Do Teenage Boys Want Love Not Sex?

 

Amy T. Schalet is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and the author of “Not Under My Roof: Parents, Teens and the Culture of Sex.” She has an interesting oped in today’s New York Time’s today that begins:

“WHY are boys behaving more “like girls” in terms of when they lose their virginity? In contrast to longstanding cultural tropes, there is reason to believe that teenage boys are becoming more careful and more romantic about their first sexual experiences.”

Historically boys have reported loosing their virginity far earlier than girls. Self reporting has always been suspect because boys are pressured to prove that they are “studs” and girls to deny that they are “sluts,” a double whammy for both genders that does plenty to distort an already very confusing teenage sexual landscape. I admit that there were times as a young man that I did not tell the truth with regard to my sex life. And I’m sure I am not alone.

If you pay attention to popular media on the topic of teenage sexuality, you could easily come to the conclusion that this issue has gotten worse not better. The “hook-up” culture castes men in the role of sexual beast with no capacity or desire for emotional intimacy and young women as the powerless victims who must get their sexual needs met in one-off encounters with no strings attached despite their deep seated desire for romance of a more enduring variety. That, at least, is the popular story told about kids these days.

According to Professor Schalet nothing could be further from the truth when you actually look at the data.

 “The proportion of all American adolescents in their mid-teens claiming sexual experience has decreased, and for boys the decline has been especially steep, according to the National Survey of Family Growth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Today, though more than half of unmarried 18- and 19-year-olds have had sexual intercourse, fewer than 30 percent of 15- to 17-year-old boys and girls have, down from 50 percent of boys and 37 percent of girls in 1988. And there are virtually no gender differences in the timing of sexual initiation.”

Sexual education certainly has a role. Boys are a lot more aware than they used to be about the perils of unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. But there is something deeper going on here. Something that cuts to the very core of the male psyche and the misconception that we are, from our very birth, nothing more than phallic symbols with no brian…and no heart.

In a large-scale survey and interviews, reported in the American Sociological Review in 2006, the sociologist Peggy Giordano and her colleagues found teenage boys to be just as emotionally invested in their romantic relationships as girls.

The American boys I interviewed, having grown up in a culture that often assumes males are only out to get sex, were no less likely than Dutch boys to value relationships and love. In fact, they often used strong, almost hyper-romantic language to talk about love. The boy whose condom broke told me the most important thing to him was being in love with his girlfriend and “giving her everything I can.”

Such romanticism has largely flown under the radar of American popular culture. Yet, the most recent research by the family growth survey, conducted between 2006 and 2010, indicates that relationships matter to boys more often than we think. Four of 10 males between 15 and 19 who had not had sex said the main reason was that they hadn’t met the right person or that they were in a relationship but waiting for the right time; an additional 3 of 10 cited religion and morality.

I have a teenage daughter. Without naming names or embarrassing her, she has had a devoted boyfriend for the last two years. I have seen the texts. The kid puts my attempts at romance to shame when I was his age.

But my instincts even as a young man were very much the same as his. Sure I was intoxicated by the female form. That is hardwired into the reproductive instinct in us as animals. But we are not animals. Even us males. We are human beings with souls that cry out to be nourished by poetry and lingering dinner dates and the look in the eye of our beloved. The idea that sex for sex sake is the goal–especially to prove your “studliness”–is a losing argument hammered into us as men with no grounding in actual experience.

It seems like our boys may just be setting themselves free of the need to prove anything, to lie about their sex lives, or try to give up their virginity as part of some sick scorecard. Maybe, just maybe, our boys are a lot more sensitive than we are giving them credit.

 

 

 

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About Tom Matlack

Tom Matlack is the co-founder of The Good Men Project. He has a 18-year-old daughter and 16- and 7-year-old sons. His wife, Elena, is the love of his life. Follow him on Twitter @TMatlack.

