Follow him on Twitter @ironshrink. 

The APA, not known for its high testosterone level, seems to view masculinity with the same distaste a Disney princess has for manual labor. They speak of masculine traits with deep suspicion, despite the fact that their safe world rests on the backs of men who possess those traits.

I won’t spend these few paragraphs repeating the efforts of those defending masculinity. Instead, I hope to persuade other clinicians to take a stand against the APA’s ideologically-driven guidelines for working with men and boys.

If the APA were truly concerned about males, they would strive to help those who are suffering by building on the time-tested virtues of masculinity. Instead, they frame the “patriarchy”—that nebulous bête noire of radical feminism—as the root of all suffering. Seeing the world through that tainted lens, their response to men and boys can only be that of the radical feminist: tear men down. Denigrate noble traits. Advance feminist ideology at all costs.

Under this APA policy, any man unwise enough to trust a psychologist is to be chastised for his alleged privilege and sexism, and he is to be re-educated into something far more docile and apologetic than a full-blooded man.

If the predatory nature of the APA’s new guidelines isn’t immediately apparent, consider the inverse: psychologists organizing en masse to dismantle femininity, treating each female patient as an opportunity to reshape women as the APA sees fit.

People generally seek psychologists in moments of vulnerability. It is plain vicious to seize on that vulnerability for the sake of advancing an ideology. Ironically, the APA’s mercenary approach to the culture war—a war in which they have no business taking sides—exemplifies the destructive and ruthless qualities they wrongly attribute to honorable men everywhere.

Professional Best Practices Are Not Ideological — Debra W. Soh, Ph.D.

Debra W. Soh is a Canadian science columnist, political commentator, and the co-host of Wrongspeak. Follow her on Twitter @DrDebraSoh.

I have several concerns regarding the APA guidelines for practice with men and boys. Perhaps a good starting point would be the belief that masculinity is an “ideology,” “socially constructed,” and “learned during socialization,” as opposed to biological and the result of hormonal influence. Secondly, the guidelines portray abusive behavior as a natural extension of being male-typical, as opposed to being due to anti-sociality and negative views about women.

If we were to follow this suggested line of thinking, masculinity should be something that can be corrected and unlearned. As someone who has worked clinically with incarcerated male sexual offenders and violent offenders, I can tell you that therapeutic interventions informed by intersectional feminism and its ideas about “power and privilege” will have zero effect when working with these populations. 

Progressive talking points, like calling gender a “non-binary construct” and openly advocating for “participation in social justice activities,” have no place in a document detailing professional best practices. They foreshadow a future in which psychologists must alter their therapeutic approach, not in the best interest of their client, but because this new orthodoxy is trendy and they are afraid of having their licenses revoked. Psychological services should be scientifically-informed and cater to an individual’s needs and history, instead of being based on sweeping, politically motivated assumptions about their sex.

In Defense of the APA Guidelines — Christina Hoff Sommers, Ph.D.

Christina Hoff Sommers is a resident scholar at the AEI where she studies the politics of gender and feminism, as well as free expression, due process, and the preservation of liberty in the academy. Follow her on Twitter @Chsommers.

Yes, the new APA “Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Boys and Men” are saturated with gender studies rhetoric. But buried under the blather about “hegemonic masculinity” are suggestions that are both contrarian and sensible.

Consider this sentiment: “For boys and adolescents, shorter sessions, informal settings outside the office (e.g., playground), instrumental activities, using humor and self-disclosure…may provide more congruent environments than traditional psychotherapy.” That may not sound revolutionary, but the authors are conceding that conventional talk therapy may work less well for young men than for young women. They are suggesting the need for male-specific mental health protocols. That goes against decades of theory denying the relevance or legitimacy of anything male-specific. Unfortunately, the authors offer very little advice beyond the passage quoted above. But it’s a start.

There is more hidden wisdom: “Psychologists are encouraged to advocate for public policy that supports and enhances teenage boys’ career prospects.” That is a revolutionary call-to-arms! Almost no one is advocating for the vocational well-being of young men. Politically mainstream organizations avoid it, knowing that it would be dismissed as a backlash against women. But men need help.

As my colleague at the American Enterprise Institute, Nicholas Eberstadt, documents, the U.S. is in the midst of a “quiet catastrophe—the collapse of work for men.” America, says Eberstadt, “is now home to an ever-growing army of jobless men no longer even looking for work—over seven million between ages 25 and 55, the traditional prime of working life.” Economist Lawrence Summers projects that one third of working-age men will to be out of the workforce by 2050. The social and psychological toll of such a dislocation is incalculable. Boys and young men desperately need advocates. So, I commend the report for suggesting the nation’s psychologists take up their cause. 

There is much that is good and important in the APA guidelines. The authors stress the importance of fathers and present dozens of statistics that belie the idea of “male privilege.” So why did they bury their message in distracting passages about “Eurocentric masculine ideals of restrictive emotionality?” Here is my best guess: In our current male-averse environment, the only way to help men and boys is to pay homage to the gender dogmas—then quietly insert some sound and critical advice and hope no one notices. Even the authors themselves.


  1. Adam Prime says

    Thanks Sommers for giving me a hint of hope in this shit pile.

    • It seems only logical that someone who supports the APA “guidelines” on the treatment of men would have the level of intellect and education to use words such a “shit pile” as a substitute for rational, intelligent or educated commentary.

      I deeply agree with the professionals on this page (which do not include Christina Hoff Sommers) who are highly critical of the predatory APA “guidelines.”

      • Rick Phillips says

        In 2000, Christina Hoff Sommers published The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men. In the book, Sommers challenged what she called the “myth of shortchanged girls” and the “new and equally corrosive fiction” that “boys as a group are disturbed. I did not get the sense that she was endorsing the APA guidelines. My sense was that she was taking the opportunity to point out that the guidelines provide evidence that contradicts their primary thesis.

        I think many would consider that she is able to speak with some authority on this topic. For those who may not be aware of her work I attach the following Wikipedia link to her profile.

        • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

          @Rick Phillips

          Thank you. Sommers does not merit abuse. It was brave of her to put in a counterpoint above, and her ‘The War Against Boys’ was one of the best things I ever read.

        • I think she was indicating there was some coded gesture underneath all the feminist rhetoric. Sort of like how US prisoners of war would display the middle finger when they were forced to read some televised prepared propaganda statement. Extending the middle finger was to subtlety indicate they didn’t agree to anything they were saying with the commies being non the wiser. I suspect there are a few silent dissenters in the APA ranks giving the middle finger.

      • Will Burke says

        I’ve followed Sommers for a while, and I was surprised to find her polishing this turd, but it is a textbook example of a backhanded compliment. It also shows that she did a thorough reading of the document.

        • Andrew Mcguiness says

          A thorough reading is what I would expect from Sommers. It’s a good example of *not* taking a tribalistic for-or-against stance. She’s not exactly polishing the turn, though – she’s well aware of how the document is biased. See her last par, which ends, ‘In our current male-averse environment, the only way to help men and boys is to pay homage to the gender dogmas—then quietly insert some sound and critical advice and hope no one notices. Even the authors themselves.’

        • Angela says

          There’s plenty of sane therapists out there you just need to do a little research. If theyre pushing ideological nonsense down everyone’s throats it will generally come up in their reviews.

      • Michael O'Dell says

        John- On the mark with reference to Adam’s silliness. I wanted to suggest that you consider the format of this piece (<300 words) before throwing Sommers in the bin. She clearly states that the study is shallow, the ‘hidden wisdom’ has to be sought out. She’s working to find the gems in this rockpile, which I appreciate, in contrast to the zeitgeist we’ve created which demands we discard the comment/work/person if it doesn’t ideologically line up 100% with our preconceived notions of ‘what’s correct’.
        Let’s give professional intellectual interrogatories a chance, eh?

      • Angela says

        Christina Hoff Sommers is rock solid on the fight against the regressive left. She’s been at it for way longer than the band wagon jumpers, and if you actually read what she wrote she’s also calling out the academic feminist nonsense in the guidelines. She’s just suggesting the possible reality that the woke college freshmen nonsense tidbits are sadly necessary to make the good points they make without a massive feminist backlash. It’s certainly a sad assumption to have to make, but I think she’s probably right.

      • Lee S says

        Adam Prime didn`t say he agreed with the guidelines,he said it gave him a “hint of hope”.
        Even in an excellent online mag like Quillette we see that the comments section is alive and well with confirmation bias and nuance continues it`s slow, steady march to the grave.

        • Skept-O-Punk says

          I was thinking the same and was surprised by the rebuff. I think the “shit-pile” was a colorful adjective applied to the APA’s New Guidelines, not the article. But maybe I’m wrong.

      • Bill Hallman says

        It is what it is. Progressive propaganda based on feelings not research. Next time we have a war please do not call on our toxic males to defend you. Call on the wimps you have made of often men

    • Kencathedrus says

      What was it about this article that made you lose hope, Adam?

    • psg82 says

      While I don’t agree with Sommers, I think it’s good they included her. We don’t want to end up with an echo chamber, do we?

      • mfinn999 says

        Did all the people hating on Dr Sommers even read what she wrote? Or just the headline?

        • Fireholder says


          Reading comprehension is a dying skill, unfortunately.

      • Angela says

        Christina Hoff Sommers literally wrote the book on how the modern school system and society in general shits on boys. The book is literally called The War on Boys and she published it just under 20 years ago. She was just making a nuanced argument about how to get any pro boys and men guidelines published they have to throw in some woke nonsense to keep the academic feminist hordes off their back. Trust me she has not drank the SJW kool aid. She’s about as rock solid against the regressive left than almost any other semi mainstream figure.

      • D-Rex says

        It’s very rare that a piece of work like the APA guidelines are completely bad. Maybe you don’t want there to be any positives in the document and that’s why you disagree with Hoff- Sommers. I had the same initial gut reaction but couldn’t argue with her points and also respect her greatly so took what she had to say on board.

        • psg82 says

          @D-Rex, more importantly I would say: Maybe APA don’t want there to be any positives in traditional masculinity. In my mind they don’t deserve the least encouregement in their war on traditional masculinity.

        • Stephanie says

          Hoff-Summers knew the format of the article and knew that others would point out all the problems with the APA document. She wisely chose to bring up positive aspects she suspected others wouldn’t focus on, in order to bring to light a possible motivation for all the SJW nonsense.

          Reading comprehension is a dying art, particularly among those quick to outrage.

      • Purple(ish) Tentacle says

        First and foremost, we should end up as what is most profitable to us.

  2. GregS says

    It is good to learn that at least a few psychologists are not mentally ill – but how does one find the sane ones? Perhaps it is best to not try and avoid the profession altogether.

    Personally, I prefer my bartender.

    • E. Olson says

      Bartender? That sounds like your toxic masculinity talking Greg.

    • Paul Neubauer says

      Maybe Jordan Peterson will create an accreditation program and give us a list of certified sane psychologists.

    • Brandon Werner says

      I recall a Science Fiction story that had a great line, “”We both get the same two kinds of customers. The living and the dying.”

    • Angela says

      Talk therapy is over rated anyway with the exception being CBT being quite helpful if you have some sort of extreme phobia or anxiety. For most mental health issues all you really need is a psychiatrist who can actually prescribe meds that will do a lot more than talking about your feelings for hours over and over again. Another caveat though is if you’ve been through some sort of extreme trauma ( like an insanely abusive childhood) than talking about it as length probably won’t hurt. For your average person suffering from some moderate anxiety or depression an actual medical doctor is the way to go. A year spent talking to a therapist didnt do shit to stop my panic attacks, but a moderste dose of benzos when I feel one coming on works pretty much every time.

      Just dont get put on benzos daily unless it’s completely necrssary, because benzo dependency is no joke. There’s no issues with taking it once in a while for acute panic attacks though.

  3. E. Olson says

    If my general interpretation of recent APA guidelines is correct, this is summary:

    2012: Transgenderism is good and normal.

    2018: Masculinity is bad and harmful.

    And in between there have been countless scandals in sociology and psychology involving Leftist position supportive fraudulent data, Leftist direction biased research designs and analysis, and withheld or withdrawn studies that don’t meet the Leftist (pro-feminine) narrative. Given this article’s many voices expressing reservations and criticism of these most recent anti-male APA guidelines, is there any reason to trust the process or people that develop these guidelines, or more broadly any reason to believe anything coming out of the PC biased social sciences in the last 30 years?

