Print This Post Print This Post

The Myth of Female Maturity, Part 2

[I want to remind everyone, if you have questions you want me to ask Andey Randead, the author of The Great Female Con, continue to ask them in the comments section to today’s or yesterday’s post. Thanks. – T.]

image (1)

A few clarifications up front, to clarify yesterday’s post: I didn’t mean to imply women were somehow incapable of maturity. I think women can easily be as mature and logical as most men. I just think society in general and men in particular often allow them not to be for various reasons, or even gives them incentives to act immature of tantrum. It gets worse the more attractive the woman is. I also wasn’t saying women are intellectually inferior or have less intellectual potential, or that men are generally better than women just by virtue of being men. In fact, I think women are smarter and savvier than men in many ways. Finally, this is specifically about today’s women in the modern, developed world, especially the West, not womankind from the beginning of recorded history or from all over the world. Now that we have that out of the way…

When Kay Hymowitz was promoting her book called Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men into Boys, many mainstream publications like Forbes, Wall Street Journal, and others coveered it. I realized when the press for the book was going around, a lot of men were willing to agree that men were indeed far more immature than women and that they need to “man up” and “step up.” When gauging the reaction to the book’s premise, I tried to mentally screen out responses from either extreme of the spectrum, from hardcore feminists and from men’s right’s advocates (you can usually spot both pretty easily once you know the buzzwords to look for), and focus on just response from “regular” guys and girls, people who didn’t see themselves as gender war advocates. As is usually the case for such articles, I found plenty of regular guys who were willing to accept the charge that men were immature and self-centered, and very few regular women who were willing to step up to the plate to defend men. There were some exceptions, sure, but for the most part most women just continued the pile-on and most guys give a lukewarm at best defense, or joined in the pile-on (again, this is not including responses from hardcore feminists and MRAs). Some MRA sites linked to the articles so you started getting floods of criticial comments from them, but I don’t count those as the typical male response.

Other major books that appeared in the same vein and got lot of mainstream press coverage include Men to Boys: The Making of Modern Immaturity by Gary Cross and Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men by Michael Kimmel. We also see articles with titles like “The Crisis of Male Immaturity” and “The Basement Boys” appearing often in major outlets. It made me wonder how books and articles with the same premise but the genders reversed would be treated by the mainstream media? Could a book with such a premise ever get such a high-profile launch? And how would regular guys and regular women, the ones who don’t view themselves as ideologues or gender warriors, treat such a book?

Yesterday I discussed such an ebook, The Great Female Con. I put up a post describing a premise from the book that I knew was going to be controversial, about how society’s commonly accepted belief that women are, on average, more mature than men, simply isn’t true, and that if anything, the opposite premise is true: the average man today is more mature than the average woman.

There was significant backlash, and much of it was from men. And this is something I totally expected, and I think it actually adds more evidence to the maturity theory. Men are, on average, far more willing to give women the benefit of the doubt, attempt to see things from their viewpoint, and rush to their defense, far more often than women are willing to do the reverse. Men are quick to pull the misogynist card on other men, but you rarely see women pull the misandrist card on other women. In fact, I have met many women who don’t even know the word “misandrist.”

The comments I got about the post on Reddit on a regular’s men’s section were nearly unanimously negative and along the lines of these two comments:

This article talks about all the stupid some shit women do, and completely ignore all the stupid shit some men do. That’s pretty immature in my books.

And:

This is silly – you’re trying to counter one myth, that women are more mature than men, with another myth, that men are more mature than women?

Neither sex is more ‘mature’ in the long run.

Again, very mature responses. They show empathy for a class of people they don’t belong to, a desire to take the high road, a willingness to give the benefit of the doubt and reach a mutual understanding. And again, these were the only types of male responses I got there.

Now, let’s look some of the comments to the post that appeared on the blog yesterday. Cameron said:

You haven’t provided any evidence to support this statement, perhaps the book does but even the quote itself doesn’t really support the statement.

How often does the average woman demand any higher form of proof when someone makes a sweeping claim about male immaturity? Maybe it happens, but I rarely see it, and even if it does happen it doesn’t happen to the same frequency I see men defend women and demand proof before accepting any negative ideas about them.

Kevin said:

In my opinion I don’t see how anyone could even begin to make a case that one gender is more or less mature than the other, even if we’re talking about ‘on average’. It seems like a debate where no matter what position someone wanted to take they could cherry pick a bunch of examples to support their view.

If someone wanted to point out specific instances of how one gender is immature or mature in particular ways, sure. But talking about what sex more is mature on the whole seems unanswerable.

I responded:

Okay, just look at this response. That’s a VERY mature attitude. How often on an article about male immaturity will you see such a response from women in defense of men? And even if you do see it, what is the ratio of such responses to responses from females cheerleading the main article?

Kevin responded:

I totally agree that in the specific situation of discussing the other gender’s maturity levels women show a more immature, double-standard-ish attitude on the whole.

Personally I wouldn’t see that as any kind of evidence that women are globally more immature as a gender. I think you have to look at things on a case by case basis.

Again, note how even as he admits I have a point, he still tries to find the most mature, nuanced, evenhanded angle to the issue. I see this happen over and over, that men on average will do their best to discuss these issues  in as fair and nuanced a manner as possible, and often give women the benefit of the doubt, in  a way that rarely happens when gender is reversed. To me, the responses I got from men to the last piece was just more evidence of that male maturity I was mentioning.

I think there are several reasons why this happens.

First, society is far more comfortable with teaching women about the dark side of men than vice versa. It starts in childhood with both the father and the mother’s advice to the daughter, and it continues into adulthood. I touched on this yesterday, and I’ll repeat it here, so forgive the overlap.

For example, I think books like The Great Female Con  educate men to be aware of the dark side of many women. I think this is very important because I think the average man puts the average women on a pedestal far more often than vice versa, and men are trained and socialized by both parents to do this from young. Women on the other hand get an education from both parents on how to protect themselves from the dark side of most men from a very young age. “All men want is just one thing.” “Give it up too fast and he won’t stick around.” “He’s just not that into you.” “He won’t buy the cow if he can get the milk for free.” “Don’t let yourself be alone with a guy you barely know.” “All men will cheat given the opportunity.”