Comments

  1. Good for those guys. Almost makes me wish I were a teenager today. But then I’d have to put up with Twilight, Glee, and today’s pop music. I think I’ll keep the teenage years that I currently have in my past…

  2. Tom, again a great article and says what I’ve been saying for years. Looking forward to the responses.

  3. This is my take on this issue:

    In her article , “Why are Boys Behaving More Like Girls in Losing Their Virginity?” Ms. Shalet sells both boys and girls short in her callous nature of describing the sexual interactions of boys. She refuses to look at boys for their own sexuality, and instead describes them the partners of girls. Rather than explore whether or not it is healthy or right that boys are living in fear, she notes that American boys are afraid for women. She seems to imply girls must be protected by boys, and completely ignores whether or not living in constant fear is healthy. I, along with most of the psychological community, think it is not. She jumps to the conclusion that most boys choose to remain virgins. When a teenage boy tells you he “hasn’t met the right person,” he often means he hasn’t met a willing person. She espouses the Dutch model but thinks it is perfectly fine that boys in America aren’t able to fully fulfill physical and romantic love, because girls are unwilling to engage with them. Ultimately, this boils down to the fatal flaw of the current manifestation of the sex-positivism movement. The sexuality of women is glorified and celebrated, as it should be, and the sexuality of men is denigrated or ignored. Until Ms. Shalet can take notice of boys for who they are, rather than for who their partners are, it will continue to be so.

    • So are you saying that it’s a problem that more teenage girls don’t want sex? I think as a society we should be glad that teenagers are waiting to have sex, it means fewer unwanted pregnancies, if nothing else. We definitely shouldn’t encourage girls to sleep around more for the sake of boys. I’m not sure that’s what you are implying, but that’s what it sounds like.

      • I’m implying two things. One is that we shouldn’t think about boys only for the sake of girls. You keep on fixating on girls. Can we talk about boys just as boys? Feminism encourages us to think about women as independent from men; why can’t we do the same for men? I’m encouraging you to think about the boys, rather than the girls. This article purports to talk about boys, but only for the sake of girls.
        Two, I think that as a liberal society, we have decided that sex is normal and healthy. Mainstream feminism has accepted sex-positivism, and it encourages girls who want to explore there sexuality, yet boys who want to do so are wrong or callus? It’s a heinous double-standard, which you yourself buy into.

        • How do you get that from what I said? I don’t think boys are “bad” or “callous” for wanting sex. We are all human; we all have sexual needs. There is nothing wrong with boys wanting sex. I’m just a little confused I guess by the idea that it’s “bad” somehow that teen girls are depriving teenage boys of the opportunity to explore their sexuality? Or maybe I misunderstand you? Shouldn’t we be happy that more teens are (apparently) being responsible?

          • I think we misunderstand each other. While yes, I am happy that more teens are being responsible I do not think that not having sex at all and responsibility are the same thing. Responsibility is safe sex, which is obviously a good thing. Not having sex is something different entirely.
            I’m not saying anything about teenage girls depriving boys. Again, you refuse to separate boys from girls. I’m sure you have read enough feminist literature to know that women’s self-empowerment with a purposeful absence of men is the buzzword of the day. Why can’t we do the same thing for boys? You are consigned to thinking about boys as the partners of girls, even though girls are considered independent? I never said anything about the girls. I’m talking about the boys. And I would consider it to an extent, bad, that boys are not having sex. Sex is normal. Sex is healthy. And to espouse the idea that its somehow a wonderful thing that teenage boys are not exploring their sexuality is wrong, in my opinion.

            • I get what you are saying, the original article did focus on boys’ relationships with girls and maybe there are other perspectives needed. OTOH how can you talk about boys exploring their sexuality (by having sex wirh girls) and not talk about the girls too? I don’t think that’s denigrating to boys, obviously partnered sex requires that one have a partner and be a partner. Of course, it is possible for boys to explore sexuality without an actual girl – there’s porn and masturbation. But if you are talking about (heterosexual) boys having sex then the girls are 50% of the equation. The same goes for girls. Teen girls spend an enormous amount of time thinking about boys and what boys want. BTW, I haven’t read much feminist literature so I don’t really know what you are referring to.

            • I’m talking about the fact that the benefits of women’s sexuality are talked about exclusively, and again, the sexuality of men is ignored. When it IS talked about, it is only in the context of women. That article didn’t say anything about the boys. It talked about how the boys are getting better for the girls. It didn’t say anything about what was better for the boys. Shouldn’t they be considered to? Girls are considered, boys are not.

            • Point taken. What do you think is better for the boys, in that case?

