Biology, Psychology, recent, Science

Socialization Isn’t Responsible for Greater Male Violence

Earlier this year, Dr. Julia Shaw wrote an article for Psychology Today entitled, “Why Are We Not Outraged that Prisons Are Filled with Men?” in which she argues that there is something “pernicious” and deeply wrong with a system that incarcerates men at far higher rates than women. “Prison,” she explains, “has always been an almost entirely male structure. It’s hard. It’s cold. It’s unempathetic. It’s punitive. Practically every descriptor we use for prison prides itself in its masculinity.”

Shaw says the heavily disproportionate incarceration reflects a lack of faith in men, who are then adversely affected by the experience of prison and the social stigma they are forced to carry upon release. And “what leads us to blindly accept that our prisons are full of men?” she asks.

I think it’s because we accept as dogma that men are naturally more criminal—particularly more violent—than women, thus they deserve to be incarcerated at higher rates. It’s about time we question this assumption.

As Shaw points out, men are overrepresented in prisons because they commit more crime than women and because, according to the FBI’s statistics, they do so in nearly every category of violent crime. This is especially true when it comes to homicide. The statistics Dr. Shaw herself cites in her article bear this out:

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Global Study on Homicide in 2013, an astonishing 95 percent of homicide perpetrators and 79 percent of homicide victims were male.

Since far more men are committing homicide than women, it follows that more men will be in prison for homicide than women. However, Shaw maintains that this does not reflect differences in the innate predispositions between men and women. The problem, instead, is the way in which society encourages different kinds of behavior in boys and girls from a young age. In the article’s final section headed “Toxic Masculinity,” Shaw writes:

Unfortunately, men are explicitly and implicitly taught by society that they don’t need to inhibit themselves when it comes to aggression. From when they are little, many boys are taught the harmful narrative that aggression and violence are just part of being a man. Pride, in particular, is deemed a masculine achievement, and violence as a means of defending it is often glamorized…It is irresponsible to socialize our boys thinking that they don’t need to control themselves, that they can hurt each other without consequence, that it’s uncool to act in a respectful and calm manner towards others.

Shaw does not produce any evidence in support of her contention that boys are socialized in this way while girls are taught to “be cautious, be empathetic, be kind.” Nor does she mention that a great deal of research appears to contradict her hypothesis. She fails to disclose, for instance, that numerous studies report that the asymmetry of greater male violence is cross-cultural—it is not a phenomenon only found in WEIRD (Western Educated Industrialized Rich and Democratic) populations but also in small-scale societies.

Shaw’s socio-cultural explanation implies that all human societies socialize boys and girls in the same way, resulting in the consistent sex difference in rates of violence that we see across human societies and cultures. This is deeply unlikely, given that societies across the world vary immensely in their socio-cultural attitudes and arrangements.

Additional data show a virtually identical pattern of the sex difference in violence in chimpanzees. In one study of chimpanzees, 92 percent of attackers and 73 percent of victims of attacks were male. The disparity is not just observable in humans and apes, but across numerous other species in which males show greater tendencies toward violent behavior and aggression.

Shaw’s explanation cannot account for the consistent pattern of greater male violence in most other mammals. Is it plausible that males of other species (like, say, the rhinoceros beetle) are learning violent behaviors from socialization or culture, rather from their biological endowment of greater size, strength, muscle mass, more circulating testosterone, weapon-like phenotypes, etc., all of which are a likely consequence of the intrasexual competition predicted by parental investment theory? If Shaw wishes to make this case, she needs to show her work. Prima facie, it is unlikely that the sex differences in violence in humans, which are consistent with other closely related species, would all be mysteriously erased and then re-expressed exactly in accordance with the pattern found in other species but as a result of socialization.

The question then is not “Why are men so violent?” but rather “Why has violence been declining?” As Steven Pinker and others have argued, the world has become less violent over time as humans have used socialization to tame, constrain, and pacify our barbarous natures. Parents and education institutions are constantly telling young boys to keep their hands to themselves, to stop fighting with their brothers and sisters, to be nice and share, and so on.