Meanwhile, I don’t think men are capable of even believing the average woman has a dark side. They think only the outliers do. (I believe this is why the Madonna/Whore problem is still prevalent today.) Women are totally fine accepting that the average guy has a dark or unsavory side and that they need to be informed about that, without believing that doing so makes them man-haters. Yet men feel like the mere entertaining of the idea that the average woman (not just the mythical “bad girl”) can have an unsavory side will transform them into instant misogynists.

For example, go into the relationship section and see how many relationship books aimed at women warning them about shady men. These are the female-targeted versions of books like Women’s Infidelity and The Great Female Con. Book after book about dogs, cheaters, players, emotionally unavailable men, narcissistic men, “Nice Guys” (the apparent latest bogeyman of the dating world), immature men who need to “man up!,” passive aggressive men, verbally abusive men, men who string women along with no intention of committing or marrying, and so forth. In fact a NY Times article once estimated that over 85% of codependence books are aimed at women. Yet you hardly see women on blogs, message boards, or book review sites falling over themselves to point out that it’s only a subset of men like that, or to defend them in general. Even when women admit that all men don’t fall into the bad categories described in a book or article, they make it clear they found “one of the good ones,” which still implies that the good ones are a minority of what’s out there.

However, when the tables are turned and the advice is about warning men about the dark side of many women, guys really resist it a lot more. The comparative lack of demand for such books alone speaks volumes. Men complain about the cynicism, decry the misogyny, say they don’t want to think of women that way, they want to make sure it’s clear that it’s only a minority of women that are bad…they hate the very idea of any negative generalization about women. I’m not saying to demonize all women, start hating everything about them, and become a misogynist, but at the same time too many men are Pollyannaish and give them the benefit of the doubt to an extent that they never do for us, which ends up with a lot of guys getting totally blindsided later on. Many guys write me to ask about how they can learn to be less codependent and develop better boundaries, and from talking to them I’ve become convinced the biggest culprits are the implicit, unexamined belief that women are on average inherently more mature and empathetic than men, and the belief that if they stop viewing “good” women as naturally exalted enlightened creatures and start accepting them as a human mix of strengths and flaws, they won’t be able to still love them anymore. The Manic Pixie post touches on this latter idea.

As I said yesterday, I think these Pollyannaish beliefs men grow up with about women give men a lot of faulty, idealized expectations about women, and when they get blindsided and hurt enough times by women not living up to these ideals their parents and society put in their heads, they overcompensate in the opposite direction with extreme misogyny and a feeling that they’ve been lied to their whole lives. I think a lot of the new misogyny we’re seeing wouldn’t happen if society and parents were as comfortable educating boys about the dark side of women as they are educating women about the dark side of men.

Second, I think a lot of  this comes from unexamined childhood beliefs. There is a popular story and I don’t know if it’s literally true or just a parable, but I think the principle it describes is worth sharing anyway. It’s a story about circus elephants who from a very young age are tied to stakes that are hammered into the ground. These baby elephants yank and yank at the stakes but can’t uproot them. Eventually they just accept that they can’t pull up these stakes and stop trying. Eventually they grow to giant size adult elephants and are now strong enough to yank the stakes out with ease, but they never do because they’ve been conditioned to believe the stakes are stronger than them. Supposedly, elephants have been known to burn to a crisp in circus fires and not escape because they never realize they’re strong enough to yank out the stakes. They just let themselves burn up, because that childhood belief is still that strong in them. They never examined it again in adulthood and retested it.

Similarly, I think a lot of men grow up believing their mothers are infallible and all-knowing. Their mothers always seems to know when they’re lying or doing something wrong, so they think her superior wisdom is unquestionable. But the truth is they were just a stupid little kid. Any reasonable adult would know when they were lying or did something wrong. Their moms weren’t omniscient, they were just young and obvious kids.

Additionally, because little girls mature faster than little boys, boys grow up seeing girls around them acting a lot more mature than them. Even though later in life these same men are on average much more mature than the women around them, they still remember their childhoods when the average girl their age was more mature than they were, and they still think that’s the case today.

Just like the elephant’s childhood experiences lead to unexamined beliefs that keep him believing he’s too weak to uproot the stake he’s tied to, even as an adult, a man’s unexamined beliefs stemming from his childhood experiences with his own mother and his female peers keep him believing he’s less mature than the women around him, even when that no longer remains the case.

Finally, I think the Maturity Paradox comes into play. I discussed the Maturity Paradox in a series of 4 posts you can find here, here, here, and here. You can about it more in depth there, but what it comes down to is that there’s a concept called the Dunning-Kruger effect, which says that the least skilled people are far more likely to overestimate how skilled they are and underestimate how skilled others are, while the most skilled  people are far more likely to underestimate how skilled they are and overestimate how skilled others are. The Maturity Paradox applies that same rationale to maturity, which is a form of emotional skill, and says that the people who are the least mature are far more likely to overestimate how mature they are and underestimate how mature others are, while the people who are most mature are far more likely to underestimate how mature they are and overestimate how mature others are. Due to the Maturity Paradox, the average women is more likely to overestimate her maturity level and underestimate the maturity level or men, while the average man is more likely to underestimate his maturity level and overestimate the maturity level of women.

When I interview Andey Randead, I plan to get into this topic a bit further and use examples from his book.

71 Responses to “The Myth of Female Maturity, Part 2”


  1. Thanks for clarifying your points. Your point is a lot clearer now.


  2. Well, we definitely disagree on a lot of this stuff. You raise some interesting points in these two articles, but they’re largely just opinions or personal perspectives.

    A few things:

    - You seem to be equating “immaturity” with “emotional expression” or identifying with one’s emotions. (This is in Part 1.)

    - Yes, a lot of TV advertisements make men look like buffoons. But keep in mind that marketing data shows that more women than men watch TV and women are more likely to make purchases based on advertisements than men.

    - Just for a counterpoint to the pop culture statement, look up the “Bechdel Test” for movies. The Bechdel Test is very simple. It asks if a movie 1) has more than two women in it 2) who talk to each other and 3) not about a man. Surprisingly, something like 80% of hollywood movies fail this test.

