The basic thing is about how is it that young men seem to be stuck in perpetual adolescence.
Its kind of sad that Goleman documented that stuff 10 years back and that things have only worsed...
Here are the reasons (I quote from the article):
- Video games. These addictive activities disengage boys from the world. Some young men even seem to prefer online porno to the prospect of sex with another human being.
- Teaching methods. Girls develop intellectually up to two years ahead of boys. Boys in grade school are naturally rambunctious. They need ways to express their native energy. They are being taught to read and write too early. Their mostly female teachers prefer compliant, dutiful girls.
- Prescription drugs. Hyperactive, frustrated boys are increasingly being medicated. This we all know. What Sax claims is that these drugs shrink the motivational centres of the brain and that the effect of this lasts years, well after these kids stop taking their meds. I hadn't heard this before but if it's true, it is truly frightening.
- Endocrine disruptors. Chemicals from plastic bottles, canned food linings and some shampoos mimic natural estrogen, the female hormone. Boys' testosterone levels are half of what they were in their grandfathers' day. Also, their bones are significantly more brittle.
- The devaluation of masculinity. Boys don't know how to become men. They no longer have appropriate rights of passage. Once Father Knows Best was the paternalistic model but now he has been replaced (and mocked) by a dopey Homer Simpson. Sax likes the old virtues of courage and temperance, with a good measure of intelligence.
I would add to that that there is a lack of mentoring in general, since we live in an individualistic society. This has major impact, since noone is really calling anyone back to reality. Sometimes, you really need a 'shut up and back back to Earth' talk, but do you have anyone to give it to you?
I'm so glad that, as a disciple, I had the help of brothers and of the Holy Spirit to make a man out of me. There is still A LOT to be done, but the transformation is radical already, and its only going to get better.