In the most interesting section of her article, Shaw attempts to show that the link between testosterone and aggression is far less direct than many researchers have argued in the past. Here, she accurately explains some of the intricacies of the link between testosterone and aggression in humans. Good experimental designs have shown that testosterone does not cause aggression per se, but that it does seem to be more directly involved in social status and risk-taking. Testosterone appears to increase aggression only when it is necessary for a particular status competition, such as a public fight.

As prominent neuroscientist Dr. Robert Sapolsky has said: “[testosterone] prompts whatever behaviors are needed to maintain status.” For example, research has shown that, in an economic Ultimatum Game, in which two players have to decide how to split a sum of money, higher levels of testosterone can actually enhance generosity. Testosterone increases the amount of money that a player will give to another when the game is set up in such a way that one’s status and reputation rest upon the appearance of fairness.

In this respect, the socio-cultural argument for aggression gets a boost because the testosterone-aggression link is less about testosterone causing X behavior and more about the kind of behaviors that our society rewards in the first place.

Nevertheless, that does not necessarily invalidate testosterone’s facilitative affects on male violence. Situations in which violence is expressed are often risky, competitive, and revolve around social status. Additionally, her argument in this section does not entirely rule out biological influences on the sex difference in violence in humans—it only shows that researchers previously underestimated the complexity of testosterone’s effects.

I am not arguing that men as a whole are far more violent than women, nor that every man is more violent than every woman. However, when talking about violent criminals we are not talking about average levels of aggression, but extreme levels of aggression. Even if two normal distributions heavily overlap, slight differences in their means can lead to rather dramatic differences in the tails of the distribution curve. Therefore, even if men as a whole were only moderately higher in physical aggression than women as a whole, at the extreme end of the distribution of highly aggressive individuals, almost all of them will be men.

At the end of the article, Shaw writes, “We must be careful not to facilitate violence by misguidedly thinking it is simply part of the masculine experience.” But what if the “misguidedly” here is incorrect? If men really are naturally more predisposed to aggression, is Shaw implying that we should not talk about it lest we aggravate the problem? By embracing this view, we risk allowing our understanding of sex differences in violence to be determined, not by the available data, but by her a priori assumptions.

The evidence that men are more violent and more criminal than women is overwhelming, and yet it doesn’t imply that all men are violent, deserve to be incarcerated, or are undeserving of our sympathy or compassion if they are imprisoned. The inability to separate empirical truths from potential moral and political implications is the biggest problem with Dr. Shaw’s argument and one of the biggest obstacles that lie in the path of a scientific understanding of human nature.

 

Alex Mackiel is an undergraduate psychology and English double major at Carleton College who will be joining the SUNY New Paltz Evolutionary Psychology Lab for graduate school. You can follow him on Twitter @ajmackiel

Comments

  1. You can’t socialise out biological male aggression, but you can channel it into healthy and productive uses. It’s the genius of competitive sport that it formalises the very status competition that testosterone compels men to engage in, whilst simultaneously systematising improved behaviour through the medium of good sportsmanship. It’s one of the unfortunate aspects of modern liberalism that in seeking to break down borders and change society for the better, it often ends up throwing the baby out of the bathwater. We had a perfectly good system, one evolved over thousands of years, that the British took from a preparation for war and turned into a very real alternative, at least at the smaller end of the scale hell. It even turned into an industry that could gainfully employ people, over time.

    But no liberals decided, in their wisdom, that competitive sports were bad, because they taught children that there were winners and losers in life, and over concerns that losing might damage self-esteem. Quite the contrary, we now know through Nassim Taleb’s concept of anti-fragility, and Jonathan Haidt’s application of this idea to childhood development, presented in ‘The Coddling of the American Mind’ (written in association with Greg Lukianoff), that far from harming children these small adversities, such as losing at sports, actually build resilience and prepare children for the greater adversities they are bound to face later in life. It’s as though teaching and parenting combined to try to innovate a new form of go kart, and then failed to add the wheels.