            • Well there are several things to consider. If we’re talking absolutes, i.e. about sex vs. not sexually active at all, I obviously think the former is better for those who are willing. I think sex is normal and healthy, and for guys to feel ashamed because they have sexual desires is despicable. If you’re talking about hook-up culture vs. emotional investment, I for one prefer the latter. Nothing can compare to just being close to someone for the sake of being close to them. Most guys I know would give anything, and I mean anything, for someone to love. I think most guys would agree with me, so by and large a relationship is healthier. But each to his own, in my opinion. If someone prefers hooking up, fine. However, I take issue with the idea that guys aren’t in relationships because they don’t want to be.

    • dragnet says:

      “She jumps to the conclusion that most boys choose to remain virgins. When a teenage boy tells you he “hasn’t met the right person,” he often means he hasn’t met a willing person.”

      This is it. The truth is that hypergamy is a force even in high school. The boys getting most of the sexual attention in high school are the athletes, jocks etc—-these guys are not waiting to have sex or only having sex with one girl. I know because it wasn’t too long ago that I was in high school myself. The guys who’ve decided to “wait for sex” are most likely to be the guys bereft of options. “Waiting for sex” is really just a way of making the necessity a virtue.

      Women have sex with who can they want, men have sex with who they can.

  4. I wonder why we have to go through so many hoops to get to a basic truth. Human beings like love. Human beings like sex. Men like both and women like both. Each individual person might have one they like more than the other, but that’s because individuals are individuals.
    All humans have feelings, and complex one.
    To sell boys short about love and relationships is to do them a huge disservice. To sell girls short about sex is a huge disservice. We shouldn’t be selling our kids short by teaching them sex is something dirty you save for the one you love. We should, cue my standard talking points, teach each gender that their bodies are valuable, can give them pleasure, that they deserve to know how they work (avoiding accidental pregnancies), and teach them the rights and responsibilities that come with being a good partner to each other.

    And Kaleb any sex positive movement that shames men for their bodies or desires isn’t positive at all. It’s certainly not what I promote. I do promote good communication though between the genders so each can learn and admire the fundamental beauty of each other’s type of sexuality.

    It doesn’t seem like rocket science to me.

    • I’m sorry, but do you not see how this article espouses virginity for the sake of virginity? It shames the hell out of any teenage boy who wants sex! That’s the entire premise.

      • Which I disagree with. Do you agree with my actual points or not? I’m all for healthy open sexuality for teens when they feel themselves mature enough to deal with it. I also believe that if teens feel like waiting, that’s their choice. I don’t really understand why you are yelling at me about it. I’m on the men are sexual loving humans side of things, mate.

        • I’m responding to the article. I fully agree with your definition of sex-positivism, I just thought that the article was promoting something else.

  5. “The “hook-up” culture castes men in the role of sexual beast with no capacity or desire for emotional intimacy and young women as the powerless victims who must get their sexual needs met in one-off encounters with no strings attached despite their deep seated desire for romance of a more enduring variety.”

    What is that supposed to mean?? Hook up refers to indulging in casual sexual activity. Both partners in such activity are there for one thing, i.e sex. Why there is different perceptions for men and women when both of them have consented to the act?? It is plain hypocrisy to say that men are sexual beasts and women are powerless victims.

    • I think Tom is saying that’s the message we might get from popular ideas about ” hook up culture” — he’s not saying that’s what’s really going on.

      • I think it’s wrong to say that it never goes on. There’s a whole host of sexual encounters, and to say that everybody does one thing or another is patently untrue. There are plenty of people who hook up, and there are plenty of people who are in committed relationships.

        And there are plenty of people who do neither, but we as a society have decided not to give a s**t about them.

        • I think men often don’t understand how women are often socialized. For instance, when I was a girl, I was viciously nitpicked by my family about what clothing I wore. A simple sleeveless top would get me slapped in the face by my mother who called me a “slut”. I was a 12 year old girl who had never kissed or had sex, but I was treated as if I were a street whore for wearing very tame clothing. If you did make out with a boy they would tell their friends who would then harass for sex. If I like Logan and want to be intimate with him, that doesn’t men I would have sex with any boy around!

          At any rate, it’s hard on girls. You barely do anything(literally!) and you called slut and whore by parents and pestered for sex by boyfriend’s friends. This made me feel so preyed upon. I just wanted to have fun and be with my bf, but adults and kids both can be very aggressive and hateful towards girls who have any sexual contact, even consensual positive kinds.