  4. Turd Ferguson says

    When a civilization starts it’s decline it attacks masculinity since men are the drivers of culture. Even today with all the feminism and endless pushes for women to go into traditional masculine fields men still predominate those fields. YouTube is a perfect example of masculine behavior. 80 percent of the content created on YouTube is created by men and the topics cover a huge spectrum. If I want to know how to swap out an alternator on a 2002 Hyundai Elantra there is a bloke who has taken the time to make a tutorial video. If I want to know how to install crown moulding there is likely a video and it’s likely a guy. Men poured into YouTube over the last few years creating a massive amount of content covering a massive amount of topics from science, politics, gaming, and just about anything else you could think of and they did so spontaneously often with no incentive because that is just what men do. We are driven by our masculinity to want to compete, achieve and distinguish ourselves and in the process of doing this we have benefited culture at large. When one area of expertise becomes saturated you can be sure men will explore or create new areas and fields in which they can compete and distinguish themselves and yes often for the hopes of female attention but indirectly to the benefit of society. Women do make videos on YouTube but it’s in areas such as cosmetics, fashion, relationship related stuff, and other traditional feminine related interests. There is no one telling YouTubers what kind of material they should make they act as individuals but largely their collective behaviors follow along traditional gender stereotypes not because gender is a social construct but because gender norms are built off the innate biological differences between genders and this reflects in areas as diverse as YouTube. A society can act at it’s own peril if it wishes to pathologize masculinity just understand that the consequences will likely lead to its inevitable downfall much like communism that pathologized the idea of distributing wealth based on merit. Proceed at your own risk.

    • E. Olson says

      Despite major efforts to increase female participation in writing Wikipedia entries, they still comprise only about 10% of the contributors.

    • Michael Stanwick says

      Talking about pathological, perhaps more pertinent is Lysenkoism. The Wikipedia entry says it rather well; “In modern usage, the term lysenkoism has become distinct from normal pseudoscience. Where pseudoscience pretends to be science, lysenkoism aims at attacking the legitimacy of science itself, usually for political reasons. It is the rejection of the universality of scientific truth, and the purposeful defamation of the scientific method to the level of politics.” If the APA guidelines have an underpinning of feminist political ideology then the lack of a scientific emphasis may be pointing to the germination of Lysenkoism in the APA? Something that Jordan Peterson is warning the STEM fields about.

    • Designer says

      When a profession or scientific branch starts it`s decline it reduces the number of men involved. Psychology and lesser biology and medicine are now female departments.

      • E. Olson says

        Designer – with all the time they spend protesting the lack of females in STEM and male toxicity in general, it is very unreasonable to expect female scientists to produce the same quantity or quality of research output as their misogynist male colleagues.

    • Femgo says

      International studies have shown that men in most countries have more leisure time than women and hence they spend more time playing on youtube and wikipedia instead of raising their children or doing essential daily chores like cooking and cleaning.

      It must be nice to be a man and have so much more free time to spend on non essential hobbies like gaming, youtube and porn. You should thank the women who enable your leisure pursuits.

      • E. Olson says

        Femgo – I see an awful lot of women at all the “resistance” protests, which suggests that housework and child care isn’t taking all their time. It also seems that it is mostly female academics that get in the news by making claims that math is sexist, and writing proper English is racist, or that grading needs to reflect more than simple merit, which suggests they are spending more time doing SJ work than research or housework.

      • Turd Ferguson says

        International research has also shown that men work longer hours at work than women and are more likely to take on jobs that involve travel. Also the research done on chore work was done by feminist researchers who asked groups of women to evaluate how much domestic work they did compared to their spouses. The kicker, they never asked the men the same question. Additional research (conducted by non-feminist) has shown that women and men alike overestimate the amount of work they do across the board in all facets of life from workplace to homeplace. So obviously we all see the flaw in the feminst research on the contribution of men and women toward domestic chores and how they arrived manipulatively at their biased conclusion. I always say show me a feminist study and I will show you a flaw and how that flaw fits an agenda. As for YouTubers, well I can assure you some of these folks now make a living off the work they do that began as a passion project and many of them are single. Last time I checked there were plenty of single ladies out there at least if you read the constant articles in the New Yorker or the Atlantic which indicate more women than ever are delaying marriage and choosing not to have children. So yes your claims are dubious at best.

      • Asenath Waite says


        Links? I do all my own cooking and cleaning, and still have time for youtube and porn. Although I’ve lost interest in video games.

      • jimhaz says

        Femgo. I can’t really dispute your comment – it does apply in a lot of households – but is the answer to make women more like women as will naturally occur with wage and power equality? There are also a decent percentage of working females who don’t mind being domestically busy (while the children are young), or who have higher cleaning/cooking standards than men, so would probably do it anyway.

      • ccscientist says

        Femgo: in the US at least, if you look at married couples, the men do more actual work than their wives on average, but women define the unfairness strictly on housework and feel unfairly treated. If they spend all day at home with the kids, that is “work” but they do not count the long commute the husband has, the 50 hrs work week, cutting the grass, helping kids with sports and homework. Especially these days, people see injustice everywhere they look.

      • Femgo,

        It used to be that men were responsible to provide for a wife and family. That entailed providing physical protection, sufficient money to operate a household, and a place for the family to live. What this usually entailed was a lot of hard work, the ability to repair a great many things, and the obligation to do a lot of maintenance, both crisis and preventative.

        Women were expected to understand domestic economy. That meant knowing how to run a home, cook, clean, bake, sew, take care of children, oversee much of their education and manage the family finances.

        This has all changed in the last thirty years, but the greatest change by far has come in the attitudes of women. It appears most women are absolutely shocked that a man might expect she should have the slightest notion of domestic economy. Cook? Go out to eat, or at worst get something frozen thawed in the microwave. Clean? Get a maid or hire the work out. Everything else, buy new if it fails. Child care is covered by sending children off to day care at 18 months.

        Young men still seem to feel somewhat abashed if they don’t know how to fix things like their fathers did, but young women don’t seem to have the slightest interest in replicating the homes in which they grew up. Their focus is on their looks, their clothes, their social lives and their academic studies. The academic studies, unfortunately, often are directed toward areas of study that are unremunerative and which are highly unlikely to ever repay the school expenditures and opportunity cost.

        Consequently, when these women come to marriage, they often feel that the only thing they are obligated to do is to provide good sex to their husband, and then only if in the mood to do so. Everything else is the obligation of the husband to provide through making enough money to avoid the wife having to cover those tasks. If he can’t do that, he’s clearly a failure and the wife will start looking for another potential partner with whom she can do better economically.

        So what we have now is a world where young women have much higher marital expectations than their mothers did, but who actually bring much less to the marriage. That is a recipe for failure, and I find it not surprising in the least that so many marriages do fail. I don’t know one young man who would have the expectation that his future wife would actually know how to cook or bake or sew. Women, however, still seem to expect that men should be able to do all the things their fathers did, and are quite disappointed, even scornful, if they can’t.

        From what I have seen, there are a great many women complaining about how there aren’t any “good men” anymore and wondering why men won’t “commit” or “step up.” I wonder how many of those women ever come to realize that the reason they can’t find the kind of man they want is because they have unrealistic expectations, plus they themselves aren’t attractive enough (mentally and physically) to get what they think they deserve in a partner.

        Women aren’t happy with men now. Attacking traditional masculinity is going to weaken it more, which will make women even more unhappy with men since they will feel even less interest in family formation. If you haven’t heard of MGTOW, I suggest you look into it. I think you will be very surprised, and quite possibly rather frightened, when you see how male-female relations look from the other side. A world where men respect and care less for women than they do now will certainly not be a better one for women, but I am very much concerned that is exactly where we are heading.

  5. Doug Throckmorton says

    Please, please, EVERYONE, stop using the term “gender” when you are referring to a person’s sex. Gender is a societal construct that has allowed for so much latitude in definition that it has become maddening! On the subject of masculinity – When we have all been subdued by the feelings-over-facts “groupthink” and the screaming crowd of PC apostates, who will be there to fight the wars when we’re invaded, save people from disasters or wild animals or FATHER the next generation?

    • I find that when I use the word ‘sex’ I sometimes get a faintly embarrassed reaction from others. When I expand and amplify, the response is often ‘oh, ok’, and then people mostly continue to say ‘gender’.

      But not always. Sometimes, some folk start talking like normal people again. Then, I know my work is done. 🙂

      • Doug Throckmorton says

        I have had many similar experiences! Thanks for your candor.

      • Kencathedrus says

        Could it be that the concept of ‘gender’ is being used as a preferred term in order to make it more socially acceptable to sexualize children?

    • Yeah – like changing their sex through “gender identity”, instead of just saying they like cross dressing, and other such role-playing.

    • Asenath Waite says

      @Doug Throckmorton

      I agree. The word “gender” has been rendered essentially meaningless at this point. I think we should all make an effort to minimize its use in both conversation and writing and substitute “sex” instead, as this word still has a concrete definition. My gender is not listed on my driver’s license, my sex is. In general I think it’s important to use precise language when presenting our thoughts in order to avoid leaving their interpretation vulnerable to postmodernist convolution.

      • bernhard muller says

        I recall when “gender” began to replace “sex” in conversation. It must have been 20-30 years ago. Now, in retrospect, I think the change was orchestrated specifically by SJWs and others to lead to what is happening now. “Gender” is a social construct initially linguistic and mechanical (male and female electrical plugs) so now that sex has been replaced by “gender” we can say that “gender” is a social construct.

        • Asenath Waite says

          @bernhard muller

          It’s very subtly devious. My understanding is that “gender” came to be used more commonly as a substitute for “sex” in the 20th century as “sex” was used more frequently to refer to sexual intercourse. But “gender” is a very vague term that essentially just means “category” really, and this vagueness has been used to great effect by the post-modernists who seem to want to eliminate the very concept of objective reality. So please, let’s just use “sex” when we are talking about the observable and quantifiable biological differences between women and men, to avoid giving the post-modernists additional ammunition.

    • I agree completely the turn away from the use of the term sex to using gender was to accommodate those who believed that sex was a societal construct. As time has progressed its becoming more and more obvious that those constructs are primarily biological and not sociological.

      We need to revert the language we are using to make explicit the biological and sociological.

  6. Michael T Kennedy says

    The last time anyone paid attention to the APA they were running workshops in how to recover memories. Then the Gary Ramona lawsuit ended malpractice insurance for “recovered memories “ and the whole thing vanished like the fraud it was.

  7. V 2.0 says

    But….all that traditional guy stuff is so cool… I thought feminism meant I would get to do it too. If we’re trying to destroy it then sorry, girls, I’m out…

  8. mostlyAffectionate says

    Is it the case that CHS is the only non-psychologist? And that she shares a gendered construct of human interactions? And WTH is with that last comment about inserting a subversive message into the minds of patients? Yep. You have a nefarious agenda.

  9. Alan Green says

    2 (maybe) unrelated points:

    First, for years various surveys & research has found that Republicans are generally the happiest of any political affiliation, followed by moderates, with Democrats being the least happy. This is true even after adjusting for level of income, education, religious participation, age, & gender. So clearly there is something about the political world view of each group that impacts their emotional well being. Now assume that Republican can generally be considered a proxy for conservative, while Democrat can be a proxy for liberal (as an assumption, not much of a stretch). Finally, consider that the field of psychology is today dominated by self-described liberals. Something to ponder: are liberals in the field of psychology really in the best position to conduct research & counseling to help others in dealing with their emotional well being? What is it that they clearly don’t understand about happiness?

    Second, a story from my youth. A group of close friends once went to a movie without inviting me, & I was deeply hurt. My father attempted to console me, but I would have none of it. Finally, he hit me with “you know, no one really owes you anything. Maybe you’re not as good a friend as you think you are, If you want good friends, first be a good friend. If you someday marry and want to be treated well by your wife, first treat her well”. My father was a very happy & contented person, well liked by everyone who met him. And over time I realized the importance of his message: self pity is one of, if not the most, destructive emotions to human well-being. I’ve tried to live my life according to his theory, & I’ve found that when I’m swimming in self-pity I’m also at my most miserable. And when I dump the self-pity out of my head, & realize it’s my responsibility to give to others before I an expect to take, I’m at my happiest. This also cleared up the concept of a “spoiled child”, that giving alot of things to a child will make them unhappy. I always thought this was a ridiculous idea, until I realized that it’s not the giving that’s the problem, but rather when a child develops a sense of entitlement.

    • E. Olson says

      But how could those racist, homophobic, xenophobic, sexist deplorable Trump voters possibly be happy when they are responsible for all the many problems in the world? The only logical answer is they must all be crazy and should be deported to Russia.

      • Karen Straughan says

        Given the insanity going on in Canada, Russia doesn’t look too bad at the moment. At least for me.

          • Citizen XY says

            In response to @Karen Straughan, @Kencathedrus above asked: What’s going on in Canada?

            Here’s are some small examples of the Progress of the Revolution, from Canada.

            Last week the CBC (the federally funded Canadian Broadcasting Corp., aka Canadian Broadcasting Communiste) had an article about a sex offender who in the course of offending had emailed a picture of an “erect male penis”.