    Don’t get me wrong. As a centrist, or heterodox, I cannot fail to admire many of the societal improvements that liberalism has wrought in the past half century. It’s great that we now have equality under the law for women and minority populations, and that gay people can now marry. I just wish that they wouldn’t keep trying to do away with, or minimise the role of, really important sources of social cohesion, like faith communities, fathers and sport.

    Here is an idea, in service to the goal of equalising the gender pay gap, how about providing every soon-to-be father with a copy of Dr Warren Farrell’s ‘The Boy Crisis’? Because if men understand that their role as fathers, is distinct from women’s more nurturing, maternal love, and vital for the fostering of learning the difference between assertiveness and aggression, building empathy and imparting the delay gratification understanding so vital to academic success, fathers might realise that their paternal love around in the home is crucial to their children’s future success and happiness. Armed with new understanding, fathers would be intent on providing this crucial resource of 25 plus hours a week spent with their children and it might no longer be possible for them to work all the additional hours that lead to up to 40% higher rates of pay and a faster career progression.

    Another way the role of fathers is so important, is at a community level. In his landmark work on social mobility, Dr Raj Chetty actually measured ways in which it is possible for children to rise from the bottom 20%, to the top 20% of the income distribution. One way, is by becoming far better at matching admissions applicants to appropriate academic institutions- many elite universities have drop out rates as high as 45% for diverse students, who would have been provably better served by more appropriate institutions.

    But fathers are just as important. Interestingly, a child from a two parent home raised in a neighbourhood with a low proportion of fathers is less likely to succeed, than a child from a single parent home raised in a neighbourhood with a high proportion of fathers. It is unclear whether this is due to healthier peer groups, the iterative positive examples numerous fathers bring or whether fathers act as a social immuniser to juvenile delinquency, steering teenage boys away from gang-involvement. It deserves more study. Currently, if you are born to a single mother and in the bottom 20%, your chances of remaining in the bottom fifth of the income distribution are over 50%.

    But back to sports, aggression and prisons. I am no scientist, but one of things I came across in looking into education and potential, was the subject of digit ratios. Apparently, whether you are born male or female a lower digit ratio is an indicator of how much in utero testosterone to which you have been exposed. Low digit ratios correlate with lower reading scores and higher maths scores, greater competitiveness and aggression, ADHD in boys, higher athletic ability and higher rates of criminal offending in adulthood. Interestingly, almost all professional athletes have low digit ratios. So we have to ask ourselves if we can predict higher aggression (especially in boys), know it leads to criminality to some extent, that the ADHD in boys might well be a reaction to conventional classrooms and that high aggression can be channelled into healthy pursuits, why don’t we set up special Sports and Technical schools for kids with especially low digit ratios at the secondary level?

    Because we know that sports in education can be transformative, to say the least. Contrary to stereotypes, student athletes achieve a GPA 0.25 higher than normal, as all the hard work and discipline acquired through sports training cross pollinates into academic study. Increased physical fitness is the one reliably proven method to boost IQ- healthy body, healthy brain. Given that we know that maleness correlates with an interest in things over people, and more masculine traits are likely to accentuate this tendency, it should even be possible to design reading resources and a curriculum, that engages high testosterone boys (as well as higher testosterone girls) and address the current deficit in reading levels. The technical aspect of these school could capitalise on these kids normally higher Maths scores, steering them towards careers in the sciences and engineering, as well as the sport & leisure management that is so well-suited for higher than usual athletic ability.

    But the most significant positive achievement these schools might represent, is in aiding children from marginalised groups. Lower digit ratios tend to be more pronounced in white, Latino and African American communities in ascending order. This probably only has a tiny influence at a group level, but for individuals within these populations exposed to the negative triad of fatherlessness, inequality and gangs, which tends to be particularly pronounced for African American communities- with African American poverty rates at 30%, as opposed to 10%- the progressive education system with its tendency towards an absence of competitive sports, is probably particularly harmful. It doesn’t help that progressive education tends to diagnose boys as malfunctioning girls who just need to be socialised better. Whether in the UK or the US, boys can often be suspended or expelled / excluded for no better reason than typical boyish behaviour, with play fights that get out of hand.

