Young men are failing as never before – academically, socially and sexually. But why is this so? What are the implications? And what needs to be done about it?
In 2011, Philip Zimbardo gave a TED Talk called “The Demise of Guys,” which has been viewed by millions of people. A TED eBook short followed that chronicled how in record numbers men are opting out of society and real-life relationships. Man Interrupted is an expansion of that brief polemic based on Zimbardo’s observations, research, and the survey that was completed by over 20,000 viewers of the original TED Talk.
In Man Interrupted, Zimbardo and co-writer Nikita Coulombe examine the modern meltdown of manhood and how this is manifest in the lives of young men today. They consider the overuse of video games and porn to be symptoms of such factors as absent fathers, economic downturn, failing schools, and legislation favoring women, which contribute to many men lacking social skills and direction in their lives. Most controversially, the authors argue that readily available hardcore pornography and exciting gaming realities provide digital alternatives that are less demanding and far more appealing for many than sex, sports and social interaction in the real world.
Immersion in these alternative realms is playing havoc with young mens’ cognitive development, their ability to concentrate and their social development, allowing young women to excel in the real world where these skills are a source of success. By illuminating the symptoms and causes of these gloomy trends, Zimbardo and Coulombe shed light on how we arrived at this state of affairs and, most significantly, what the solutions might be.
Published as Man Interrupted in the US,
Man (Dis)connected in the UK; and
Gdzie ci mężczyźni? in Poland