            We can all understand the point in distinguishing an erect penis from a flaccid penis, and an erect penis from an erect finger, but perhaps you’re wondering about the “male” qualifier for a penis.

            Allow me an attempt to display my progressive creds.
            The CBC – in its SJW/PC inclusivity virtuousness – just had to account, in general, for the situation of a no-surgery male-to-female trans-person, even though such has nothing to do with the story. Such a person, in SJW reality, still having their penis attached, is now in possession of a “female penis”.

            Up here in Canada it’s important to keep up with the latest mandated-by-law version of reality (cf Bill C-16). Kind of reminds me of the Indiana Pi Bill from a century ago but in that case that US state legislature voted down their bill, thus failing to be as progressive as Canada. Canada leads Peoplekind in civilisational progress thanks to the example set by our declared feminist Prime Minister Sunny-Wonder-Kid.

            Thus we must distinguish male penises from female penises. To not do so is trans-phobic and hurtful (nay, even violence!) towards self-declared female identities who had the misfortune of being assigned male at birth due to the unnecessary observation of their physically male genitalia by un-woke medical staff. Failing to make the gendered penis distinguishment puts you in the same camp as those hateful, hate-filled, fascist Nazis like Jordan Peterson and Lindsay Shepherd.

            If you aren’t aware, Jordan Peterson is a hateful, hate-filled, violent, fascist Nazi because he doesn’t like the idea of government-mandated speech requirements. Lindsay Shepherd is a hateful, hate-filled, violent, fascist Nazi because she dared to play to a university class a video clip of Jordan Peterson previously presented on government-funded public TV.

            (You can never say hateful, hate-filled, violent, fascist Nazi too often. The Progress of the Revolution demands it.)

            It is possible the CBC writer was inspired or reminded to make note of the maleness, as opposed to femaleness, of the penis at issue by the case of the trans-“woman” trans-woman (must be careful, wouldn’t want to end up in Canadian human-rights court) who has filed court cases against businesses offering woman-only waxing services for refusing to wax his female penis and scrotum.
            This is suspected to be the same person who got Meghan Murphy suspended from Twitter for that hate-filled “Men are not women” tweet.

            I do confess to being confused at times as to why all this sex-gender stuff is an issue at all, as our UToronto medical-historian professor Nicholas Matte has told us on public TV that “it’s not correct that there is such a thing as biological sex. That’s a very popular misconception.” He was going to unpack that for us but didn’t have time, so we just have to take his expert word on it. Apparently that physical stuff between our legs is just our imagination, while how we like to feel about ourself is reality. I’m still not clear how 7+ billion realities (on just one planet) works out. If I were a better citizen I guess I’d seek out some comrades to help me struggle with these new cultural understandings.

            Now that the rad-feminists and the SJWs are at war with each other we await guidance from our feminist/progressive Great Leader Sunny-Wonder-Kid as to which side is correct. I’m sure he’s dedicating much thought to it. All that he can muster.

            Look!, a sparrow just flew by. Time to get back to work collecting rusty iron nails.

          • Karen Straughan says

            It’s worse than Citizen Y indicates here. I mean, sure, he’s talking about the most ridiculous excesses of the Canadian system at the moment, but there are bills less ludicrous but more dangerous than C-16 that have recently passed and are about to pass.

          • Sydney says

            @Kencathedrus, @Citizen XY and @Karen Straughan mentioned a few things.

            Next to what goes in Jihad Justin Trudeau’s Cabinet (and CAIR is behind much of it), the biggest propaganda and indoctrination machine of all whirrs on in Canadian public schools. This week my son’s high school stopped using a bell system to announce class changes. The Socials teacher explained the change to the kids, “Bells are right wing.”

            Although we’re in Canada, the teachers have ranted daily for two years about US President Trump. No hyperbole: a steady drumbeat of Trump hate from teachers for two years. As far as I can figure, the US activist groups bombard the Canadian unions with far-left nonsense, and the far-left teachers’ union sends the messages along to the rank-and-file teachers. The teachers are mostly imbeciles indoctrinated by far-left university programs, and they repeat what they read to students.

            Anything “bad” is “right wing.” Anything “good” is “left wing.” Kids are encouraged to think and see in terms of SJW victimhood and victim identity. World history is viewed through intersectional and SJW lenses. They’ve been told, “there are infinite genders,” and every gathering begins with an apology to indigenous people whose land was “stolen.” Canadian schools have become cults. I spend my time correcting teacher and teaching-material propaganda, indoctrination, and misinformation. Exhausting.

            That’s a nutshell of current Canada from a centrist parent’s POV.

        • Saw file says

          I dislike anyone using a hidden name,: Karen Straughan.

        • Karen, I think the only option for sensible Canadians, is to separate from Toronto and greater Vancouver, otherwise we are lost as a nation.

          Currently, Vancouver and Toronto, are 46% european, yet 35 years ago, both cities were 90% european.

          The demographic change in Canada, is staggering and much of the SJW crap is mere misdirection, while a treasonous population ponzi scheme is forced on our country, by both the left and the right.

          Since the collapse of the USSR and the ascendency of the neoliberal economics, Canada has added ten million to its population. Most of the increase has come from immigration. As Canada has consistently added 250,000 immigrants a year into Canada, since the fall of the USSR.

          Most of this population increase has come from South Asia and Southeast Asia.

          Is it any wonder that young men are stressed out? The men who did the old working class jobs, who have to compete in a world where nobody values what they do. Immigrants are cheap and the working class are too expensive to support. So the liberals kicked them out of the boat and now their constituency are the cheaper immigrants.. What a dirty game that has been played on the working man and on our country.

    • That was priceless advice your father gave you. I had to learn that lesson on my own. “If you want to have a relationship with your father, first be a good son.”. (Mom/daughter)

      “If you want a good job, be a good employee.”…

      It applies to almost every human interaction and often if I find myself becoming resentful
      or angry with someone and I can remember to apply this, I will. The results rarely disappoint, because my attitude changes from one of resentment and expectation to one of responsibility and personal autonomy.

    • Aylwin says

      @Alan Green

      “Republicans are generally the happiest of any political affiliation, followed by moderates, with Democrats being the least happy. This is true even after adjusting for level of income, education, religious participation, age, & gender. So clearly there is something about the political world view of each group that impacts their emotional well being”. Or the causal arrow points the other way; those with emotional well-being are more likely to be Republican. Your list of things adjusted for does not include innate traits of human personality such as the big give – Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. What if it’s a certain disposition that makes one more likely to be happy, and that leads to a kind of thinking such as “well, I’m poor but happy – why should we do something to help others when they can help themselves, our just be stoically happy like me?” Whereas a less happy disposition might make someone more empathetic and left-leaning?

      • E. Olson says

        Aylwin – you mean that unhappy Leftists just can’t rest until they make everyone else as unhappy as they are? But of course they do it all for our own good whether we deplorable types realize it or not.

    • I agree that self-pity is unproductive and ultimately self-destructive. Personal or group-identified sense of victimhood is the equivalent of self-pity. It’s hard to see why anyone interested in a productive outcome would choose to promote self-pity or a sense of victimhood in someone they’re trying to help!

  10. A C Harper says

    What would Jordan Peterson say about the guidelines? I rather think he would disagree.

    • GregS says

      Jordan Peterson has written about the guidelines here and it is devastating.

      • A C Harper says

        I’ve found a direct quote from Jordan Peterson:

        ‘The document produced by the APA purporting to provide guidelines for the psychological treatment of boys and men is disingenuous, scientifically fraudulent and ethically reprehensible. I believe that the people who wrote it are ill-informed, ideologically-possessed, morally weak, and malevolent in their unacknowledged and overweening resentment. I am embarrassed and ashamed to have them speak on behalf of my profession, and would like to apologize to the public for not having been sufficiently awake and outraged earlier to have done more to stop something like this from happening.’

  11. I think the general thrust of the commenters is excellent. The whole notion of ‘toxic masculinity’ as a poisonous and destructive canard. It is a product of Cultural Marxism, perhaps the most pernicious pseudo-philosophy of the Twentieth Century. This evil cult should be called out for what it is, a doctrine of unreason and irrationality. Your commentators have done a fine job of addressing this particular manifestation from the American Psychological Association.

    There is one specific statement I take issue with.

    B. Christopher Frueh said “Masculine qualities like rugged individualism, courage, stoicism, ambition, and a willingness to protect and sacrifice for others . . . “.

    I have to challenge this statement. These are not /masculine/ qualities. These are /human/ virtues. Every boy and girl should be educated to aspire to them, and every man and woman should embrace them.

    These virtues are, of course, anathema to the unsanity of the Social Justice Warrior,

    • Karen Straughan says

      TL;DR (teal deer) did a deconstruction of the Conformity to Masculine Norms Inventory here:

      The methodology used to generate the inventory the APA is using is, in this person’s opinion, suspect.

      >”B. Christopher Frueh said “Masculine qualities like rugged individualism, courage, stoicism, ambition, and a willingness to protect and sacrifice for others . . . “.

      >I have to challenge this statement. These are not /masculine/ qualities. These are /human/ virtues. Every boy and girl should be educated to aspire to them, and every man and woman should embrace them.”

      This here is a problem. It’s one of the reasons why the CMNI is bogged down with negative traits associated with masculinity. We have de-sexed traditional masculine virtues. Why? Because women can do those things too, see?

      And yes, women CAN embody all of those things, but if they don’t, they don’t lose their woman card, do they? There were no audiences of people booing a woman who failed to leap in front of a bullet for her boyfriend during the Dark Knight shooting, were there?

      No one views the woman who stands in front of a burning building frantically shouting, “Please someone help my baby! My baby’s inside!” as less of a woman. They would view the male passerby who doesn’t run into that building as less of a man for not doing it, though.

      While I agree that everyone should aspire to these virtues, only one sex is expected to do embody them or else they lose their social status. That’s why they are coded masculine.

      Or were, before all the virtues were expunged from the definition of masculinity.

      • Asenath Waite says

        @Karen Straughan

        Very nice. If people are going to insist on enumerating particular vices as specifically masculine, it is only fair to characterize certain virtues as also being masculine in nature. This does not mean that either sex might not embody such vices and virtues.

      • jimhaz says

        Thanks for that Karen. I agree with you.

        Donna Kelly seems to think every girl is a potential tomboy if they just get the right sort of education and role models. Nope – only a certain lowish percentage want to be masculine even in this age where the media is constantly calling for them to be so – but it is the reverse for males – virtually all males wish to have those masculine qualities.

        The problem I see it is that the structure of our technological environment no longer provides adequate opportunity to develop masculine skills, or where they do it is under negative guidance, and I do not see that changing. This is an argument for the APA viewpoint – that males will only harm themselves by desiring to be masculine in an environment where it cannot be developed to full maturity (say like my favourite Uncle, who was in a Jap War camp, or my favourite sages who became so by minimising femininity in their minds) and thus who will never truly be able to feel adequately manly and turn resentful as a result.

        Even so, I reject this ‘you’d be better off being feminised’ argument. My body is a mans body, not a womans – so I can see men suffering years and years of existential angst as a result of being corned into feminine viewpoints. There will also certainly come a time where things turn sour for the world and masculinity in men will be required once again.

      • Truthseeker says


        I love your work – both here and elsewhere. You speak with a clarity that is refreshing in these times of attempted thought control.

      • “Only one sex is expected to embody them or else they lose their social status.”

        We had to read the following at school. Quite a few requirements for “being a man”, helpfully prefaced with their respective “ifs”. By the time I got to the end I was like, bugger this for a game of soldiers, I’ll just be a weevil instead. I’m sure some took it as a challenge though.—

      • Well fortunately it’s now less expected of men to be heroes than before :), Mra’s rightly denounce as some feminists don’t challenge the pressure on male disposability as much, though others do, together, while valuing both traditionally masculine and feminine aspects of people, challenging the notions of man card is great, because such expectation is really misandrist if you think about it and men should support each other more.

    • Andrew Mcguiness says

      Donna Kelly, I agree. One of the assumptions that doesn’t get challenged enough is which qualities are “essentially” masculine and which feminine. It does seem that there are differences between the average man and average woman, but those differences aren’t identical between cultures and, most importantly, shouldn’t be thought of as belonging exclusively to one gender or the other.

  12. Lightning Rose says

    For some strange reason academia and its demon-spawn, SJWs, are obsessed with 2 things:

    (1) Trying to rewire human nature, including the innate characteristics of the sexes;

    (2) Telling everyone else on the planet how to live.

    Most real people in the real world with real problems ignore all of this shit. It’s like the old argument about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin; does it matter?

    Before social media, every loopy-assed idea didn’t see the light of day to gain adherents. Our brains were less clogged with muck then. Every idea doesn’t deserve a response.