    - It is biologically documented that girls mature emotionally and develop verbal skills faster than boys all the way up into adolescence. Boys really don’t catch up until adulthood, but by then they’ve been so socialized to suppress their emotions, that it’s arguable that they never catch up in emotional literacy, and yes, therefore are likely to be less mature emotionally.

    - Studies show that men are less able to cope with negative emotions, show greater physiological stress to negative emotions, are more prone to violence, selfishness, to lack empathy, etc. So again, you really need to define “maturity” here.

    - Finally, if you want to play the he said/she said gender game, have fun. You can honestly do it all day every day if you want. The gender debate is a fucking mess on both sides. I think we live in an interesting period right now where each gender has legitimate gripes.

    This young generation of men IS falling behind. For the under 30 generations, women are outperforming men, in very large gaps in some places, and it’s concerning a lot of people. I’ve read a few of the books you posted here. Some of them are crap. Some of them raise really good, legitimate points. Young men are not interested in marrying anymore. Young men are not as ambitious as women anymore. Young men are more unhealthy and more addicted to things like video games and porn.

    I think the trick with these kinds of arguments is to resist the temptation to say, “Because men have this problem, then that necessarily means this about women…” or vice-versa.

    This generation of men has a lot of problems (hell, it’s why I’m in business). But women still have a lot of problems as well. These problems don’t necessarily reflect on the other gender at all. Gender is not a zero-sum game.

    Mark


  3. * Is the widely unquestioned assumption that women are super mature, and that are males tend to be buffoonish man children false, sexist and harmful? Yep. Totally agree.

    * When it comes to discussing this particular issue, are women less mature and logical about it? Yes. That’s what it looks like.

    * Are women not the highly mature people they often make themselves out to be? Yep, and it’s good to know this and view them realistically.

    * Are there lots of examples someone could bring up of ways women act highly immature? Sure.

    * Can you take any of this as evidence that one gender is more mature than the other overall? Nope. It’s impossible to prove one way or the other. Trying to argue this just takes away and distracts from the other good points you’re making.


  4. Mark, Kevin:

    The point that’s being made is that the debate has been lopsided in favor of women for a very long time up to the present. By coming in and steering the debate in favor of women in logical and mature ways, you’re reinforcing his point.


  5. My point is that even debating this at all is pretty stupid… some men are immature and some women are immature. Fact.

    We could sit here all day and argue the in’s and out’s of “men are unfairly criticized here” and “women are unfairly criticized here”.

    Ultimately, it’s not even a conversation worth having.


  6. Let me restate that… there IS a conversation worth having regarding men/women and emotional maturity, but this isn’t it.


  7. What I would like to see are some real numbers. As a very wise person once said, the multiple of anecdote is not data.

    I know you’re trying to keep these posts from expanding into infinity, but I can’t tell from your discussion of the book whether it’s full of nothing but examples like the ones you’re sharing or if there are any actual surveys/polls/taste-tests, etc backing up the claims.

    Because, T, you say that in your experience, men leap to the defense of women more than women do of men. I would say that my experience has been otherwise. My suspicion would be this has to do with the communities we interact with on a regular basis. But without any actual data from either of us, they’re both meaningless claims.

    I submit that any suspicions that men are more mature than women can be destroyed by spending 30 minutes on a first-person-shooter-game server. But again, I’m just speaking from my experience and have no idea how that small subset of individuals reflects the greater population.


  8. T,

    “I think a lot of the new misogyny we’re seeing wouldn’t happen if society and parents were as comfortable educating boys about the dark side of women as they are educating women about the dark side of men.”

    - I have ask, where do you see this misogyny? In fact, I see the opposite. Just look at your comment section.

    - Also I agree about how men (I used to be like this too) when they do start to accept the darker sides of women somehow convince themselves that this only applies to a tiny minority of women. We would rationalize by saying “Well, she must have been abused.” “She probably has daddy issues” etc etc.


  9. When I say “the new misogyny,” I am talking about a growing movement of angry young men that you find mostly online, a very vocal but growing minority. I’m not saying they’re the new normal, but rather a growing trend. I don’t think they represent the average guy, but I do think more and more “nice guys” are turning into these types of guys after one too many instances of painful disillusionment with women. I don’t think my blog attracts these guys much, at least not anymore, but they’re out there and becoming more vocal.


  10. “I think a lot of the new misogyny we’re seeing wouldn’t happen if society and parents were as comfortable educating boys about the dark side of women as they are educating women about the dark side of men.”

    Maybe that’s simplifying too much? I won’t say that isn’t a problem. But I think it’s less about teaching men that women are fallible–have dark sides–and more about teaching men that women are people.

    My turn for an anecdote! I’m a novelist, and have spent time in the past participating in and leading workshops for beginning writers. I cannot tell you the number of men I have heard say say “I don’t know how to write women” — as though women were some alien entity. They are floored by the notion that you build female characters pretty much the same way you do male characters.

    We see this in popular media all the time. On almost any show you could name, if something important happens to a woman, it is either that she got raped or she got married or she got pregnant. These are the things that happen to women. These are the only things (primarily male) writers can think to do with female characters.

    In part, what this whole discussion is circling around is the madonna/whore complex–that women are either perfect goddesses or they’re worthless. And yes, we absolutely need to break that image. But not in part, by addressing only one aspect of it. In whole, with the simple lesson that women are people too. That they mostly think the same thoughts, want the same thing, have strengths and failings and gifts and flaws.


  11. I’m not sure I really buy willingness to defend each other as an indicator of maturity. From personal experience i’ve found that women are much more likely to act like advocates for groups which they are a part of. I can more easily imagine a father disowning his son for a principle than a mother doing the same eg if the father was against being gay. Although im not sure in this situation who should be called more mature. this would explain why women are more likely to stand up for each other when the subject of gender issues comes up whilst men might aspire to a more neutral position. I don’t believe one style is necessarily more mature than the other, I think it is just a difference in priorities. i think you had a post before about people being more similar than different and how it is normally just a difference in priorities that decides how we act differently.

    when i imagine a female with a high level of maturity i dont imagine someone who acts in the exact same way as when i imagine a male with a high level of maturity, this means that in my mind like for like comparisons of maturity are likely to be fruitless and not prove anything.