    On a final note, this commentary is by no means meant as a prescription, but more as a means to provoke conversation and ideas. I am no expert on education, even though I have a history of teaching in my family. Like many, I am deeply concerned over the school to prison pipeline, and have perhaps been spurred into action by the sobering statistic that for those excluded and placed in pupil referral units, the chances of being involved in knife crime, either as an offender or a victim, rise by a factor of 200. We need to look beyond the standard narratives of unconscious bias and structural disparities to solve these thorny issues, both in the UK and in America. There needs to be radical change that question the very foundations of our assumptions.

    We know that 90% of men who end up in prison were father deprived as boys. We know that 10% of boys who are most aggressive and are most likely to end up in prison, are also those who are most likely to possess sporting prowess, that can be channelled into schools that make a virtue of this tendency towards competiveness. We also know that these types of schools are likely to draw exactly the types of male mentors that are likely to help foster hard work and discipline in these boys, help them succeed in sports and in study, and act as surrogates for those who have been father deprived. With systems like these we might finally be able to break the school to prison pipeline, once and for all.

  2. I don’t want to denigrate Mr. Mackiel’s well-thought-out essay, but I have to say: isn’t the more interesting phenomenon that it had to be written at all? Isn’t the real story the fact that Psychology Today would publish an article that is so at odds with reality one should suspect it’s an Onion-style hoax?

    I mean, what is this? What is this Progressive denial of our primate specie’s sexual dimorphism?

    Whatever it is, it’s not sustainable. It’s not reasonable. Indeed, when Progressives take it to its logical extreme—as Dr. Shaw apparently did on the subject of male violence—it makes them look downright autistic* in the department of understanding their fellow human beings.

    Julia Shaw has no idea what it’s like to be a man—or even a male, as such. I was born in SoCal in 1990 and spent the first 10 years of my life in the liberal milieu surrounding San Diego, which included the public schools. In that system I got along with most kids, but if I thought one of them wronged me, I considered “fisticuffs” (not that I used that term at the time) a suitable method for resolving our differences. In other words, I punched people. And it was a perfectly natural thing to do. At least, it felt perfectly natural when I was full of rage at the moment. By the way, where does rage come from? Ares? Socialization? Maybe neither?

    Anyway, it was only after a good half-decade of getting in trouble with the powers-that-be that I realized punching people just wasn’t worth it. “You got more trouble than your target was worth.” I realized that, and by the time I was 12 or so I’d changed my ways (even when the rage occasionally flared up). So it’s quite amazing to me, personally, to read these sentences:

    Unfortunately, men are explicitly and implicitly taught by society that they don’t need to inhibit themselves when it comes to aggression. From when they are little, many boys are taught the harmful narrative that aggression and violence are just part of being a man.

    I can only conclude Dr. Shaw is living in a different—and far more barbaric—version of civilization than the one in which I grew up. I wish her the best of luck, for she is surely going to need it to effect the changes she seeks.

    *If you consider this a slur, I contend that you’ve never empathized with autistic people.

  3. Ms Shaw is a psychologist writing in Psychology Today, and thus any question must have a psychological answer. It is a feature of the professional class that the world revolves around their field of study. If ms Shaw was an economist she would have decided the high incarceration rate had an economic cause. If she was a medical doctor the answer would be medically related and so on…

  4. “I think it’s because we accept as dogma that men are naturally more criminal—particularly more violent—than women,”

    Possibly the dumbest sentence ever written. One might as well say, “I think it’s because we accept as dogma 2+2=4.”

    Male animals throughout the animal kingdom spar for dominance. Male rank within the animal kingdom determines whether or not a male procreates. One might as well accept as dogma some will over look the obvious in order to support the ridiculous.

  5. Issue is the result of the Piltdown Man of modern gender studies- the blank slate theory where all male-female differences are socialized.