    • “(1) Trying to rewire human nature, including the innate characteristics of the sexes;
      (2) Telling everyone else on the planet how to live.”

      This is why we need to be very careful as we implement and infuse AI and expert systems in our lives. At root, they are created in our image, and that image will be created by someone(s), albeit unintentionally.

      • Karen Straughan says

        Did you read about Amazon’s hiring AI project?

        Over time, it began to associate the word “woman” with subpar CVs.

        Perfectly innocent, perhaps, in that it’s entirely possible less suitable CVs in terms of credentials and other relevant factors were more likely to include things like “was a member of my university’s women’s chess club” or “volunteered at the women’s center” or whatever.

        But yeah, it eventually began discriminating against women because they’re women, so Amazon shut the project down…

        • Rev. Wazoo! says

          @Karen Straughan – interesting observation & here’s a theory for why women’s CVs weren’t up-voted as often by the AI: the excessive use of “woman,” – connoting they *are* something – reduced the use of terms denoting they can *do* something.” Identity is irrelevant whereas capability isn’t.

          It’s really about presenting as a supplicant/consumer (not so desirable) rather than a producer/provider (more desirable) and I suspect CVs littered with the word ‘woman’ contain fewer bits about how the author can contribute to the company than how they are worthy of benefitting from it. Hence they don’t match the AI’s profile well; these AI algorithms are essentially match-makers whether for a job profile, an OK Cupid one, or an investment option. Elements which match what’s wanted are “up-voted” by the AI and others are ignored or “down-voted”.

          Why would women do this more than men? Well, it’s worked well thus far for them and as more women do university than men, they’re more likely to be trained to present as the supplicant unis seek. Who will benefit most if allowed entry to our club?

          Applying to universities etc is selling yourself as more worthy than others for the plum you hope to receive. (Never mind you’re paying outrageously for it eventually, it’s free at point of use and it’s perceived as a plum so treated as one.) Universities demand applicants be supplicants, proving charity would be more effectively bestowed on you than others; how you will especially benefit from the opportunities they offer. This attitude has become endemic and victim culture is merely a short-cut to it as it magnifies the “deserving differential” but it doesn’t create it.

          Supplicants are created by the belief that success is achieved by appealing to the sentiments of those with largesse to dispense, be they an aristocrat of yore, a university or an HR department of today. Victimology is only the currently fashionable form of being a supplicant; nepotism used to be a popular justification but has fallen out of favor in commercial enterprises.

          As an adjunct prof, I often help help students with their CVs and I’m still stunned by the wide majority whose gist is “This is why I’m worthy / I deserve it because I’d really benefit” (which is what unis/dispensers want to hear) rather than “This is how I can contribute / I deserve it because of what I can do for you” (which is what companies/producers want to hear.) Wasting space using the word ‘woman’ (or other irrelevant terms) might predispose those looking for worthy recipients of patronage but not so for those looking for an equal exchange of salary for contribution to an enterprise who want the limited space packed with abilities and the desire to contribute.

  13. Sydney says

    I’ve long viewed psychology as a discipline (in the loosest sense of the word) constructed of random guesswork and theory by people who were attracted to it as a profession because they were grappling for help themselves. I would never place my ‘self’ and well-being in such clueless hands, and NEVER place my children in those hands! I’ve read too much by psychologists to be so naïve.

    I draw from many sources as I raise my sons, and I’m glad I’ve kept a wide berth of psychology’s activist, whimsical guilds and conventions. There are a handful of psychologists with solid ideas; I’m grateful for their intelligence, but real thinkers in this discipline are few and far between.

    The APA’s latest stupidity just confirmed and reinforced what I already thought about psychologists and their profession, and what I’ve already taught my children.

  14. Dr George B Miller says

    All this stuff has made me feel very anxious and confused about my masculinity.
    Fortunately I need a haircut.
    So my barber will give me the psychological support I need tomorrow.

  15. Constantin says

    Funny what Ms. Sommers identifies as hidden gold: a call for government vocational programs for young men. Downright “revolutionary call to arms”! First we destroy any remnants of self-sufficiency and pride and then we invent vocational options for the crippled male figures. I propose knitting and crocheting . Both vocations promote creativity, patience, social interaction (as they can be perfectly well adapted to sharing the last rumors and gossip), require negligible levels of testosterone, and are also calm inducing – which is key to reigning in all that toxic masculinity. That, and “informal settings outside the office” for those that find prolonged guided introspection a little tiresome. Is Ms. Sommers actually laughing at us? Hard to tell. She concludes, rather strangely as follows: “….the only way to help men and boys is to pay homage to the gender dogmas” Does she realize the meaning of this sentence post-Enlightenment? I really do not know. And then she crowns it all with the idea that some of the gold she dug up from the bowels of the APA guidelines may have occurred spontaneously, without the authors even being aware of them. That’s what one would call serendipity. Do not miss Jordan Peterson’s massive broadside in today’s National Post in Canada:

    • X. Citoyen says

      I hear you, “man-fare” is not the solution to anything. But she only said “vocational well-being,” not “vocational programming,” so I invite you to extend her the benefit of the doubt. After all, Hoff Sommers has a strong track-record of good sense, and the AEI is hardly a hotbed of big gov’t solutions.

  16. Jezza says

    I agree with Alan Green. Children are like empty jugs. Fill them with love and they in turn will pour love out to others. Deprive them pride, belittle their achievements, spurn them, and they will never learn to love. There is a deliberate policy today to crack the jugs of male children, to undermine their belief in themselves to such an extent their ability to love is seriously impaired or perverted. In ten or twenty years who will complain “he doesn’t love me”? The women, I bet. Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.

    • scribblerg says

      Jezza – I see it with my 8yo nephew. He’s quite aggressive and rough and tumble, like many of the boys I grew up with. He’s been diagnosed and shamed and drugged into compliance though. It makes me cry when I think about it too much…

      Worst? He’s got very good kinesthetic abilities, great mechanical/spatial reasoning and is a whip at math, while being pretty anti-social at times. He builds the most complex Lego sets well beyond his years with no help. He’s great raw material to be an engineer.

      So I’m asking him the other day what he wants to be when he grows up? Answer: ‘I want to help save all the animals’, with his mother coaching him on to the answer. His social justice indoctrination has told him that the best thing in the world to be is an activist.

      His sister, 12yo, just went to a Saturday seminar on “lobbying” – at 12 years old. She doesn’t even know what the constitution of the U.S. is, yet she’s being taught to be a rabble rousing activist. This is what they are teaching children today. It’s disgusting.

      • Sydney says

        @scribblerg I’m on your side. Been-there-done-that with a son five times wilder and more violent. Kept him away from diagnoses and drugs, and at 15 he’s a joy. Current trends in psychology and education are toxic for boys (and for girls, too, as you note; but I’ve been concentrating on keeping two boys’ heads on straight in this insane SJW climate). Left-wing indoctrination of kids is terrible (I’m in Canada, where public education is basically a left-wing cult)…but those Covington boys shouldn’t have been sent to demonstrate against women’s reproductive rights, either.

        • George G says


          do you have any recommended resources / advice on how you both did this?

          I’ve got a 6 month old boy and my biggest concern is that things are bad now and will likely be worse by the time he’s at school. I’m pretty centered, outdoorsy and will be passing on my own “toxic masculinity” as best I can; but the largest part of his waking day will be spent with teachers who have predetermined he’s the cause of societies ills and determined to fix him.

          As an aside, in Scotland the government ( SNP) is trying to get through a pro trans schools policy, luckily radical feminists have objected and its currently stalled, (what odd bed fellows these culture wars create) so I think things are set to get worse.

          • scribblerg says

            He’s not my son, if he was he wouldn’t be on those meds or in that school or the other school system before. He would be disciplined more harshly though…

            Keep him away from women who aren’t Red Pill. Keep him away from public education. Home school if you can. Move to Poland or Hungary? Men are apparently allowed to be men there still….

          • Andrew Mcguiness says

            George G, my experience from successfully raising two sons (one ~40, the other not yet a teenager) is to focus on supporting the child’s self-esteem. As much autonomy as is consistent with reasonable safety, support for whatever they want to do, and consistent respect towards them as a person, and everything else falls into place.

          • Sydney says

            @George G

            I’m not kidding: As I read your query my 15-year-old came home from school and reported that today the Socials teacher (the Humanities teachers are consistently the most batshit-crazy far-left) said she once belonged to a sports team, and that her coach displayed “white male privilege.” These teachers are so dumb and indoctrinated that it’s hard to believe. This trash just rolls off their tongues daily.

            Parenting so-called “white” boys right now is not for the faint of heart; and being a “white” boy is its own ‘Hero’s Journey’!

            I’ve raised two boys. I read all the good (ie, NOT left wing, NOT feminist, NOT SJW) how-to-raise-boys books, and I’ve taken care to be a male-positive, tough-love mother. I actually come from the far-left myself, but inched over to the centre and centre-right over the years.

            I communicate with my sons all the time about what they hear at school (and it’s a daily avalanche of far-left propaganda), and I take care to counter it all with rational argument. You must know what they’re hearing. Boys don’t talk unless you pull it out of them.

            (I homeschooled my kids for a few years, but by high school I felt they needed the social aspects to help them develop.)

            This all came on so quickly; and maybe some of it will sort itself out by the time your son heads to school. Parents didn’t see this coming. We had no idea what was being taught in the university education departments, and that it was going straight into policy and curricula. We were asleep at the wheel on this.

            Good luck!

        • scribblerg says

          Sydney – Wrong about the Covington boys. They were high school juniors and seniors in a Catholic school. Abortion is an abomination to Catholics. These boys are marching to stand up against the slaughter of innocent babies. I will not equate that with some SJW dingbat programming my 8yo nephew to be a leftist activist or my niece going to “lobbying training” when she’s 12.

          • Sydney says


            Sorry, you’re wrong; and a thousand women around the world calmly terminating their pregnancies at this moment is why.

            “Abortion is abomination to Catholics,” but 100 years of priests sexually abusing and torturing children has been A-OK. It would be funny if it weren’t heartbreaking.

            Your hyperbolic, “…slaughter of innocent babies…,” tells me you know no facts whatsoever about pregnancy termination in the real world of women. Women have terminated pregnancy since forever, and will continue forever, whether Catholics (or anyone) like it or not. Indoctrinating boys about women’s reproductive lives is as absurd as it sounds.

            If these people were in fact “pro-life” then they wouldn’t have whipped psychopaths into murderous frenzy that led them to kill doctors and nurses. These murders were real-life slaughter of real people in the real world, not delusion and hyperbole.

            There is no “pro-life,” but the simple, misogynistic need to control women and what they do with their bodies. It is anti-woman and anti-freedom.

            The Catholic Church should not send children on field trips that teach them to control women and women’s bodies. Shameful and bizarre.

      • RadixLecti says

        I’m totally with you most of the way especially on coaching children to be SJWs, but “saving all the animals” is hardly a bad thing to aim for if the end result is concrete ACTION.

        People who are fed-up with the left are very quick to conflate the slacktivists who yell and scream at others about the cause du jour with people who are actually out in the field, or in the laboratory, or in general actually DOING something to achieve their stated goals.

        To clarify, IMHO, “saving the animals” by studying them, protecting them, creating technologies that reduce or eliminate the need for habitat destruction are all goals to be admired. Screaming “meat is murder” and spewing hatred in every direction is immature and pointless.

        • scribblerg says

          Radix – We have plenty of useless people already dedicated to “saving all the animals” (extinctions are not necessarily a problem for our ecosystem, actually, do the reading, you’ll see I’m correct). And he’s not interested in animals particularly. Or saving them. I never heard him speak about any of that, ever.

          But he can’t get enough of legos or any puzzle or kinesthetic games. He shows natural aptitudes to be an electrical or mechanical engineer. Most people do not have his aptitude in these areas and it’s a real waste to focus him on being a political hack. He’s over the top interested in those things, nonstop.

          So to me there is a huge problem with having him go “save all the animals” due to some activist educator indoctrinating him to become an activist which is happening across our entire education system today. It also will not be politically neutral, it will be SJW lies and mythology.

    • They are not empty jugs, they are made up the genes from their parents.

  17. scribblerg says

    People with such views are anathema to my liberty and well being. They may well find out what toxic masculinity is like someday if they keep this up.

    Why is nobody afraid of traditional men? Of white American men? Think about that, my fellow men. People need to be much more afraid of us as a group.

    Try to imagine for a second a similar approach to femininity. Or black people. You can’t – I know. Even though the data for those groups could be quite damning. Look at the studies of female ingroup preference – women are far more likely to favor other women in hiring, buying and many social choices than men are to favor men. This is has been found over and over – women are more bigoted. And black folks are much more violent than white folks everywhere on earth they live. Young black men commit 50% of the shootings in our society, while making up 2% of the population. But even with this “evidence”, no institution in our society would dare subject them to shame and denigration. They have pathologized who I am.