    I have seen a rise in this “new misogyny” as well. But im not sure how new it actually is it may just be that when people post this stuff on manosphere blogs they normally find a sympathetic audience and a sort of circlejerk happens which in turn causes people to be more vocal about their mysogyny.


  12. I do have more anecdotal examples, but I’ll probably leave the topic alone for a while after this post. I am definitely returning to the topic in the near future though because it’s part of a bigger point I’m building toward.


  13. Trying to generalize about this stuff is pretty useless and a weak premise. If you have a larger point that you’re leading up to, it might have been wiser to do it the other way around and bring this up later. But even then just as a side-note. As said, you haven’t defined maturity. I read A Great Female Con. If Randead helped you come to some of your points on women, great. But honestly, there was a lot of unnecessary vilification of women in the book, that it makes the few points that he does have in the book hard to take seriously anymore if you’re not someone with a lot of patience and a stomach for slander.

    If however you are bringing this stuff up as knowledge to apply to the current social landscape in North America. For example, to help men get laid and to recognize other men’s idealization of women, then I see it’s utility. Right now though you’re using the hacksaw method when you really need a scalpel.

    T, are you just suggesting that women in America are less mature, or generally across countries? You haven’t outright said that yet. If you are trying to make a broader premise (as mentioned above) about the current American situation, it would be more cautious to reflect, for example, on how both genders have become more insecure over the years, and how an imbalance in mindset towards differences of the sexes was created, and is being perpetuated by certain causes (eg. our shamed-based culture and new economic/technological realities, etc.), which is leading men to become hopeless whining pussies, and women entitled clueless bitches.


  14. If however you are bringing this stuff up as knowledge to apply to the current social landscape in North America. For example, to help men get laid and to recognize other men’s idealization of women, then I see it’s utility

    If you can see its utility in that arena, how can you say it’s a “generally useless and pretty weak premise?” That part confuses me. At first I thought you were just going to say you thought it was just all incorrect information but if it even does as little as help guys get laid I don’t see how it’s a weak and useless premise.

    And you’re right, I should have clarified that this is a very specific context: modern day and Western women.


  15. Oh, I shouldn’t have used the word useless. That was a mistake. What I meant was, if you’re going into the realm of making a sociological thesis, I would probably raise my expectations of the hard evidence I would want to hear, compared to if you were just writing up advice based on your personal experiences. And right now it doesn’t seem as though you’ve chosen one field or the other. Another context for the article could be that it is a bit of a thought experiment and that you want feedback to create a stronger argument. It changes the perception with which one views the information. Right now, your thoughts just seem really unclear on the issue, and I think being more specific on your intentions, definitions, etc. would help to clarify a lot.


  16. Mark:

    I respectfully disagree with you. The point isn’t about cherry picking men and women’s faults in favor of one bias or another. The point is about the fact that the lopsidedness of this debate/conversation, against men, is a symptom of larger social issues that deserve to be explored; issues I think this article series is going to explore in more detail as it goes on.


  17. I’m going to return to this topic next week or so, there are a few other topics I want to discuss first before returning to it. Plus I want to gauge more responses to the first two installments before deciding how to proceed. One change I will make is edit the two posts to make clear that I’m specifically describing the modernized West today, rather than women all over the world since the beginning of time.


  18. “I respectfully disagree with you. The point isn’t about cherry picking men and women’s faults in favor of one bias or another. The point is about the fact that the lopsidedness of this debate/conversation, against men, is a symptom of larger social issues that deserve to be explored; issues I think this article series is going to explore in more detail as it goes on.”

    Just wanted to chime in with my agreement.


  19. Ricky, you already nailed the “new misogyny” trend. It’s the same story as the PUA’s except in a different package: a bunch of codependent men who start adopting a set of narcissistic beliefs and behaviors to give themselves a false sense of power in their relationships with women.

    But instead of having shitty relationships because they’re groveling all the time, they get shitty relationships where they’re constantly worrying about their power. They replaced one problem with a slightly better problem, when really, they should be out there looking for a high self-esteem (or mature) woman.

    In my experience, these “new misogyny” blogs and ebooks are ultimately devoid of any real substance beyond “Women lie! And they’re mean! And we should be able to fuck who/when we want!”

    The fact is, there’s decades of hard data on emotional development and tendencies in gender. There’s data on aggression and selfishness and narcissism based on gender. There’s LOTS of data on workplace and social biases and how both men and women feel irrationally threatened by one another in various situations.

    Not to mention, they have cross-cultural data so we can get a sense of what’s biological and what’s cultural.

    And it’s all carried out in peer-reviewed research. Not some old divorced dude claiming he’s going to tell you how the “vast majority” of women lie and cheat in 200 pages.

    There’s a LOT to be said on this topic, and I think you could offer a lot of cool perspectives. But I also think you should dig much further into it before making any definitive statements.