          Also, since women are very controlled by parents and society, so we try to dress modestly so e don’t get raped. But it is always a threat. I can’t tell you how many times boys and men have tried to grope me or pin me in a corner to cope a feel. It is like torturing a cat – I just want to run away but the men think it’s “fun” and that women “overreact” but you wouldn’t like being sexually bullied either. They don’t see you as human and get off on hurting and scaring you. That is not romantic or sexy.

          So anyways, just try to have some empathy. I know feminists act like jerks to men these days but most women are not feminists like that.Girls are generally browbeat by parents to not be sexual in any way, and then suddenly when you get married you are supposed to be some sex kitten. It is shocking to find out how men are not punished for being sexual, but as a girl you are browbeat to wait until marriage and are much more cautious about sex because of possible pregnancy.

          It causes a lot of anger in me because I should have been treated better. I hated being called a slut by my parents when I wasn’t even having sex! Often men don’t realize how harsh girl’s families can be. Finally, I just want to say something about porn.

          I don’t think that girls and women hate porn or men and boys who use it, but I do wish that porn sites would use less degrading language. I know a lot of women who would be ok with porn if they didn’t call women whores and cumbukets and made up rape fancies “please don’t hurt me! ” was actually a porn category on some site someone tried to show me. So disgusting and sad. Why would women be turned on by such cruel words!? They aren’t. Many women and girls have been treated poorly and it just sucks that we want to be sexual, too, but porn treats us as less than dogs. Then men wonder why women don’t like porn.

          So if you want to know why women are often put off by overt sexual stuff it’s probably because a.) parents often browbeat daughters over sex, (b) boys often don’t realize how often women are often groped by strangers, and pestered for sex from boys ẃho just want a “piece”, and porn, which is a reflection of male fantasies can often be horrifyingly abusive, and most people don’t appreciate being treated like dirt and told they should like it.

          Just two cents

    • Tom Matlack says:

      I have a number of teenage and young 20ish female relatives. What I hear is that the “hook-up” culture more or less gets forced on them. That all guys want to do is have sex with no strings attached. And as a young women you can choose to participate in that or go hungry in the romantic department.

      That consistent on the ground report frankly depresses the hell out of me. I keep thinking there must be more to it than guys looking to get their rocks off and move on. Young men must have some emotional needs that aren’t getting fulfilled by that kind of sexual encounter.

      So this piece puts that in a very different light/frame. I don’t claim to know which is right or more prevalent. But I sure would like to believe what Amy is saying about boys being more interested in love than my nieces tell me they are.

      • With all due respect Tom, I have a ton more experience in this area (being that age myself). I’d say this whole hook-up culture thing does exist, buy by and large, guys are much more interested in love. For most guys, the hook-up culture is the secondary thing, because by and large, that is all they can get. For sure, they’d prefer a long term relationship, but at that age, many girls are either unwilling, or they simply haven’t found a girl. I also think that most girls at that age assume that guys aren’t willing to be emotionally invested, so its often a shock to them when they find out they are. Of course there are guys who will swear by hooking up, but then again, there are girls that do that too.

        • Tom Matlack says:

          Thanks for sharing your experience Kaleb. I don’t know the answer here and my information is spotty as best. The author of the Oped, Amy, is basing her argument on pretty large samples of data. But it sounds like her conclusion is pretty close to what you are saying here even though I understand your concerns in terms of some of what she is saying. In the end I do believe/hope that men want to find love.

        • Noah Brand says:

          Kaleb, you have a fair point, but I think you’re misreading Amy Schalet’s larger point. There’s more interviews with her at http://www.amyschalet.com/media/ if you want to see where she’s coming from better.

      • I’m having a lot of trouble putting myself out on the line like this but that utter crap that you wrote about being not emotionally invested really pissed me off, so let me give you my story. I am a twenty year old male. I have never “hooked up” with anyone in my life. I have had one girlfriend in my entire life, and that was fairly recently. I have only done one sexual act in my entire life, and that was me giving oral sex to her, because I wanted to make her happy. She told me she couldn’t reciprocate, because of a bad experience she had before, and do you know what I did? I kissed her and held her tight, and told her that I would never force her to do anything she didn’t want to. I told her I loved her. She broke up with me because she wasn’t ready to be in love with someone.