    Think I’m overreacting? Do you not think people who are aggressive and traditional and heaven forbid – capable of violence in the right situation – will be locked up and rooted out and re-educated and “treated”? Only white men or men in general can be singled out this way by our society.

    Eff every one who buys into this garbage.

  18. For years women tried to be more like men. It didn’t work. So on to Plan B.

    The weird thing is, there’s nothing sexier than a man doing manly things. That’s what most/many women want. But these sciency types live in the lab and wouldn’t know that.

    First they come up with Ritalin, now shame, next castration.

    • Sydney says

      @benita canova

      WORD. (To all of it. I’m ex-left and former Second-Wave feminist. Now I drool over alpha males on Netflix. And I kept my wild son away from those clueless APA types who would have diagnosed and drugged him. Glad I did!)

    • James OBrien MD says

      It’s not only what women want, it’s what gay men want. Even twinks. There is a long history of both women and gay men idealizing masculinity. Gang of Four sang about loving men in uniform, and the Village People sang about the Navy, not skinny-fat soylent associate adjunct professors at second rate universities.

      This is not only revenge of the nerds, this is revenge of the wallflowers. The statement of the APA says more about the authors than about masculine men.

    • TarsTarkas says

      The goal of fourth and fifth wave feminism. Chattelize and eventually eliminate.

  19. Here’s the self-defeating part of this fiasco:

    If competitiveness is not a worthwhile value, then it is reasonable to assume that the authors themselves were not competitive academically. Therefore it follows that they are not at the top of their fields, and certainly not more trustworthy than those who were more rigorous at studying the actual science, such as Drs. Satel and Lillienfeld and certainly many of the authors cited above. If this pablum is the best they can do in a 13 year effort, that would seem to confirm my hypothesis.

    As Jordan Peterson noted in Rule 11: leave children alone when they are skateboarding. He also said, ” If you think tough men are dangerous, wait until you see what weak men are capable of.” We now see that every day in the behavior of college administrators and Silicon Valley oligarchs. And certainly virtue-signaling male psychologists who haven’t resolved middle school peer envy conflicts.

    I greatly appreciate Dr. Routledge’s personal story, as I went through a similar transformation. In my case Krag Maga nicely topped off the benefits of good psychotherapy that would have been incomplete without the confidence that can only come physical and combat training. New studies now back up the importance of resistance training and rigorous play fighting on child development, mood and earned self-esteem.

    James O’Brien, M.D.

  20. I think what is driving this is Revenge of the Nerds. I think this is what in common parlance is called “Beta Males” taking revenge on “Alpha Males” – to use a shorthand – and to try to shift the ‘traditional’ hierarchy in their own favor, to, in other words, make Beta Males the new Alpha, and privy to the first pick of women. Silicon Valley has shown the way – with ‘geeky’ non-‘traditional’ men earning the mega bucks and therefore getting the women – and now the psychologists want in. In their own words they ‘want to change the world,’ meaning, I think, change it so that they are on top. The bitter women behind this also want their own hierarchy where they are on top as Devouring Women, but I think that’s a given.

    I really think that’s the driving subconscious factor here. Jordan Peterson talks a lot about resentment being hugely negative force and if you scratch the surface just a little bit, you can see it here. They are drunk on it. It’s really sick and marks the final downfall of psychology as a science. This is not to disparage the many fine individual psychologists out there. I think to shake this stain off, they need to form their own organization. Otherwise, this twisted dogma will gain in ascendancy as the vast majority of sane people will simply not go into this field.

    • James OBrien MD says

      Because of the increased politicization of the APA in the late eighties, the APS was formed to try to bring it back to science. It is a minority organization but it is pushing back on the decline of psychology since the Boulder model was abandoned. Jordan has a great post about this on his Twitter feed.

      • Jenna Den, MD says

        Interesting — when I became an MD in the early 90’s, I quickly found the AMA to be so ideologically driven that I could no longer support them either. I ended up doing a residency in Family Medicine, and the AAFP is likewise very left leaning, and I also decided not to become a member of that organization. I am not sure they are at this level yet, but I have a bad feeling that medicine in general is heading down this very dark path quite quickly, and this will be the “in” that these activists have been looking for into the hard sciences.

  21. Jezza says

    @GregS I followed your link to Jordan Peterson’s comments. Wow! thanks for posting it.

    • James OBrien MD says

      You’re going to want to check out Gad Saad’s comments too. He has a YouTube specifically on the APA guides and also on male SJWs, which he calls “eunuchs in a harem”. I might add that it’s a harem no sultan would give the time of day to.

  22. Simon Elliot says

    Regarding Natalie’s “gender denial is the new Aryanism” quote, I’ve said before that we need to sap slurs like “Nazi” and “racism” of their power by undermining the belief that they are inherently bad things. I think your use of the term “Aryanism” here isn’t helpful. I know the intent is to shock liberals into giving up their crusades by equating them with what they fear, similar to the “democrats are the real racists” and “you’re racist against white people” tropes, but these tactics actually reinforce the SJW value system, because they contain within them the same belief that Nazis and racism are the ultimate evil. We need to stop using the words that liberals fear as pejoratives. That is the only way the post-war egalitarian value system can be dismantled.

    • Michael Stanwick says

      As I mentioned above, I think the more accurate description of the force behind a section of the SJW camp and radical feminist ideology, is Lysenkoism. It has its roots buried in the core of Stalinist communism. I won’t go into detail here but check it out on Wikipedia.
      The structure and aims of Lysenkoism are a direct consequence of its marriage to the totalitarianism of the Soviet Communist state as personified by Stalin.

      • TarsTarkas says

        Lysenkoism occurs when facts and science are subordinated to or suppressed) in favor of ideology.

    • What is wrong with post war egalitarianism? I still believe that everyone should be given a equal chance and should be judged on their own actions and achievements, that with hardwork everyone can make worthwhile contributions and be worthy of respect. That is what I remember egalitarianism meaning. I was born post war. The recent trend is for Orwellian double speak where feminists are outrageously sexist and discriminatory in the name of anti-sexism, racism is promoted in the name of anti-racism and middle aged white men in paticular are discriminated against in the name of anti-discrimination.
      The first step in resistance is not to accept double speak and cling to the true meaning of words. There is nothing wrong with being egalitarian.

  23. Saw file says

    There is absolutely nothing’ toxic’ about gentlemanly controlled masculinity.
    Allow men to teach boys, and elder men to teach younger men.
    Some time the lesson can be harsh. The community of men will judge it and overall correction will result, if necessary.
    We have been doing this for a long time.
    Women should stay out of the world of men being men.

  24. W2class says

    Fortunately for me the psychological profession stopped considering homosexuality (which was actually a clinical term originally) a mental illness that needed to be cured sometime before I came of age. Otherwise, I dread to think what I may have been subjected to. I suspect something very like Christian conversion therapy.
    Now the APA seems to have decided that masculinity is a mental illness that needs to be cured.
    This sort of psycho-eugenics is nothing short of evil and shame on anyone who thinks their ideology takes priority over the well-being of real people.

  25. Farris says

    Toxic masculinity theory is about as useful as chickens scratching in the dirt. Meanwhile real men and real women are solving real problems.

  26. Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

    I wish we had a coordinated agenda for taking back our civilization. Something a bit more respectable than voting for Trump. They had/have a plan, it was/is called ‘the long march through the institutions’. How is it that they can plan the takeover of a civilization but we can’t plan a reconquest of what is ours anyway?

    • James OBrien MD says

      Ray, watch The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, if you haven’t seen it.

      You don’t get to choose who shoots Liberty unless you do it yourself, and the guy who does it may not be your ideal model, but the most effective thing is that he gets the job done.

      We don’t have the luxury right now of waiting for Jimmy Stewart to grow a pair when John Wayne is ready.

      • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

        @James OBrien MD

        Yabut this will take more than a couple of slugs, we need political coordination.

      • The problem with the philosophy that ‘The enemy of enemy is my friend’ is that your friend my end up a worse threat than your enemy. Trump is against the SJW agenda but he is also venal, narcissitic, disloyal, shamelessly dishonest, against the rule of law and seems to actively promote nepotism and self interested cronyism. He seems to me to be the antithesis of classic male virtues. That the last US election was between such terrible candidates shows how bad things have become.

        • Stephen Cruse says

          I’ll take Trump any day over the other Republicans. Who did nothing about illegal immigration (let Obabma walk all over the constitution), refused to implement the cost controls to maintaing the budget and numerous other promises made by the party but DID NOTHING for the common working guy except not expand the central government as fast as the Democrats. Trump not likabale and not polished. But his policies are exactly what I voted for so far except th last budget bull.

  27. Tom Walker says

    It looks like this “guidance” was created by starting with a conclusion then trying to back fill the justification with an ideologlically driven narrative.
    Perhaps it would have been better to ask “what is going on with men and why”

    BTW I am a 70 year old white male who does not and has not abused others, no criminal record, who accepts that stoicism has its place and understands that men are not the simplistic creatures we are all too often portrayed as

    • TarsTarkas says

      Ah, but according to the SJWarriors you always secretly wanted to abuse/be a violent criminal/etc. etc. so you need to be cured of your TMS (Toxic Masculinity Syndrome). As well as be punished for anything your toxic male ancestors did! / sarc

  28. I read the first couple of pages of the guidelines. They were littered with social justice nonsense, such as “cisgender”, “heteronormativity”, and gender being a “social construct”. When I read that “gender is no longer considered binary”, I stopped reading.

    Most of the readers here know the rest of the story. At this stage, I don’t feel as though I’m actually learning more about what’s going on in society under social justice.

    What are we going to do about it? I’ve been giving money to Advance Australia, an organisation fighting back against this drivel. I wrote an article on LinkedIn about the APA guidelines and the Gillette ad, for which my boss warned me about “controversial topics”.

    I’m talking to people in the office about the Gillette ad, pointing out what is going on in society. I tread carefully given I’m at work.

    What else can we do?

  29. ccscientist says

    Any personality trait can be harmful at the extremes (as Jordan Peterson has noted). So violent men exhibit maleness at its worst. But there is also toxic femininity, which will never be addressed by the APA. Traditional maleness and femaleness are what make humanity great. The push to make women more like men (more aggressive, more career oriented, more angry) and men more like women seems fundamentally confused to me.

  30. Heike says

    This is what happens when change movements gain power – they start trying to compel obedience instead of inspiring collaboration. Power and influence are not the same thing, they are opposites. The more power you use against others the less able you are to influence them.

    Ghandi said ‘be the change you want to see in the world’, not ‘demand that others be the change you want to see in the world’.

  31. johno says

    So how is it that men have survived for tens of thousands of years, without the APA to tell them how to think?

    Us men don’t need to remove ‘toxic masculinity’.

    We need to remove psychiatrists. They are completely nuts.

  32. X. Citoyen says

    I appreciate everyone who weighed in against these guidelines because it takes some courage to go against the ideological grain nowadays. Still, I think there’s more to be said about the quality of the research. What I call the other side of the academic problem hasn’t been discussed much: The rise of progressivism in the academy has been coeval with decline in academic standards. Take this definition from the APA guidelines:

    Although there are differences in masculinity ideologies, there is a particular constellation of standards that have held sway over large segments of the population, including: anti-femininity, achievement, eschewal of the appearance of weakness, and adventure, risk, and violence. These have been collectively referred to as traditional masculinity ideology (Levant & Richmond, 2007).

    The words in this definition have an affective resonance: They conjure up ideas and associations in the mind, but what do any of them mean? What does the word ideology mean in this context? What do its components mean—like anti-femininity and violence? Consider the statement in everyday terms: Traditionally minded men believe in anti-femininity and violence. What does it mean to believe in or to be guided by or to value violence? And where is the empirical evidence for this claim? One paper in the Journal of Men’s Studies?

    I could go on. The whole thing is jerry-rigged. Platitudes, cant, and weak research all stitched together into an ideological quilt. Start pulling at the threads and the whole thing falls apart.

    • D.B. Cooper says


      The rise of progressivism in the academy has been coeval with decline in academic standards.

      So…rigorous scholarship and progressivism can’t exist under the same roof? Strong claim, to be sure, but I guess if one were to search long and hard across the annals of academia, one might find a couple-three examples where there’s been a lack of rigor.

      And while I’m at it, I think it’s worth mentioning that if “achievement” – male or otherwise – is seen as toxic to society, then we are surely lost in nostalgie de la boue

      • ga gamba says

        … I guess if one were to search long and hard across the annals of academia, one might find a couple-three examples where there’s been a lack of rigor.