    '60s predicate: Men and women are only unequal because society forces different roles on them
    '80s predicate: Women aren’t only equal to men, they’re functionally identical in capability across the gender to men (Less accurate, but female athletes may be weaker than male athletes but stronger than the average male, for instance)
    '00s predicate: Women and men are identical in every way except socialization
    Current predicate: Obviously, males are somehow being raised to be more violent- toxic masculinity!

    It’s a foolish escalation that mistakes equality before the law and equality in a humanist sense with identicality in an applied sense.

    Due to citations, etc., I’m not sure we’re going to clean up the academic toxin this kind of idea has introduced without doing something like unleashing an AI to identify flawed and/or invalidated papers.

  6. This is probably one of the root structures that made postmodernism so appealing all those years ago- if everything is socially constructed then everything can be blamed on patriarchal white men. The other is power, the idea that the only way to look at anything is through the lens of the power groups represented. It not only ruined the serious study of English Literature, but laid the groundwork for intersectional feminism years later. One book I definitely intend to read when I can get round to it is Stephen Hicks: Explaining Postmodernism : Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault.

    One thing I found recently, when investigating a Stanley Baldwin quote:

    “There is a very famous sentence of Sir Henry Maine’s, in which he said that the progress of our civilisation had been of recent centuries a progress on the part of mankind from status to contract. Socialism would bring him back from contract to status.”

    Apparently, Rouseau believed that the Enlightenment was moving from contract to status. Yet another thing he was wrong about.

  7. I was not previously aware of Julia Shaw, but find she has an interesting sideline: Spot@talk2spot *

    Experienced inappropriate moments at work? Spot is a safe, anonymous way to document harassment and discrimination. Reporting is optional.

    Most workplace harassment and discrimination goes unreported. It’s time to fix that. Use Spot to report inappropriate behavior without ever talking to a human.

    New feature! If you’re reporting an incident with Spot, you can now upload supporting files to share, anonymously, with your organization.

    Ironically (at least, I find it ironic), she has a new book out entitled “Evil”. From a blurb on Goodreads:

    But evil, Dr. Julia Shaw argues, is all relative, rooted in our unique cultures.

    Okay, so evil is relative, and I am only disturbed by nature of the anonymous denunciations going on at Spot@talk2spot because of my unique culture.

    (* Discovered on her Twitter account.)

  8. Men are the more physically capable gender and are naturally more oriented towards building. Women are the more emotional/social gender. These realities have been evident throughout history and have obvious biological purposes.

    Women’s misbehavior takes the form of manipulation, which is usually not recognized by criminal codes. In fact, in many cases, the outcome of a woman’s manipulation is male violence and male incarceration!

    Expecting to find equal numbers of men and women in a facility that incarcerates the violent but not the manipulative is absurd.

  9. Good Lord. If this is Psychology Today, I shudder to think what Psychology Tomorrow is going to be like.

  10. @S.Cheung, @AsenathWaites

    We already have and do socialize away biological male aggression. We have been doing it for at least 10,000 years. We call it Sports, marriage, work and economic benefit, Etc. Do not underestimate the effect of marriage. One of the reasons that societies have been striving towards monogamy for Millenia is that the monogamous societies are simply less violent. You can track this through many societies, and see the male violence decrease with marriage and monogamy. Societies in which male violence increased include the Aztecs, because the Harem system restricted access to women because Nobles got more of them and the peasants got few to none. In some ways, what you had was similar to Modern India, in that mass rapes and rape was very high, from what I understand of the anthropology findings. In Modern India, the number of males who are available and wishing to marry is 16 times the number of females who are of age and not already marriage. One of those little problems about selective abortion, is that nobody thinks about whether or not they’re going to have grandkids when they abort women selectively.

    Sports, fathers, all of those things are important in teaching young men, not to be less aggressive, but to channel that aggressive nature into productive things. Also, paternal play, as mentioned by Warren Farrell, is shown to increase the ability of boys to judge how much force to use and mediate their aggressive instincts quite a bit.