  20. I think you have hit the nail on the head, if you are referring to women under 50 living in rich, English-speaking western countries. I think that this is an issue of nature AND nurture (culture). In countries where there has long been great prosperity, there are more resources to go around and more people are less concerned just with day to day survival and you have a large educated middle class. With greater education and prosperity, the people in charge in these countries and the laws and culture over time reflected the society, which got less concerned with day to day survival and become ‘softer’ and more liberal, relaxed, and caring. So this meant people cared more for traditionally repressed or lower status groups, like women, the poor, racial or sexual minorities, even animal rights. In a society with widespread poverty there was less compassion, people it was everyone for themselves, only the strong survive, dog eat dog. In a more prosperous, educated, softer and more liberal society the people at the top can give a greater slice of the pie to those lower down the scale. So this is how feminism was born, with wives of richer men in society who had some power already agitating for women to have the vote. Over time however, as western countries got richer and richer and more and more liberal, society recognised that women had been traditionally repressed and gave them greater rights and equality. However, the things is that the goalposts have moved. Women are more emotionally expressive and more verbal (and this is due both to nature and nurture). Any man who has been in a long term relationship with a woman or lived with one knows that women have a lot of thoughts bouncing around in side their head, but unlike men are FAR more likely to verbalise them. And for evolutionary reasons (in my opinion), women put their needs and their childrens need first nearly always, as in prehistory they needed to be that way in order to survive and reproduce and secure resources for their children, whereas men , being resource providers, can more often put other people’s needs above their own. So the end result, in the modern age, women still have this inate urge to always put their needs first, coupled with their need to verbalise every thought going through their head, which includes complaints or lists of things they feel they want and need…and modern men in western societies, comfortably affluent and well educated, hear these lists of things women want, need, aren’t happy about, etc. and jump to attention and go out of their way to try and deal with it and bend over backwards to please the woman. The reasons for this are a mixture of guilt, shame, fear, and greed. Guilt and shame for being male (they have been taught that men traditionally oppressed women); fear of not getting a girlfriend, not getting laid, or losing the woman, of her divorcing him or denying him access to their kids; and greed because they believe that doing all of this WILL get him a girlfriend or getting laid. What they don’t realise is that you don’t have to take women’s demands seriously always, they are just verbalising all the random thoughts in their head and want someone to listen to them. Women are evolutionarily programmed to put their needs first, in order to procure good genes and resources. But in the modern age, in a liberal, post feminist society men hear women complaining about things, and want to be the hero or the chivalrous knight and jump to attention and go and save the woman in order to make her happy (and hopefully she will then fall in love with him or sleep with him he thinks). He hears the woman complaining and instinctively reacts like when a baby is crying. The end result is that women in modern, western societies have been programmed to believe that they are victims, and whatever they want they should get. There is no gratitude for what has already been done for them. Just more complaints and demands. Whether in a relationship,a marriage, or in society at large with the laws that governments enact. This is why women are less mature than men, they have been programmed that everything is all about them, what they want they can always get. Men are less willing to complain, consider themselves a victim, or believe its their right for someone else to make them happy and can take charge of things themselves. However, after years of raising children and being in the workplace, I find that after 50/60 years old women have less requirement to always put their needs first and this is the point at which they are more mature.


  21. T tries to bring some raw back into The Rawness and everyone clamors for well done.

    Remember when you wrote about pimps and house party psych and it wasn’t all white-washed peer-reviewed hippie-commune tell-me-about-your-mother psychology?

    This was more like that. I approve.


  22. Vicomte – it doesn’t all have to be one extreme or the other. And say what you want about psychology, but if you’re one of those readers who loves game and evolutionary psychology, which im assuming you are based on your comment, you already buy into the principles of psychology, just applied to a species level rather than an individual level. That’s a big reason I did those posts explaining the parallels between regular psych and evo psych, to show ridiculous it was for some readers to complain that the blog focuses too much on psychology now, even though back when it was mostly about evo psych it was basically the exact same principles just on a collective level. And even in the pimp writings, theres psychology, and Iceberg Slim spends a lot of time analyzing the relationships he and his fellow pimps have with their mothers.

    I think the real culprit among readers who claim to hate psychology and say the new direction of the blog sucks because of it, yet eat up evolutionary psychology and loved the blog back when it focused on that, even though both evolutionary psychology and regular psychology are largely the same principles, is that with evolutionary psychology it’s far easier to avoid introspection. I honestly think fear of introspection drives most fears against psychology. Or maybe something else. All I know is, if you’re a reader of game blogs and you like evo psych, which I assume you do, and you liked the old direction of this blog, you like psychology. Recently someone ripped my blog apart saying they hate evolutionary psychology and regular psychology and everything in between. THAT at least I understood and found consistent.


  23. It’s not about evolutionary psychology or mainstream psychology, neither of which I’m particularly impressed with(as they are generally presented). It’s that this is a relatively unexplored, unrefined, and raw idea. I can’t read about it in some textbook or medical journal.

    It’s about: I’ve also noticed women act completely silly around male strippers, while men do not often around female strippers. This is an interesting phenomenon. How does it work? What does it mean? Why does it happen? What can we do with it? The small scale makes it real and interesting.

    The reason people don’t like psychology is because it’s a soft science based largely upon personal interpretation. The reason I liked your blog before was that it was *your* interpretation, which was something I couldn’t find in a textbook, something raw and real that I could connect with on a more visceral level.

    As you said, it’s not either/or, but you seem to have thrown out the rawness with the bathwater. I’m simply saying I enjoy a little gritty in my head-shrinkery.

    And, for the record, I have much more faith in psychology when applied individually to individuals; it’s the bloated induction of the principles that starts to get silly. For example: I’m reading Ernest Becker right now on your recommendation–that stuff about how a child unconsciously understands its own existential paradox of how it can think and imagine and create like a god among animals while also being made of flesh and possessing an anus that shits, and that this on some preternatural subconscious level makes the child afraid of its own impossible nature?

    Wat-chu-talkin’-bout-Willis?


  24. I will agree with you on one thing though (that is, if I interpret your peer review comment correctly), there is a growing obsession with peer-reviewed studies among people, a type of evidence snobbery, that I find disturbing. While I think it all has its place, I do think there is still a lot of value in personal observation, thought experiments, and anecdotes as well. You can turn your own life into a study or a laboratory, conduct your own experiments over the course of a day, use your experiences to test theories, and so on.

    One other thing I see is the whole obsession over whether something is a science or soft science or not a science at all, before deciding whether or not it’s worth considering. It’s like science is a new religion and researchers are the new high priests to steal a line from reader B. Larsen. I honestly don’t care if psychology is a science, soft science, or not a science at all. I don’t care if a piece of information is just folk wisdom. I don’t think things dealing with emotions or feelings or behavior or motivation will ever be able to be perfectly measured or observed, or at least not anytime soon. Even the neuroscience fetishists are overstating what the fMRI can actually do.

    My blog has always been about taking established concepts and trying to apply them in novel ways. I don’t think that’s changed. A lot of the concepts I’ve been writing about, I’ll start applying more to real world examples, including applying them to topics like this one about female maturity.