        I think such a search need be neither long nor hard. Psychology itself has been rocked by the non-replicability scandal.

        This article from the Graun provides a layman’s brief of it, If you like you may dig into the heart of it in the professional journals.

        Outside psychology, there was political “scientist” Michael LaCour’s faked data in his then landmark, “When contact changes minds: An experiment on transmission of support for gay equality”. In STEM there was geneticist Hwang Woo-suk’s fabricating a series of experiments in the field of stem cell research – Hwang’s 2004 and 2005 papers published in Science were both fabricated.

        Do all of these prove everyone else is doing dirty deeds done dirt cheap? No. Often they’re expensive. 😉

        And while I’m at it, I think it’s worth mentioning that if “achievement” – male or otherwise – is seen as toxic to society, then we are surely lost in nostalgie de la boue.


      • X. Citoyen says

        You can’t serve two masters. Universities chasing representative student bodies and faculties must sacrifice high-quality ones. Getting 51% women in STEM means setting aside every other concern. Jobs, awards, grants, and other funding have to be redirected to these objectives—and they are. The same goes for advancing grand political projects. Progressives have taken over universities because they’ve hired and promoted their own and non-progressives have not. Political nepotism has the same deleterious effects as the familial kind.

        Like worms in the apple, these dysgenic forces have been continuously operating on our academic institutions for decades, and they’re gaining momentum as their promoters’ numbers increase. They are changing the culture of the university from truth-seeking to social justice. I’ve seen it in my old undergraduate program. The scholars have been replaced by smiley-faced edutainers and the curriculum has been watered down and politicized to suit the tastes of middle and upper-middle class dilettantes.

        Ga Gamba brought up the replication crisis, which is exacerbated by both these forces. Equality chasing and political nepotism promote incompetents and create blind spots—if not shields—that protect certain people from scrutiny until some outsider notices they’ve been faking it for years. Of course, outright fabricators are merely the extreme examples in the more general and less visible dysgenic trends in academia, both of which are manifest the APA’s guidelines. The guidelines are not just political; they’re also intellectually flaccid.

        To the political argument, go back to the definition I quoted above and analyze it through the Toulmin model: What’s the claim? That there is “a particular constellation of standards that have held sway over large segments of the population [etc., called] masculinity ideology.” Two figures of speech do too much work here, constellation and held sway. How do we translate them into conceptual and empirical language? Try it and you realize that you’re dealing with embedded Marxist framing. What unites the standards (the “constellation”) and gives them “sway” is that they’re part of the ideological superstructure created by and used to rationalize the material substructure, which is the patriarchy.

        Now what’s the evidence and the warrant connecting the evidence to the claim? A bunch of people who write psychology papers agree with it. Yes, evidence is cited for other claims in the guidelines. But none is cited to support the overarching claim about masculine ideology—it is merely assumed to be the cause. So we’re not getting a theory at all. We’re getting a worldview dressed up as a theory.

        As for the intellectual flaccidity, these guidelines should be laying out the best theory based on empirical evidence from studies that have been replicated many times and long-running longitudinal studies with large samples. But they’re not even close to this standard. The guidelines are nothing more than Marxist conjecture collating other studies using the same conjecture. It is not a consilience of findings, but a consensus of the likeminded.

        Am I mistaking crafty ideologues disguising their political agenda for ramshackle thinking? All my experience says otherwise. Yes, they are pushing an agenda. But the intellectual dysgenics in the academy renders them only half-aware of what they’re doing. Again, in my experience most of the people contributing to a big project like this can’t even think any other way.

        • D.B. Cooper says


          Two figures of speech do too much work here, constellation and held sway.

          Despite what many would like to claim, it should be apparent by now that this type of equivocation is by design. Progressivism is an ideology with no distinct center and only the fuzziest of boundaries. It is not a reliable guide to the facts, nor has it ever intended to be.

          As a rule, progressives’ traffic in dubious and indefinite language, precisely, because it prevents them or their claims from being tethered to objective standards or the historical record. The flexibility of ill-defined language allows one the ability to characterize a claim or position in whatever manner best fits a particular narrative at a given moment; which, ultimately, affords the claimant the luxury of never being wrong without ever actually having been right.

          The guidelines are nothing more than Marxist conjecture collating other studies using the same conjecture. It is not a consilience of findings, but a consensus of the likeminded.

          Of course, they are. I’m reminded of a recent article I read where the author – who was a progressive – substantiated one of his claims by linking to an opinion piece that he himself had written a little over a year earlier. I shit you not, the guy cited his own opinion as legitimate evidence to support an empirical claim. Clearly, he had a high opinion of himself, but the truth is, and this might be hard to digest, I don’t think he saw anything wrong with that.

          Though slippery it may seem, progressives blindly advance their paternalistic guidance, not because of dispositive facts – since the facts are often confounding to their goals – but because those who do pretend that it is consensus that counts, while depicting the consensus in terms of people who believe as they do. So, yes, it is a consensus theory of truth through which they operate; although it’s unclear if they do so out of ignorance or necessity, since reality rarely appears to cooperate.

  33. D.B. Cooper says

    Although no one would claim incongruity to be a novel phenomenon among progressives, it is something more than curious to see feminists ‘lean in’ – to borrow a phrase – towards all manner of traditionally masculine behavior; while simultaneously assuring everyone of just how toxic it really is.

    Maybe it’s me, but it seems like mad work to want to cure another from the disease you’re working to get. Of course, then again, sympathizing with yourself is a skill all too easily mastered.

    • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

      @D.B. Cooper

      Which is proof that they don’t want to destroy toxic masculinity, they want to drive men out leadership/power positions so that they can take them over. IOW they want to replace toxic masculinity with equally toxic femininity.

  34. Aside from the above critics appeal to masculinity as a biological reflex, I think Sally Satel nailed the biggest issue with her comment:

    “The APA guidelines risk subverting the therapeutic enterprise altogether because they emphasize group identity over the individuality of the patient.”


    As soon as we start focusing on individuals as strictly biological or social-class entities, there is a danger of losing the person’s individuality. I see this error being perpetuated by both ‘sides’ of this debate, by both the traditionalists appealing to biology alone, and the progressives appealing to culture alone. While these things (biology and culture) can serve as base chords to give resonance to a man’s individuality, it is individuality that psychology must start with. Psychologists need to leave thier ideology aside and be prepared to be surprised by the uniqueness that comes with each person.

    • C Young says

      Yes. I came to the same conclusion (see below), but I see this as a breech of professional ethics.

    • @ gynocentrism

      It doesn’t really work that way. You can certainly categorise personality traits together. And there is something “masculine” and something “feminine”.

      “surprised by the uniqueness that comes with each person.”

      Or not. Likely for an experienced Psychologist, they’ve seen it all before.

      “it is individuality that psychology must start with. Psychologists need to leave thier ideology aside”

      Ironically you are applying your own ideology. And you are telling psychologists what to do whilst [likely] not being one.

      • @Amin

        Sorry I can’t follow you down the class categories road if you leave out individuality. It’s a one-dimension, reductive approach.

        I clearly include class attributes of biology or culture as “bass chords” informing the equally important individuality if men.

        So I personally reject yours and the APAs recent guidelines for precisely the same reason–both appeal to men as class to the neglect of uniqueness and individuality.

        • @ gynocentrism

          No one is leaving out individuals. You simply overemphasize them. And one can group and scholars have done categoried personbality types.

          “both appeal to men as class to the neglect of uniqueness and individuality”

          In the way you mean, this is an utter myth. And in practice does not occur. You have not given any evidence or credible argument ot the contrary. One is individual of a paticular class and classes. One is not truly unique that everyone finally belongs in a class oftheir own.

  35. What do you think of the idea that every individual has some combination of “masculine” and “feminine” attributes? It’s not a very scientific idea, but it does acknowledge both genetics and environment, and it explains why most men are “masculine” and most women are “feminine”, with plenty of feminine men and masculine women out there. Neither of these attributes are inherently “toxic”, and they can be guided towards virtue, as Dr. Routledge points out in the article.

    Rather than muck up the issue with pseudoscience by suggesting that half the population has (or has been socialized with) innately undesirable traits, it seems more effective to fall back on just teaching our children (both boys and girls) to not be assholes.

    • jimhaz says

      I think people could learn a lot from this 1906 work

      For instance
      “A woman’s demand for emancipation and her qualification for it are in direct proportion to the amount of maleness in her. The idea of emancipation, however, is many-sided, and its indefiniteness is increased by its association with many practical customs which have nothing to do with the theory of emancipation.

      By the term emancipation of a woman I imply neither her mastery at home nor her subjection of her husband. I have not in mind the courage which enables her to go freely by night or by day unaccompanied in public places, or the disregard of social rules which prohibit bachelor women from receiving visits from men, or discussing or listening to discussions of sexual matters I exclude from my view the desire for economic independence, the becoming fit for positions in technical schools, universities and conservatoires or teachers’ institutes. And there may be many other
      similar movements associated with the word emancipation which I do not intend to deal with.

      Emancipation, as I mean to discuss it, is not the wish for an outward equality with man, but what is of real importance in the woman question, the deep seated craving to acquire man’s character, to attain his mental and moral freedom, to reach his real interests and his creative power. I maintain that the real female element has neither the desire nor the capacity for emancipation in this sense. All those who are striving for this real emancipation, all women who are truly famous and are of conspicuous mental ability, to the first glance of an expert reveal some of the anatomical characters of the male, some external bodily resemblance to a man. Those so-called “women” who have been held up to admiration in the past and present, by the advocates of woman’s rights, as examples of what women can do, have almost invariably been what I have described as sexually intermediate forms”

      • Was this serious? If I read those paragraphs correctly, I think I learned how not to think about women, haha. Not what I was trying to say at all. This basically sounds like the definition of misogyny.

        Are you suggesting that we judge the qualities of half of the human race based on the “superior” qualities of the other half? That “real” women are actually just… men?

  36. What if the APA released guidelines on how people above the age of 65 (an immutable category) possess all these inherent attributes, or are socialized to possess them, and the world would be better if they changed, and this is how they should try and change them.

  37. Gynocentrism makes a good point. Proponents of biological reductionism and determinism emphasise ‘nature’ over ‘nurture’ and downplay the influence of parents, but then blame all kinds of ills on the absence of fathers!

    Incidentally, Chris J. Ferguson’s link to his critique of the APA statement on violent video games is broken.

  38. terbear says

    i am male. the gender wars lead me to believe the difference between men and women is greater than it really is. I have to remind myself of the many women that are more similar to me than many of the men i know. the genderbenders are trying to divide and conquer and unfortunately they are often successful. regardless, i enjoyed the mostly civil discourse in quillette.

  39. Hamilton Sunshine says

    The scariest thing is that this just proves the Scientologists were right about psychologist’s.


    That’s how bad things have got. Shudders.

    • George G says

      @ Hamilton Sunshine

      lol , I was thinking the same, these culture wars make for odd bedfellows.

    • Saw file says

      I just nailed my front door shut and piled all my blankets onto my bed!
      This is worse than that zombie through down scare!
      Shotgun still loaded!
      TY, not at all!!!

  40. Completely snubbing its nose at the APA guidelines fallout, the Australian Psychological Society has announced it too wants to take a gendered approach to working with men, essentially to treat men with a set of class concepts. The audacity of these ideologues is breathtaking.


  41. C Young says

    Sally Satel makes the best point here, re the individual versus the collective.

    It is unethical for a psychologist, who is meant to focus on the wellbeing of an individual patient, to place them second to a political project that focuses on the collective.

    The slogan “change men and we can change the world” gives the game away. Changing society is the overriding aim, not healing the individual.

    Only about 8% of Americans back the APA’s political outlook, so the individual is unlikely to endorse it. The APA is effectively recommending the reprogramming of vulnerable individuals to promote social harmony.

    The APA is thus adopting the practices of soviet psychiatry.

    • Nate D. says

      @ C Young

      Totally agree. Satel points out the glaringly obvious ethical violations going on here. Asking psychologist to smuggle in a value system is a big no-no. Funny that conversion therapy for gay men is illegal is several states (even if the gay man specifically requests said treatment), but these same people will unabashedly proclaim “Change men, change the world!” The hypocrisy produces an involuntary face-palm.

  42. Pingback: Twelve Scholars Respond to the APA’s Guidance for Treating Men and Boys – A Curious Occurance

  43. Morgan Foster says

    The APA confirms a bias that I have developed over a period of some years, now.

    I advise any man seeking help from a psychologist to avoid female psychologists.

    Yes, the women quoted above are critical of the APA guidelines, but I suspect they have been invited to comment because their opposition was previously known.

    Most female psychologists, particularly those under the age of 50 – and certainly those who identify as feminists – are going to be attracted to the guidelines, such as they are.