        One of my best friends was in a relationship with a girl for three years in high school. They never had sex. When he got to college, he quickly got into a relationship with a girl who he had known for a year. He lost his virginity fairly quickly, but he was so much happier when he came up to me a few months later and told me she had finally used the “L” word. I didn’t know what he was talking about. “Lesbian?” I asked him. He called me an idiot and then I realized. I hugged him and he cried into my shoulder with happiness.

        So if you really think that, consider this a middle finger.

        • I’ll go out on a limb here and say that I feel pretty certain Tom believes young men (all men) love to love.

          • Tom Matlack says:

            correct

          • That’s what I thought too, but his post was a bit scathing. Honestly, I get where his nieces are coming from. Sometimes I feel like all GIRLS are in it for the sex or the prestige or something else but they sure as hell aren’t in it for the emotional attachment, because when that’s what I offer them, they turn it down as if by instinct. But I know that just because some girls aren’t interested in being emotionally attached to me, doesn’t mean that teenage girls aren’t interested in everyone. I think Tom has to realize that for teenagers, sometimes it’s hard to find perspective when you feel like you’re the only one alone.

            • Kaleb, I’m the same age as you. And frankly, a lot of women in our age group tend to think along the lines of “guys just want sex”. A few years ago I held a very poor view of men, I assumed that they weren’t even capable of love or emotions or attachment. Evolutionary biology solidified this view, since it kept saying “Men are hardwired to ‘spread their genes’ and therefore value love and commitment less”. Once I started getting into relationships I was continually shocked and astounded that the guys I was dating had feelings. It took some time to grasp the notion that it’s not just women that are looking for emotional attachment.

              Since then I have really done some self reflecting and reversed my view. But I will be honest with you, it has taken a lot of work to reverse that view (and I still struggle sometimes), and I did not handle my previous boyfriends’ feelings well. They opened up and told me things, and it created a lot of cognitive dissonance. I didn’t know what to do with it. I don’t think many women know how either. Culture told us that only women have feelings, and when a man opens up some of us may be completely at a loss.

              I am in no way saying that this is right. These gender roles have really hurt both genders, and that’s not right. Nobody is allowed their humanity.

            • Evolutionary biology also favours women who take the healthy strong males sperm to make the kid, and then to find some “nice guy” to raise it so it doesn’t really give a good impression of women. Both genders have reason to cheat, withhold love, etc.

      • Reasons I know of why guys don’t want a relationship. Well to be honest quite a few men recently have told me some troubling behaviour with the women they date, emotionally manipulative, “she’s always right” and attempts to control his behaviour. Relationships can be seen as scary for those who have been burned before, have trust issues, etc. Clingyness can also be a problem, some of the people I have known have had quite restricted free time where they can barely do a hobby and get hit with the “We don’t spend enough time together” line.

        In my own experience the woman I was with was quite clingy and wanted too much attention, it freaked me out bigtime! I like personal time, no human needs to be around another human 24/7 unless they are dependent on them for health reasons, etc.

        Now given the fact the hookup culture exists men (and women) can still get intimacy without having to pursue a relationship. Now people could be busy, burned before, unable to sustain a relationship due to time or other factors, there are many reasons why people don’t want to date.

        This won’t win me friends but if these teenage and young 20ish women find it so hard to gain a bf, then the question has to be…What are young women doing to drive men away from relationships? Or what are those particular women doing? Are they going in too hard too quick and placing enormous demands on these men? Are they for lack of a better word, bitchs? Are they having sex with these guys with the expectation of a relationship but no follow through?

        The most consistant on the ground report I hear of with young women is BAD, high sense of entitlement, emotionally manipulative/controlling behaviour, the classic “the woman is always right” mentality seems to be rife. It’s also apparently totally fine for women to hit you these days for no reason at all. Now I don’t believe all young women are like this, but I am no stranger to knowing some very negative women especially in their younger years. Do realize that these men in question could simply be meeting a lot of negative women so they might be fine to have a 1 night fling with, fool around here n there, when it comes to trusting them for a quality relationship they could be quite shy.

        There are plenty of men out there that desire love, a relationship, etc…I am one. But it also can be quite hard to get, to find someone you actually want to be with as a partner. You can find quite a lot of women attractive enough for sex but you may only get along with some to the level needed to date, but you can still have mutual casual sex with many of the others since there isn’t that requirement to mesh on the level needed for a relationship that lasts more than a night. F*ckbuddies can also be good for some, I myself wouldn’t mind one when I am single but I’d prefer a relationship that is more than just sex.