  25. Sounds good.

    People forget that every psychological study probably started with some guy watching the people in the line at the post office.

    I like that stuff.

    Also T, your captcha is a complete pain in the ass.


  26. Do you mean my captcha specifically, or captchas in general? My hosting company made me install one because my old open commenting system was getting overloaded with spam and taxing the server.


  27. The ones that use actual words are easier to use. I’m not sure if you can change that, but having people try to decipher a blurry ‘stngeldrs’ can’t be good for comments.

    the pubmss (seventh try)


  28. I never actually have to use the captcha so I didn’t know it was so difficult to use. I just picked the most popular one. I’ll look into alternatives.


  29. My intention here isn’t to come across snobby or to belittle personal experience or anecdotal evidence. I definitely think personal perspectives are important.

    BUT, you really can’t put your own personal observations into proper perspective without being aware of more objective data.

    It’s like if someone posted saying, “Well, all of my therapists sucked and didn’t help me, therefore psychoanalysts are a fraud and therapy is a scam.”

    Just like you can’t use population data to make judgments about individuals, you can’t use individual experiences to make judgments about populations.

    http://postmasculine.com/female-fallacies


  30. Mark,

    Personal and anecdotal ‘evidence’ is the starting point of all objective data. You see it once, you note it as an interesting anomaly. You see it twice, you remember it. Three times you start asking people, and so on. The problem arises when you see something once and mistake it for law, or ignore evidence to the contrary.

    Both you and T do a fair bit of amateur psychologizing in your writing; you’re obviously not against it in principle. It’s interesting and novel and makes people think (which I imagine T is trying to do here more than simply parrot psychological principles).

    Most importantly, psychology is a field with a great deal more wiggle room in regard to empirical fact than other disciplines. How to prove one is a narcissist, or even that one is a narcissist because their father was distant and their mother drank too much?

    Even your site (and book) is largely composed of anecdotal data and ‘original research’.

    That said, per example, if psychoanalytic therapy was or was not a fraud, how would we know? In the murky world of psychological cause and effect, how does one say what is true, and for whom?

    I’m honestly not sure ‘objective’ is even possible in much of psychology.


  31. Vicomte – I don’t disagree with anything you’re saying, but muddying the waters of psychology kind of misses the point. Gender differences have been studied to a ridiculous degree for decades. And reading T’s articles, it’s clear that he’s unaware of some of the some of the major data points to the discussion. This is why I’m encouraging him to look further into it before continuing on (I’m happy to recommend a lot of books on the subject for him or anybody else).

    The other issue I take is something that I see in almost every gender discussion, both from men and women. It’s attributing naturally distributed behaviors of all humans to one gender or the other, simply because a man or woman is most likely to experience it from the opposite sex.

    For instance, making the claim that most women are untrustworthy is often heard from men because men are more likely to be in situations where they have to trust women.

    Making the claim that women leap to the defense of men more often is more likely to be made by a woman since she’s in far more situations where this would arise than a man is.

    You can discuss yourself in circles, but you’re never getting out of your own gendered perspective. The fact is that men and women both lie and both cheat, and surveys don’t show a significant significant difference between the genders (the few that do say that men do it more).

    The fact is also that both men and women defend each other in great numbers and there’s no way to know who does it more or who doesn’t do it enough. If you feel like men/women don’t stick up for you enough, then perhaps you should find different men/women to hang out with.

    That’s the crux of the matter.

    With gender, it’s very easy to fall into these arguments that sound very logical and reasonable, but really all they are amplifications of the men/women a certain person has chosen to associate themselves with.


  32. I honestly think fear of introspection drives most fears against psychology.

    +1


  33. Mark, I saved your comments for last because they’re the most detailed:

    Yes, a lot of TV advertisements make men look like buffoons. But keep in mind that marketing data shows that more women than men watch TV and women are more likely to make purchases based on advertisements than men.

    Yes, I’ve read similar data. I’ve actually read some books about this, one being Marketing to Women by Martha Barletta. Women do a lot more shopping and consume a lot more than men. I personally feel the amount of shopping and impulse buying women do in comparison to men adds to the relative immaturity argument, rather than explains it away.

    Just for a counterpoint to the pop culture statement, look up the “Bechdel Test” for movies. The Bechdel Test is very simple. It asks if a movie 1) has more than two women in it 2) who talk to each other and 3) not about a man. Surprisingly, something like 80% of hollywood movies fail this test.

    Yes, I’ve heard about the Bechdel test. I agree, that’s messed up. But just because I think modern women are less mature doesn’t mean I deny that men can be insensitive or do things wrong as well. I’m not playing a zero-sum game. However, my point is that the Bechdel Test, like every other female gripe, tends to be given a lot more attention and consideration than similar male gripes. For example, look at my Manic Pixie Dream Girl post. Most popular post ever on the site, went viral, both men and women loved it, and chimed in about how it sucks that men can be entitled in relationships and objectify women or treat them as extensions. So much critical literature has been dedicated to attacking Manic Pixie Dream Girls and the men who like them, far out of proportion to the actual amount of films that actually use this trope. Yet look at romance fiction and romance movies for women that basically objectify men as success and protection machines who exist simply to validate the woman’s desires to be a grown princess. I think that’s far more common than Manic Pixie Dream Girls, yet you don’t see people clamoring to take women to task for indulging these fantasies to the same extent, despite their increased presence in the marketplace.

    It is biologically documented that girls mature emotionally and develop verbal skills faster than boys all the way up into adolescence. Boys really don’t catch up until adulthood, but by then they’ve been so socialized to suppress their emotions, that it’s arguable that they never catch up in emotional literacy, and yes, therefore are likely to be less mature emotionally.

    I agree that women outpace men in maturity up until adolescence. I also agree that they’re less likely to talk about their emotions and be less in touch with them. However, I don’t feel that’s the same as maturity. I guess the problem is what other commenters have said, that we need a common definition of maturity. To me, it’s just emotional venting. Women are simply more likely to talk your ears off about their emotions. I know this is a humor piece, but I think it’s funny precisely because it hits a major truth: http://www.theonion.com/articl.....the,27446/ I think most of the emotional discussions women do is just to take turns validating each other or to vent.