    My opinion is based upon decades of non-clinical conversations as well as professionally-based discussions with them in my line of work.

  44. Drew Brown says

    As someone who has spent a long time inside the Tibetan world, I would like to say that Tibetan men, including monks, have plenty of “traditional masculinity”. A preference for peace and non-violence has not made this very tough culture any less tough. I suspect that rather than seeing Tibetan men in India or Tibet as paragons of non-masculinity, they should be examined to see how high levels of “traditional masculinity” can go along with non-violence.

  45. Rob G says

    The APA and its world of socially constructed gender identities is proof positive that we are living in a rerun of the era of Trofim Lysenko – now in the West – where people with unfettered access to the findings of science are living in effective denial of the genetic underpinnings of biology.

    An analysis of the relationship between the ideological focused claims of the APA and the damage Trofim Lysenko succeeded in inflicting on the Soviet Union would not go amiss.

  46. Barney Doran says

    If you are going to change men in order to change the world, you had better change all the men. If not, the unchanged will quickly take control of the changed. How the hell do these people think humans evolved?

  47. Yeah_Nope says

    So basically feminist ideologues have gained complete control of the APA and are using as a platform for their misandric propaganda.

    Did anyone not see this coming? The psychotherapy industry has been steadily going anti-male for decades. The sad part is how many men will be destroyed by this. Feminists promote male vulnerability, and are the first to capitalize on that vulnerability.

    The only reason a feminist ever tells men that they need to get in touch with their feelings, and to not be afraid to cry, is because they need to refill their Male Tears mugs.

  48. Tersitus says

    In my first week on campus— and away from home— sitting with a bunch of other freshmen boys (hardly men) and comparing schedules, one mentioned having enrolled in Psychology 1.
    Suddenly a voice, already immediately recognizable as that of the most imposing and impressive of the upperclassmen in our scholarship hall, boomed from behind us, “Do you know what the hell psychology is?!”
    We all turned, no doubt meekly, to look at him.
    “Psychology,” he condescended to inform us, “is nothing other than the overstatement of the obvious.”
    It’s a moment and a definition I’ve never forgotten. It may be a bit of an overstatement itself, but it has more than a little truth to it.
    More fresh air, sunlight, and recess might not solve a lot of gender crises in a more family-fragmented, feminized, and polarized world, but of themselves they’re not bad things— at least while you consult the latest research.
    I spent twenty years with rooms full of 14-18 year old inner city “at risk” kids male and female, goths and gangbangers, every exotic variety of “different” and “normal” imaginable— banging around daily on the basketball court, guiding hands in the safe use of power tools, and wrestling for hours with unruly and argumentative bunches of them over everything from sex, drugs, rock and roll and rap, to gay marriage and teen pregnancy, immigration legal and illegal, war and peace, suicide and genocide, identity politics and identity crises— all the while near-literally forcefeeding them a steady diet of basic American history, world history, government, economics, current events, English grammar, poetry, and prose.
    They’re still kids. If they’re confused, it’s because we are. They don’t need trained and credentialed shrinks half as much as they need parenting, more sleep and exercise, and better diets. Give us some APA guidelines on mothers and fathers, and cut the BS.

    Nietzsche once observed that, after Kant, every would-be philosopher was out poking under every bush and basket, and suddenly discovering new “faculties” galore. These days it’s the psychologists— a new disorder to disfunction every day. How convenient to be in a growth industry so desperately needed. Where does the science end and the esoteric pseudo knowledge of scientism take over?
    Maybe the better definition in our time is “overstatement of the imaginary.”
    Count me skeptical.

  49. Every nonsense ideology of even medium popularity starts out their sales pitch with a few points that most people agree with. Scientology starts off with “Psychiatrists are often too quick to prescribe antidepressants,” and “one’s attitude has important consequences” before proceeding to the intensely weird stuff. The looniest ideology you can name does this. If there are twenty points on the manifesto, save yourself some time and skip to the end — that’s where they hide the dubious stuff.

    When fishing for suckers, start out with “psychiatry doesn’t always work” and work your way up to Xenu only after the Sunk Costs Fallacy has kicked in.

  50. Wilson says

    I love Christina Hoff Sommers, and she has perhaps done more to create a just and sensible society than anyone in the “resistance to the resistance” up to this point.

    However, we mustn’t always focus on the good in things, as she has in the APA guidelines.

    Sometimes the good is a trojan horse for the not-so-good, a way to gain respectability for the intrusion of political dogma in the APA, for example.

    In such cases, it is necessary to highlight the not-so-good to capture the truth of the moment.

    In this case, the crux of the matter seems to be political activists capturing a scientific institution, at least in this context.

    In the words of Jordan Peterson, “The APA is promulgating under the guise of science absolute mis-truths about the nature of aggression, violence and socialization, and this will culminate in the miseducation of individuals and the warping of social policy.”

    Since activists have taken over the APA, at least in this context, the first order of business is to condemn this coup and see that the institution is returned to caring and expert hands.

      • @Wilson, yes, fair call. My apologies. I’m very frustrated by the APA guidelines and what is currently happening in society.

        • Wilson says

          @Mark, no worries! I too am frustrated with the APA guidelines and what is happening in society.

          • @Wilson, I have called the Australian Physiological Society — who said they will look at following the APA’s lead — to give them my feedback.

            Luckily, I work around 500m from the Australian Physiological Society’s main office. I will be going there every day until I get to speak with someone in authority.

            I encourage others to actually do something about what is happening in society. Nothing will change by writing on Quillette.

  51. ccscientist says

    In the news today, a man jogging outside Fort Collins, CO was attacked by a mountain lion (cougar) and killed it with his bare hands. He suffocated it–did get bit pretty bad. A woman or a “woke” man would have been killed. The world can still be a dangerous place. It still needs masculinity. I’ve encountered my share of danger and am glad I punch my man card regularly.

    • Nakatomi Plaza says

      Women are frequently much tougher than men. Not physically stronger, but mentally. If you don’t know this, you need to get out of your cave and stop punching that dumbass “man card” so much.

      And do you know the guy? How do you know he wasn’t “woke”?

  52. Darwin T of BC Humanists says

    Our enemies are laughing at our Western suicidal stupidity. It is no longer concealed laughter. Dictators the world over are cheering on the APA and other Social Justice Worriers and know that just a few more orbits of the sun will make us so guilt ridden and weak from lack of belief in ourselves that they can literally dictate to us via our cadre of comrades that tout postmodernist piffle and radical feminism. China, Iran, Russia, Cuba, North Korea, Sudan, Turkey and other haters of democracy and free expression are all poised to take chunks out of us and swallow us whole soon enough.

    Time to toughen up Buttercups!

    Know your enemy when you see it. Hint, it isn’t men and it isn’t the West. Further hint, it’s those who have no idea how to play nice with others.

  53. To any Quillette staff reading the comments: We need action. Writing endless articles will achieve nothing.

    We all know what is happening. I learnt nothing from the APA guidelines that I didn’t already know was happening.

    As I wrote above, I will be visiting the Australian Psychological Society’s main office in Melbourne tomorrow to object to their comments in the ABC article.

  54. Ah yes… so what was it about “viewpoint diversity” being the most important again? All scholars asked were already in the bag. Only Sommers went somewhat off script.

  55. Richard says

    I was working on annual performance reviews for my team yesterday and as I was doing so I kept going back and thinking how difficult it would be to do these individual performance assessments if I had to use they/them/whatever pronouns…just utter madness…

    • Nakatomi Plaza says

      A third pronoun would really be that difficult for you to deal with? You sound like a real problem-solver.

      “Yea, sorry everybody, we’re going to have to close shop early today because I can’t keep track of more than two pronouns. I’m going to go home and practice walking and chewing gum at the same time. Maybe that will help with this pronoun crisis.”

  56. augustine says

    What is the condition of men’s overall mental health after 60+ years of intensive, culturally sanctioned psychotherapy? Does Pinker adopt up any metrics in this field in his optimism? For these progressive advocates of a new masculinity, I can only imagine what a successful outcome looks like.

  57. Pingback: Thoughts on the APA “Guidelines for Psychological Practice for Boys and Men” | Palamas Institute

  58. Doug F says

    Men tend to be more stoic and less likely to look for help externally. Does the APA think that promoting therapies for males based on male-bashing concepts will encourage men to seek help in this way?

    I think not.

  59. Charlie says

    What is being ignored is the end of chivalry. Traditionally in Britain all classes taught boys to box from the age of 5 years. Before the rise of organised sports British males were taught bare knuckle boxing which included throws, cudgel fighting and fencing with cricket in the summer. There would be a sort of football/rugby between villages where the rules were no weapons and eye gouging . British males were taught to be able to stand up to tyranny and defend those weaker than themselves be they, women, children, the infirm or the old. Hard work burned up surplus energy. Britain had historically a very low murder rate. Men who had arguments were expected to sort out their differences with fists not knives or weapons. People loathed bullies. A man was expected to stand by what he said, be honest, direct, truthful and not picker on those weaker and smaller.

    When there was a split between football and rugby the rural areas, those of heavy industry , public and grammar school played rugby, those I softer areas played football. Rugby divided into union and league , the latter played by blue collar workers in areas of heavy industry ( except Wales who played union ). The Rugby League matches were played by tough men and there was little cheating and the crowds well behaved. There was no offensive language and ladies could watch without risk whereas football matches in the 1960s-early 1990s were often watched by thugs.
    Once there was some trouble at a union match and Willie John McBride suggested the culprits step on onto the pitch; they declined .

    In WW2 Britain created the Commandos and SOE which only accepted volunteers. These men and few women were put through the most rigorous training in how to kill, whether with hands or weapons . Most men had already boxed extensively, many had played rugby and all had undergone military training. If we look at their conduct post WW2 we do not fight them getting into fights. Also we do not see them undertaking acts of torture and wanton killing in WW2. If we examine those who have undertaken mass torture and murder in WW 2, they are weaktimid rear echelon types unfit for combat. Those in the Gestapo, police units Einzatzgruppen and concentration camps were unfit for combat. Also, those in the KGB who committed torture and murder from 1918 onwards were rear echelon non combat types.

    Since WW2 hundreds of thousands of Americans, Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders and Briton have undergone Commando/Special Forces training the incidence of these men getting into fights is lower than the national average. This is because they are volunteers who have high pain thresh holds and high self discipline whose training gives hem the confidence to walk away from trouble without feeling they are cowards. Those who work undercover are trained that they have to receive a beating rather than fight back and blow their cover. If a man of medium size or smaller defeated a larger or two larger men quickly it would bring attention to him.

    Also if one looks at the life of men such as Conran Purdon, F Spencer Chapman, David Sullivan, P leigh Fermour, Jack Churchill, etc, is that they are loyal to their wives and have long marriages . Does physical fitness and courage produce fidelity in marriages ? Does the fact that a man is willing to die to save his fellows mean that he is loyal to his wife ? Many of the men mentioned were very handsome in their youths, in fact looked like Greek heroes.

    Those who are fit and courageous are likely to have high levels of testosterone, dopamine, serotonin, and experienced high levels of steroid and adrenaline production due to their training and experience. They have had to conquer pain, exhaustion and fear of death. Perhaps they do not need the excitement of affairs because they have had plenty of that in their life? What they want is the stability of a wife and a home. One could correlate fidelity in marriage between say those decorated in battle and those in the entertainment industry and also academics?

    Perhaps the greatest problem are weak, unfit, timid men, flabby men who only feel resentment and spite towards men who are fit and courageous and to the women who are rejected by them? If a women who is unfit and flabbby from not playing sport is unable to attract a fit courageous man perhaps she does not want them to exist in order that that she does not feel inadequate or a failure? If can’t have him you can’t have him!

    As The Buddhist say ” A coward dies a thousand times and a hero only once “. It is interesting to assess that in WW2 hardly any left wing middle class intellectual volunteered for combat roles, say aircrew or commandos for example Sartre, P Toynbee, Frankfurt School , Hobsbawm . Is criticism of Chivalry and the Western Classical tradition due to weak, unfit, timid and flabby men being resentful and spiteful to those who are fit practical and courageous and unattractive women being unable to attract those who are heroic. At university if one is studying an academically rigorous degree and training in sport one does not have time to become involved in politics. One rarely encounters left wing students who are reading STEM degrees and playing hockey, rugby, rowing, athletics which require at least 1.5 hours of training per day.

  60. Pingback: The Isolated, Lonely, Checked-Out Life of Men

  61. Gwynfor Richards says

    The wording of the title of the APA guidelines is

    “APA GUIDELINES for Psychological Practice with Boys and Men”

    not “..Men and Boys”. What is going on there?