    The link, from what I understand, has to do with something called the gini coefficient, which is a measure of income inequality in society. Now, income inequality is not something that we should get rid of, more work should get more pay and more pay off. However, what seems to be the link to violence is that, when young men have no way of gaining enough economic success to gain access to women in a long-term partnership, or when the long-term partnership is off the table due to economic factors such as welfare requirements or hashtag me too or various other problems, such as many women deciding that marriage is just not for them or that they need a boy like a fish needs a bicycle, the male response to it seems to be to become more violent. Note that these men may be aggressive already, but they are aggressive in pursuit of a positive goal. A high local gini coefficient, such that no women are available to court, seems to turn this into aggression in Pursuit of a highly negative goal. We can see this in India with all the rapes, and it is my understanding that in China, with the one child policy enforcing abortion, and most families wanting sons, that there were in fact criminal gangs that would go to the cities and kidnap wives for men who could not get them. This could be for economic reasons, because there were not enough women around, Etc. Of course, now the woman is quite literally chained in the kitchen or in the bedroom because otherwise she’ll escape, until Stockholm syndrome sets in. Not a desirable thing for any society to have happen.

  11. Yes, I agree with you, I think.

    “Male aggression”, after all, is just the dark side of natural male egoism and self-initiative. The more you shut down the outlets for that kind of energy, and the more you take away its satisfactions, the more it will tend to manifest in anti-social ways, until eventually it disappears completely (little by little, generation by generation).

    The great mistake of the anti-male campaign is to focus only on the anti-social manifestations of masculinity, and from that conclude that masculinity itself has to go.

  12. I do agree with you that India has this misogynistic streak, but what it did not have last generation was a gangrape streak, so I think that the lack of women has something to do with that. Also, one of the things that we have seen in India over the decades has been an increase in women’s rights and other things, and this flies counter to that trend. This is why I tend to think that the gini coefficient and the disparity in marriageable women have a lot to do with it.

    As far as incels go, I don’t think it’s a single Factor that’s causing the movement. The problem is that certain things can then cause other things, and turn into a huge snowball mess that is hard to correct for. For example, supposing that you had severe social anxiety. You can function to a certain extent, except around women, because they’re harder for guys to talk to. You don’t want to appear skeevy or creepy, but you do want to talk to them and you don’t know how, so you either keep it completely professional and end up friend-zoned or just hide. This kind of social anxiety seems to be on the rise. In Japan, it is so bad that they started calling them hikikomori, and it’s this whole public health thing that’s going on now to try to respond to it. The problem is, social anxiety can come from a number of other things. You’re not just born with it, although you may be born with a predisposition to it. The social anxiety can come from things like Failure to Launch, where people are purposeless and just feel like outcasts from society, and tend to end up staying with their parents for years. It can also come from perfectionism, where you just don’t think you’re good enough. It can come from having internalized too deeply the messages that you have been getting since childhood, that you need to get out of the way and suppress yourself so that women can succeed, and that men are bad and have been hurting women for decades. And then you get into society and everyone expects you to produce, except that production is all that’s expected of you now, because you have no positive role in society. And so the thinking starts to be, why should I contribute? Why can’t I just play video games and chill, because there is no positive role for a man to play in today’s society.

    Or you can have people who did have a relationship, and lost their job. Now they are no longer a success object, and so their wife initiated a divorce and took the kids. Meanwhile, in order to get the most out of her husband that she could, she followed her lawyer’s advice and alleged spousal abuse. This is a thing that works, and it is very hard to fight for a guy. I have had friends hit by that, and they lost access to their children. In one case, he permanently had to give up access to his daughter, and will never see her again.

    The question is, what do you do about this? Some become men’s rights activists, especially the ones who’ve had these kinds of divorces. Others, though, feel themselves stuck, especially the ones with anxiety or depression, and can’t get through it. And what do they blame for destroying them? Women. They’re the ones who are ascending, and these men have bought the rhetoric that men have to be crushed for women to ascend. Thank you third and fourth wave feminism.