    For example, take a commonly given piece of advice men are given for dealing with women, from both men and women: “Don’t try to solve a woman’s problem when she presents you with one. Just listen and tell her it will be okay. She just wants to vent, not necessarily find a solution.” I used to believe this and buy into it. I was always told that as a man it’s insensitive that we are always trying to be “fixers” and offer solutions instead of just listening and validating. Then I thought about it, and I realized, wait, which is actually more mature, just talking about emotions with no intention of changing or fixing things, or talking about things with a real desire to take action and fix them? So again, I’m not 100% convinced that the sheer frequency with which women talk about their emotions is evidence of maturity. I also think that although guys talk less about their emotions and in less details, they are more solution-oriented when they do it. If they believe no solution is forthcoming, they won’t just talk just to talk. However women can talk the same problem to death and never make a decision on it. So to me it’s arguable that just talking more about feelings and problems necessarily makes one more mature. I think the results sought and received from the talking matters to.

    - Studies show that men are less able to cope with negative emotions, show greater physiological stress to negative emotions, are more prone to violence, selfishness, to lack empathy, etc. So again, you really need to define “maturity” here.

    I’m game to look at these studies. If you can provide me some titles or links I’ll get started. And you’re right, we do need to define “maturity” and get a commonly accepted definition before I move on in this series.

    - Finally, if you want to play the he said/she said gender game, have fun. You can honestly do it all day every day if you want. The gender debate is a fucking mess on both sides. I think we live in an interesting period right now where each gender has legitimate gripes.

    I’m not saying women don’t have legitimate gripes. I do think however that they’re more likely to have their gripes taken seriously, or at least pandered to and humored, for various reasons.

    This young generation of men IS falling behind. For the under 30 generations, women are outperforming men, in very large gaps in some places, and it’s concerning a lot of people. I’ve read a few of the books you posted here. Some of them are crap. Some of them raise really good, legitimate points. Young men are not interested in marrying anymore. Young men are not as ambitious as women anymore. Young men are more unhealthy and more addicted to things like video games and porn.

    Wow, this is a big can of worms to open. I agree with this, but I just think the implications of it are very different than what most people believe them to be. I’ll save it for another post though.


  34. My intention here isn’t to come across snobby or to belittle personal experience or anecdotal evidence. I definitely think personal perspectives are important.

    I actually wasn’t specifically aiming that comment at you, but at a trend I feel is prevalent in general these days, something Vicomte was talking about. I didn’t read your comments until now because I only had time to read and respond to short ones.


  35. Something I’ve always wondered about the Bechdel Test: If it portrays a problem, what exact problem is it speaking to? And has anyone ever done a version where they controlled for male protagonist versus female protagonist, for genre, for female scriptwriter and directors versus male scriptwriter and directors? Has anyone tried a Reverse Bechdel Test in Rom-Coms or female-targeted entertainment? I do find it to be an interesting test, but I’d like to see it explored more under those conditions as well.


  36. And it’s all carried out in peer-reviewed research. Not some old divorced dude claiming he’s going to tell you how the “vast majority” of women lie and cheat in 200 pages.

    I don’t think this guy is divorced actually. Also, I actually take the reverse notion. Sometimes I’d rather place the opinions of people who’ve had experience and lived through things over the findings of peer-reviewed research. For a long time that was one of the most respected sources of information and wisdom, your community elders, and in this global community we now live in I don’t see anything wrong with giving serious consideration to what older people with life experience say. Not saying they’re all right, but we live in a society where every generation thinks they have less and less to learn from past generations and wants to outsource all wisdom to people in lab coats, and again, I’m not specifically targetting you in this critique, it’s really becoming the cultural norm today.

    To give a similar example, I see a lot of debate online about whether or not psychology is a science, with people on both sides giving evidence why it is or isn’t. I never even like to engage in those debates, because even defending psychology as being a science validates the notion that only science nowadays has anything valid to say or is worth listening to. I think it’s a very dangerous road to travel down. I’m not denying that peer-reviewed studies have value, especially in hard science fields, but I think when we start using them to analyze human emotions and relationships they’re not as infallible as people make them out to be.


  37. I agree that personal experiences have a lot to say about a matter, but I think we have to be careful in whose views we give credit. There’s a crazy homeless guy on my block who is always spouting out some ideas and experiences, but I don’t take him seriously. So on some level we have to be discerning.

    I think if you accept the presumption that the buffoon males on sitcoms harm men’s view of themselves, then the Bechdel Test must harm women’s views of themselves.

    But I would go further and argue that things like the Bechdel Test (and the buffoons) harm both genders. For example, women who grow up only seeing movies with weak and passive women who’s decision-making and values are determined by the men around them are going to grow up weak and codependent and to be terrible relationship partners. When they see hero movies with the woman being the reward for the male character time and time again, they will start to believe that their sexuality is a reward to be bestowed upon men who fight for it. They will feel an entitlement for men to win over their affection.

    For men, it indoctrinates us that women and their sexuality are things that must be earned and fought for — to put it simply, it’s a large component of the “pussy on the pedestal” culture which we all grew up in.

    Check out this TED video for more:
    http://www.ted.com/talks/colin.....nhood.html

    As far as men’s problems not being taken seriously or not achieving the same voice as women’s. That can seem true depending on where you sit and what media you’re ingesting.

    Just to give some counter-examples: “The End of Men” by Hanna Rosin (which is excellent, by the way) came out this past year and sold very well. It’s a well-researched book about all of the problems and reverse-discrimination men are beginning to face. “The War on Boys” by Christina Hoff Sommers was taken VERY seriously as it showed how the educational system is disadvantaging boys. Same with “Raising Cain” by Michael Thompson.

    Going back even further, Susan Faludi wrote “Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man” back in the mid-90′s. Keep in mind that Faludi was one of the most popular feminists at the time and took a lot of heat for writing that.

    Warren Farrell’s work is fucking fantastic and a must-read if you want to dive into this stuff. “The Myth of Male Power” and “Why Men Earn More” are great.

    Then there’s the Good Men Project, What About The Menz and other males-issues blogs that write about this stuff regularly.