  62. Nakatomi Plaza says

    So, I guess we’re all cool with those ivory tower, limp-wristed, out-of-touch sissy academics when their bullshit is the same as our bullshit? And you know that sound when an intersectional, liberal, SJW complains about something ridiculous? It’s the exact same sound the people in the article are making. What a bunch of hyperbolic crybabies.

    “Who will volunteer to mount up and ride to the sound of the guns to protect our nation and its founding principles when masculinity has been smothered in our society?”

    This is embarrassingly stupid. Go play with your toy-soldiers and get over it. Get a little self-awareness, everybody, before the unbelievable irony of whining like hysterical little girls about having your masculinity challenged leaves you impotent.

    • Bill Clay says


      “Who will volunteer to mount up and ride to the sound of the guns to protect our nation and its founding principles when masculinity has been smothered in our society?”

      There’s a reasonable possibility that this quote is intended to be hyperbolic/thematic. Reacting to hyperbole as though it is literal – is embarrassingly stupid.

      It’s one take amongst several provided in the article… at least one of which is painfully charitable. If anyone is lacking in awareness and the charity attendant to it; it is you.

    • Charlie says

      Nakatomi Plaza. The20th century has shown that the vast majority of those men involved in torture and execution by either Nazis or Communists were weak cowardly men who avoided combat- read F Yeo Thomas GC – The White Rabbit, Solzhenitsyn, anyone who was imprisoned by the SS and the Luftwaffe, Odette Hallows GC, etc, etc. if we look at crime where murder particularly if there is sadistic cruelty occurs it is performed by weakly cowardly men who lack any heroic masculine traits. Yeo Thomas GC said the only German who showed any sympathy while he was being tortured was one who wore WW1 combat ribbons.

      It is It is men who have never achieved a degree of fitness and courage who enjoy inflicting suffering on those who they hold prisoner- Himmler, Beria, etc, etc.

      I have had numerous women say they prefer working in construction sites to offices because they receive far less unwelcome attention because in most cases the foremen behave and ensure the younger men do like wise. There is an absence of passive aggressive sullen churlish spiteful or resentful behaviour amongst those who undertake dangerous work in difficult conditions. An example are the Baddu who will protect each even if from warring tribes and because the desert is a greater foe than man.

      People are straight talking f in dangerous environments because one has to trust one’s work mates with one’s life- that is why Baddu trust each other but not town dwellers . The fact that logging has a far higher death rate ( and injury rate ) than say academia or Hollywood means lumberjacks have trust each other with their lives; offices workers do not.

      I can ensure you that nearly seeing someone being ripped into two makes one pay attention and work as a team. It would be interesting if the psychologists spent a few years in commercial logging which has the highest death rate of all occupations, approximately 2.3 times higher than commercial fishing, which has the second highest.
      TV Series called Axe Men. Perhaps you learn to appreciate how timber is harvested.

  63. Dr Damian P.O'Connor says

    It’s fiction, but this is my own response to the war on masculinity.

    ‘The Triumph of Stollie Prendergast’.

  64. Kristof says

    I am heartened by the trenchant critiques of the APA guidelines. Yet no one clearly states in so many words that they amount to a pathologization of manliness. As such they represent one more example of the mission creep whereby clinical psychology medicalizes the natural variability of behavioral differences. Perhaps because such a critique would impinge upon clinicians’ professional livelihood and what is now the endemic institution for the care of the soul; the system whereby we monitor and re-order deviant behavior.

    When quasi-scientific diagnoses replace moral evaluation, the concept of ‘healthy’ that of ‘estimable,’ or ‘virtuous’; and normativity is dressed up as objective facticity, there is no further step to take to becoming “ideological.” You are already there, actively shaping the kinds of individuals society (or the marketplace) deems employable. Ideology enters with the notion of treating moral issues as if they were questions of disease and ignoring the fact that “normal” denotes what a given society construes as such, therewith something inherently socio-political, aspirational, and conventional rather than simply the condition of being disease-free.

    The actively evaluative, therewith socially relative, and individually ‘arbitrary’ decision-making process of individual clinician’s as the vehicle of diagnosis and treatment is displaced by spectrum-talk. But spectra are heuristic devices not taxonomic rankings like biological classifications. The spectrum concept qua construct that makes possible the pathologization of natural behavioral variability (or individual deviance from the mean) now qualifies practically anyone for one disorder or another. But to “be” on a spectrum just means that someone can be evaluated and categorized. That is to say, subject to the diagnostic art.

    The criticism of ideology is disingenuous insofar as clinical practice unavoidably yet covertly moralizes in shaping and moving individuals towards a pattern of adaptedness or normalcy. By subtracting the disordered part, it is thought, the individual will be cured (able to hold down a job). The end is to help individuals cope with the demands of “reality” (employment).

    This piece of the puzzle is essential to understanding how it is that the APA would find it necessary to issue guidelines pathologizing certain expressions of “traditional masculinity.”

    There seems to be an assumption that all jobs are service-sector jobs, at which, as we know, women excel. And no acknowledgment that so long as there is a need to defend and die for the nation that guarantees our security and liberties, there will be a need for warriors, not just customer service appeasers who know how to kiss ass with a smile.

    This is the AMERICAN Psychology Association, so the gynocentric slant should come as no surprise. By all appearances, the feminist progressives who set the tone in society are bent not just on domesticating and effeminizing men, but on turning them into mothers: supportive sub-dominates dedicated to empowering and flattering them while acknowledging their moral superiority as eternal victims. Women exploit men’s benign sexism while steadily weeding-out the sexism that–outside of the bedroom–makes them feel instrumentalized.

    The deeper implication of the adoption of the new creed is that the Association is openly assuming ecclesiastical aspirations. It has traditionally been in the church where men have rounded out their functional but incomplete manly virtues by, in effect, becoming–women: devoted care-takers of souls in the name of a higher love. A process that can also be understood as a sublimation of misogyny through the assumption of maternal virtues. (The extra-ecclesiastical road to transcending it being to raise daughters.)

    Given that clinical psychology does what priests did for centuries–bring encouragement, solace, and ‘tough’ love to suffering congregants–the new guidelines seem only consequential in our contemporary secular order. But no less out-of-place. So long as society is not a congregation of sheep, men will need the virtues of manliness. It is not the office of clinical psychology to culture warriors or priests. Priests and warriors are created by crises, the one occasional and political, the other permanent and spiritual. And there is a world of difference between rounding-out one’s character by aspiring to be like Buddha and Jesus, and doing so because masculinity is deemed toxic.

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  66. scubajim says

    Excellent writing by all authors. Thank you. I think the APA would not understand the quote “If you want peace, prepare for war.”

  67. All together, Messrs. XY, from one common lot where Messrs. XY and Mses. XX grow up, are educated and nurtured. But what about the idol of one lot of 1.8 billion XXs and XYs, who all sing, in harmonious unison, from the same song sheet. They are defined by the lifestyle and actions of one XX who lived 1400 years ago. In his name centuries of assault on Western Civilisation, set out in XX’s very detailed handbook, continues unabated to this day and is accelerating. Head count to date, 270 million. The APA and feminist ideologues are allies, maybe unwitting, in this war. ‘Useful idiots’ indeed. The APA and their ilk should come to understand their role in this war Try I learnt more during the first day of study than in decades of exposure to the verbiage pumped out by the MSM and satellite institutions. They are having their day and know it. The panic is palpable – no one is listening anymore! The truth is sprouting from their flotsam. The scales are fast falling from ordinary Joe’s like me. It does not take a BSc to recognise BS or a PhD a phony; BS and phony recognition is our specialty subject.
    Sun Tzu: If sovereign and subject are in accord, put division between them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected. The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting, etceteras.

  68. … I thought to mix up my XXs and XYs in the spirit of social constructionism … there’s a thought

    • … sorry Mr. XY, no offence to the Mses. XX’s, it was just a Freudian slip

  69. Roseanne Consolini says

    To those of you worried about Canada: don’t! In approximately a generation, it will be an Islamic country, where boys will be boys and girls will be at home wearing burkas. The liberals will be justly rewarded. Inshallah!

  70. Roseanne Consolini says

    As my mother would say: “I don’t smoke and I don’t like cigarettes, but I prefer a “Malboro Man” over any effeminate, metro-sexual, wimpy guy.” Amen, mother, Amen!

  71. Mal O'Justaid says

    Transgender women and radical feminists who become men get a shock when discovering what “male privilege” is really like:

    “… My ability to empathize has grown exponentially, because I now factor men into my thinking and feeling about situations. Prior to my transition, I rarely considered how men experienced life, or what they thought, wanted, or liked about their lives.”

  72. Realworldman says

    Why the surprise and shock from academics? The university and educational systems have been incrementally taken over by the elite globalist corporations and supranational groups for quite a while now. They control most University R & D through their legally binding financial underwriting and strict intellectual property rights contracts, all of which controls output and dissemination. If they hope to create a passive, obedient global workforce they must control the education of minds. It is very simple and straight forward for anyone who has been watching international and economic policy for the past few decades. Reason, logic, skepticism and evidence are all under attack, so as to create drones who can be programmed. A clearly thinking and reasonable populace is antithetical to the new world order as defined by the financial oligarchy.

  73. Men who are currently seeing psychiatrists or who have done so in the past can cause some number of issues, ranging from mass shootings and murder-suicides to micro-aggressions and awkward interactions.
    Now psychiatry has discovered the reason for everything that’s wrong with men: (toxic) masculinity. It’s because they’re men (and doing it wrong)!
    So, if a patient gets into trouble, the psychiatrist can be now sued for a huge amount of money if he or she does not enthusiastically adhere to this new doctrine. It must be the psychiatrist’s fault, for for failing to efficiently combat the patient’s toxic masculinity, which caused the trouble.
    It doesn’t matter if this new approach is in the patient’s best interest, “science” has spoken. (To me, this is just one more reason why psychology cannot be considered a science).
    So every practicing psychiatrist will now have to get enthusiastically onboard with the recommendations or risk getting sued. And every disagreeing theoretician can be accused of being out of touch, when all the practicing psychiatrists embrace the new doctrine.
    Well done, psychiatrists! Psychiatry as a means of control and punishment, where have we heard of that before?

  74. Stephen Pierson says

    The critique of the guidelines would be more compelling if it presented an equitable number of contributors from those who favor them. Still, what I take from the guidelines, and responses to them here, is what I have seen in my own profession (literary studies) over the last thirty years: An increasing desire to control and restrict what counts as disciplinary knowledge, regardless what the science on the topic actually is.

  75. thomas greaves says

    I’ve been practicing and teaching psychotherapy for thirty years. In all this time I’ve not encountered political bias by an important authority in our profession until this APA announcement. They have infused psychotherapy with politics in an act of disgraceful judgementalism that has nothing whatsoever to do with the practice of psychotherapy. It is nothing less than political interference with our professional practice, which calls upon non judgemental, democratic and compassionate regard. I will ignore it completely. Indeed I will treat it with the contempt it deserves.

  76. I may be wrong, but I think that Dr. Debra Soh may be in the front-running for the title of Most Perfect Woman. However, I think her only demerit may be that anyone in a long-term relationship with her will likely get mighty tired of losing every debate. 😀

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  78. estepheavfm says

    “If we can change “social construction” ideologues into rational beings, we can change the world.

  79. estepheavfm says

    I was gratified to see two commenters referencing Lysenko. But I am baffled by the absence of mention of Warren Farrell’s 2018 book, The Boy Crisis: Why Our Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About it.”

  80. estepheavfm says

    Pathologizing normal human behavior is nothing new to APA Authoritarians. They are committed to fascist/communist style barainwashing. Sandra Scarr, past Pres. of APA and wealthy investor in Kindercare “child care” company, stated that infant exclusive maternal attachment ids a MENTAL ILLNESS which can be TREATED.

    Its time APA be shoved to the margins as a political entity fueled by bigotry and anti-science magival thinking.

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  82. It is important to realize that the APA is a diverse body composed of many different divisions. The guidelines are from Division 51 which is self-regulating and largely autonomous. The APA needs to step in and take a firm hand in dealing with such statements before simply releasing them or allowing individual divisions to release far-reaching and sweeping statements.

    It is worth noting that the behaviorists don’t make statements condemning the analytic psychologists. Likewise, the Jungians don’t damn the behaviorists because of their differences. None-the-less, there are those in each camp who wouldn’t hesitate to attempt to dismantle the psychologies with which they disagree. Thus, the APA divisions can “play nice” with each other and are capable of resisting the urge to release inflammatory and harmful statements.

    I hope the APA will recognize this and review the process by which it allows one division to heap derision on the entire association.

  83. Scott Bolland says

    For the sake of diversity, inclusion and equity could the APA issue some guidelines on nagging women forever checking themselves out in any available reflective surface.

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