    This is another place where Jordan Peterson’s efforts are extremely helpful, I think, because putting your life together is exactly what they need to do. That will help the anxiety, and make them able to be someone whom they can feel proud of. Of course, simple, healthy, and productive advice on how to deal with your anxiety and depression is really a threat to feminists. That’s why Jordan Peterson is associated with the alt right by most of the press.

  13. I agree these things are multifactorial, and to try to boil it down to any one (or even handful of) factors will not be illustrative or generalizable. It becomes even more complicated when you add on actual psychiatric overlay.

    I think JP is doing a great service, if his advice of standing up straight etc points these directionless people in the right direction. And it doesn’t even seem like earth-shattering advice. It’s just that he delivers it in an empathetic way that the men who need it most have likely never heard it delivered before.

    Which goes back to your point about role models. I would extend the concept to mentors. A sort of BIg Brothers system writ large. A system to put adjusted men in a position to guide some maybe less adjusted ones to a more effective way to being.

    I don’t get into the feminism stuff. You see an Epstein or Weinstein type, and those animals deserve to be taken down. I think feminists get a little indiscriminate though when they target all, rather than just the bad ones.

  14. Right on point. If you look at marriages, in general men marry women with equal or lesser social/economical status, while women marry upwards.
    I think too little discussion is happening around this phenomenon. Giving women opportunities and treating them equally is fair and probably a good thing, however there were some negative consequences that is hard to quantify though. Supposedly women entering the workforce was a good thing economically, more consumers, more skills. However one could argue some of the negative effects.
    I’ll just use an arbitrary ranking of 1-10. In the past if you were a 3 male you probably could marry 1,2,3 and probably 4-5 females. The fact that men had money and job gave them a boost. With females entering the workforce + welfare state, their status increased by at least 1, maybe 2. So now all the 1 and 2 females, look for males 3-4-5 males. The whole thing shifted. A couple of months ago there was an article on Quillette about the inequality in dating. Especially in the younger city types, females seems to be brainwashed by the stardom effect, basically 80% of the females are competing for 20% of the males. Everyone wants a Brad Pitt, they were told they could get him and they deserve him. So no time to talk to anyone else.
    Because females marry upwards their combined income is also greater which increased income inequality.
    Women did take some of the jobs from men.
    I am not suggesting to send women back to the kitchen, however all these are observable effect. What to do about it? I don’t really know. Try to become aware of it, and be conscious about it. There is some blame to be thrown about to women as well. If it is expected for men to curb their natural aggression, women should try to curb their sexual selection as well. Of course women are programmed to always find the fittest, strongest male to mate with. However this part is usually overlooked and is applauded. Damn the men left behind.

  15. I can’t answer the second question, because I don’t know your social circle.

    Very good first question, though. The answer is extremely complicated, but I’m going to highlight a few factors that have helped, although by no means all.

    Dealing with male violence has been a problem since the dawn of man. Young males have all this testosterone and we have always needed some way of channeling that and preventing violence. Fathers have helped, as have sports, as have the various rituals of manhood that have been common throughout history. Marriage has really helped, especially monogamous marriage. Societies with monogamous marriage tend to be much less violent than societies that have various other forms of marriage, like polygyny or polygamy.

    Other factors also certainly apply. However, there has been a recent, and major, decline in violence in the US, and I am not entirely sure what the explanation for it is. Some of the suggestions I have heard are things like Roe v Wade, with the suggestion being that fewer unwanted children means a lower propensity to violence. Others have suggested that removing lead from the atmosphere via banning tetraethyl lead from gasoline has had a major effect, because lead causes some real problems for a developing brain, and the theory is that low levels of brain damage may have in fact been causing violence, and the removal of lead has decreased that significantly. Some speak of more effective policing, indeed have been revolutions in policing that have been very effective, while others have said that the increase in violent video games means that most of the violence occurs online, where only activists complain about it.

    I don’t know, take your pick.

Continue the discussion in Quillette Circle

9 more replies

Participants

Comments have moved to our forum