Isn’t it someone’s job to inform me when something that stupid is going down? Because this article is the quintessence of End of Men hysteria.
How bad is it? It says, in all seriousness, this paragraph:
Something, it seems, is sucking the life out of guys quite literally. One-third of male college students say they’ve experienced erectile dysfunction. Leonard Sax, a family physician for nearly 20 years who authored the book Boys Adrift, saw more and more of them in his Maryland office, asking for Viagra and Cialis. Constant access to porn has desensitized them; they can’t get it up with live girls. “We’re seeing the replacement of penile sex with oral sex,” says Sax, “with the girl on her knees, servicing the boy. Boys and girls both end up losers.” One in five men ages 18 to 25 are now classified as “sub-fertile” because of low sperm count and quality, both of which have been dropping in the developed world for the past 50 years. Curiously, 50 years ago, around 64 percent of all college students were male.
I… I don’t even get what the point of that is. Huh? “Men can’t get it up, porn is evil, OMG BLOWJOBS THE WORLD IS ENDING, men have lower sperm count and this is related to the number of college students that are male probably!”
Like most End of Men articles, it makes a token gesture to the reality that most of the reason men are more likely to live at their parents’ home than women can be summed up in “the economy,” and then throws it away, all the better to complain about how men in this generation just aren’t manning up. Yes, men are more likely to live with their parents than women. The reasons? Women tend to get married younger than men do and men are more likely than women to move in with their parents for economic reasons, such as those caused by the fucking recession. Why that is is an interesting question, but somehow I imagine fulminating about video games will not provide an answer to it.
Also like most End of Men articles, it relies entirely on anecdotes, to the point that the only thing the article proves is that there are men who are slacker bloggers and women who work for Nickelodeon and are sad that they can’t find a boyfriend. Gee. That is completely against everything my “people of all genders are people and do lots of different things” theory would predict.
Sociologists cite five “markers” or “milestones” that have traditionally defined our notion of adulthood: finishing school, moving away from the parental home, becoming financially independent, getting married, and having a child. In 1960, 65 percent of men had ticked off all five by age 30; by 2000, only a third had.
Here’s a hint: there’s no such thing as a normal life. You can’t just say “our definition of adulthood has traditionally involved moving away from home and having a child!” and then assume that that’s good enough. Are adults who live with their parents (and their parents) happier or less happy than adults who don’t? Are people who have children more satisfied with their lives than those who don’t? Is it a good idea to get married before 30, or does it make marriages more likely to end in divorce? Also, nice job with that 1960 thing, the number of men who had done all five by 30 definitely has nothing to do with living in one of the most prosperous times and on the tail end of literally the biggest Baby Boom in American history.
“I’m astonished, just astonished, that kids are moving back home,” says Barry Schwartz, a longtime psychology professor at Swarthmore College who studies happiness and satisfaction. “My kids never came home once they left. They would have seen coming home to live as an absolute failure—the worst thing in the world.”
So… the word “failure” is having less of an irrational effect on people? How is that a bad thing? Would you rather that people be homeless out of stubborn pride? What is your goal here, Mr. Schwartz? (Okay, well, other than his fetish for the 1950s.)
The median age of male marriage keeps getting pushed further back—more than three years (which is an eon to sociologists) since 1980, to 28.2. That leaves young men with a long, long stretch of sowing wild oats—while young women tap their feet impatiently.
Uh, that’s actually a good thing. Later marriages are less likely to end in divorce, which I’m pretty sure most people would consider to be a good thing. Also, why are we assuming that women aren’t sowing their wild oats, or that any gender is particularly eager to marry? This article just seems to take “women sob at bridal magazines while the men they love fuck strippers” as a given.
Prior generations of men, she says, would leave their tight-knit communities of college friends, move to new cities, and become isolated. That made relationships with women more attractive, since women typically organized social life. “Now, Facebook makes it so easy to keep in touch with your old friends, to make plans and coordinate,” Bogle says. Guys can actually do it themselves.
And clearly we should go back to the old way, in which men were compelled on pain of eternal loneliness to date the first woman who comes along. That definitely sounds like a recipe for happy relationships.
If you don’t even have to leave the house to find sexual gratification—much less put on a tie, make small talk and pay for dinner—why would you bother?
Please raise your hand if you would like to get married to someone who is only marrying you because they’re tired of their lone dogeared copy of Penthouse. (And, I guess, because they don’t have any friends otherwise. SUCH A CATCH.)
Fuck, this thing is like a thousand words and I’m only on page two. Part two tomorrow!