        I’m not going to judge your nieces (please don’t think that I am!), I don’t know them, these are all just possible reasons that may harm their chances of dating. I see no shortage of young people here in Australia dating, hell I find a major shortage of single women to be the big problem where I live! It’s easy to put the questions to the guys, even the blame, but it takes two to tango and just like I see plenty of people put the responsibility of being single on guys (“nice guys” cop it a lot) I think it’s a good idea to ask them about what they are doing. It could be as simple as appearing too desperate or too clingy, maybe they’re only after a very certain type of guy (plenty of cliches about hot guys, bad guys, take your pick) whilst overlooking a lot of men that actually do want to date. They could also just be very very picky and use generalizations to make it seem like men don’t want to date, “men” meaning men who are attractive to them.

        There is no shame in not desiring love, we can’t push others to find “love”. Their life may be fully fulfilled with 1 night stands, good on them, why do we all assume that everyone wants the same thing?? There are probably a LOT of men hungry in the romantic department, I know quite a few men at the moment who are single.18-30’s Men who are intelligent, financially stable, decent looking, hard working, honest n down to Earth. In highschool I know of a lot of guys wished they had a girlfriend, wished they had sex but were either too shy or rejected. By saying you haven’t met the right girl, it could be true but it can also be a way to avoid looking like a virgin not by choice which is one of the lowest ranks of male social hierarchy.

    • Love is the most used, abused and rarely understood term. In the present times when promiscuity is quite widespread, love is a loser’s consolation prize. It is a strategy of using emotions to lock down one partner for oneself. Players who can move from one partner to another with relative ease do not care about things like love. Most of the research done by sociologist is really crap. They do not move from observation to conclusion, but rather project their conclusions on the observations.

  6. Where did “friends with benefits” come from? It’s a recent movement where people can have sex without strings. No such thing as sex without strings. If anyone did the research, they would find that there are emotional strings attached to having sex, especially sex at a younger age.

    I looked through the responses and what I’m seeing is that there appears to be more interest in justifying sex then there is acknowledging that men/boys want love over sex. Guys struggle with talking about such things because they are insecure about their virginity. Guys are supposed to be sexually active, the earlier the better?

    Can we get off the “sex” thing and deal with emotions that many males are not allowed to feel? Sex is not love and love is not sex. I’m tired of mixing the two together.

    One last thing, the guys that shy away from having sex is not doing so because of guilt. Give them some credit that they are thinking for themselves and can make their own decisions without “guilt.” My son abstains from having sex because he sees the benefits to it. As with my daughter who waited until she got married as did her best friends who just got married.

    I know a lot of people hate to see that it happens but it does. There is far more to relationships then sex …. Time to get into the real world.

  7. Sure I was intoxicated by the female form. That is hardwired into the reproductive instinct in us as animals.

    Responding to something very specific in Tom’s original post, I am troubled by the way in which romantic/sexual desires are naturalized as part of reproductive “hardwiring.” Where does that leave young men whose sexual desires aren’t necessarily born of a reproductive instinct? Why do we need to naturalize desire for others’ bodies as having a reproductive impetus at all … can’t it be honored as physical desire per se? Our physical response to other human beings is a complex mix of socially-learned and innate responses, which inform one another and lead us to make decisions about whom we find sexually desirable. For some guys that’s going to be women, and for some guys that’s going to include the desire to be a parent. But for some, “intoxication” comes in the form of other male-bodied individuals, or for a range of sexed/gendered beings, and is not tied to an interest in reproduction.

    I guess I don’t see why we need to ground some men’s interest in women’s bodies (or some women’s interest in men’s bodies) as reproductively-driven when we could just acknowledge that as sexual beings part of what we desire in the objects of our affection is, in fact, their embodied selves and our capacity to experience pleasure together as physical beings.

  8. But We as humans are animals, Culture, society, custom etc… all have to ride upon that basic foundation. Can we rise above instinct to be more empathetic, loving and caring, can we suppress the red tooth and claw aspects of our basic nature……surely we can, but that also shows why as a group we can never push others into that corner/cage where basic humanity is stripped from them……because to many times doing so frees a Darwinian breast that we all have lurking near our core…. in them and in ourselves.

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