    Keep in mind, ALL of these authors are feminists and ALL of them have large public platforms, work for major media outlets, etc. This isn’t even getting into the Men’s Rights guys (i.e., A Voice for Men) or the manosphere guys (i.e., Roosh, Roissy, VK, etc.)

    So yeah, historically female gripes have gotten a lot more airtime than male gripes. But that’s because historically women were screwed over a lot more than men were. That’s changing and the balance of gripes is changing, albeit slowly but surely.

    Finally, when it comes to recognizing innate gender differences between men and women, I highly, highly, highly recommend “The Gender Delusion” by Cordelia Fine. I used to swing much further to the manosphere side of things where I believed men and women were biologically determined to follow most of their behavioral patterns and that book, more than any other, opened my eyes to how wrong I was.

    I think you have some interesting ideas. But this is a really deep topic. I mean that in the most unpatronizing way as possible, because I had some serious foot-in-mouth moments on my own blog a couple years ago trying to dive into this stuff. I look forward to your ideas, but I encourage you to get a stronger foundation first.


  38. Oh, and I apologize for the homeless bum analogy and insinuating that the “Female Con” guy is divorced. I just really, really didn’t like that book (I read the first 20 pages) and I admit my emotions got the best of me, haha…


  39. Mark,

    “The fact is also that both men and women defend each other in great numbers and there’s no way to know who does it more or who doesn’t do it enough.”

    Really?


  40. Should I get a copy of “The End of Men”? is Anna Rosin somehow depicting the problems of men in a way she doesnt make men to be the problem?


  41. I make videogames. There’s a lot of buzz about sexual violence and discrimination on videogames right now. You play a game and if there’s a woman she’s either a damsel on distress or a sexual object. And women dont like it.

    Except of when it’s placed in the context of a romance or sitcom or soap opera cattered to women. Then it’s fine that the men are heroes and providers and are willing to sacrifice everything for the woman, and has abs, and is a vampire. And rich.

    For every objectification of women there’s so much more of men.

    In a game that I just played I tried to save two women. One died and it was a tragedy, but the other lived. Yay. To do so I killed 25 million of MEN in every way imaginable.

    You´ll see everyone, men and women to help and fix the issue of female objectification, and the discourse is everything but rational – it’s made of rants. If they reall want equality here then players should be killing women brutally, one per male. And the main villian should be a woman half of the time. And there should not be damsels on distress because that teaches boys that “all women” are worth of sacrificing your life for.

    Anyway. There’s a lot of objectification, lots of caricatures. Each gender gets caricaturized. The support and attention goes to the women, because they throw tamtrums – when convenient.


  42. If you google “the end of men atlantic,” you can see the original article from The Atlantic that she eventually expanded into a full-fledged book. I think that should give you an idea on whether you want to try the book or not. I don’t believe it’s a hit piece on modern men like Kay Hymowitz’s book.


  43. Thanks, looking it up


  44. Reading the article, it’s full of bull. Men and women are equal, except that women are superior. Women in power are great, men in power are there due discrimination. Men are good for their strenght and physically, but cannot really think and focus as well as women, and on and on. And testostoterone makes you reckless – the crisis is the fault of men! bring more women up!

    It’s full of logical fallacies, and even her historical facts are wrong. I give credit for her writing style though, she really sells it. 100% advocacy.

    Mark are you *really* recommending this?


  45. I recommend it Yohami. I found it to be extremely even-handed and well-researched. I didn’t feel like it blamed men for their own problems at all. I also didn’t feel like it blamed women for men’s problems (which is lazy).

    The best thing about Rosin’s book is that she shows how the issues men face are different depending on economic class and race. In some segments of society, men are still way ahead. In others, women are ahead and leaving them behind.

    I had never heard of Hymowitz’s book T. But Rosin’s book was very popular last year. Was reviewed in all the major publications, critiqued, discussed in major newspapers and such.


  46. I haven’t read it myself, article or book, so I can’t weigh in.


  47. “I didn’t feel like it blamed men for their own problems at all.”

    Havent read the book, but I can go into the article and bring it up. It’s a celebratory article, not a compassion driven one.


  48. I should also clarify that I don’t think banging girls who you view as immature is a long-term solution. My comment can be interpreted that way. Also, since you stated that you are using the word mature in the broad sense of the word, I simply have to disagree with you. There are MANY traits of immaturity that men of today display as well. Lack of loyalty, honesty/authenticity, courage, etc. This is going to be a very long and circular debate if you keep it this general.


  49. I really don’t think it has to be that complicated. I’ll just have to make my case once we agree on a definition of maturity and whoever disagrees will be free to disagree


  50. YOHAMI: Either you’re reading a different article or you’re projecting big-time. Rosin has led a number of panels the past few years to help publicize how men are being disadvantaged in academia and in various industries. She’s been one of the loudest proponents for these issues in the past 3 years. Nothing celebratory about it.

    She just doesn’t deny that women have made a lot of progress in the past 40 years and that that’s a good thing. The two aren’t mutually exclusive.


  51. this one? http://www.theatlantic.com/mag.....en/308135/


  52. About the female dark side:

    http://www.menweb.org/femexpos.htm

    About men having less empathy than women. Consider the fact that research into empathy is showing that it does not in fact have the effect on moral action it was thought that it had. It turns out having moral conviction and believing in a code of ethics has more profound effects on actually doing something for others. In addition empathy leads to very subjectively based moral action. The research shows it tends to lead us to treat those like us or those whom we actually have a benefit in treating well in the larger picture good as opposed to treating people well consistently based upon a more objective standard. Which is what a code of ethics leads us to to a larger extent. Furthermore empathy tends to not be very good at making us do that which is uncomfortable for ourselves. It leads to “easy morality”. A code of ethics on the other hand is more supportive of doing good even when it is uncomfortable.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09......html?_r=0

    As it turns out men, though being lower in empathy, score far higher on being principled:

    http://heartiste.wordpress.com.....-than-men/

    When you look at that research it turns out men aren`t just low empathy, they have moral backbone. If I had to pick either women or men as more “mature” based on that research, I most certainly would pick men. Women showed a larger tendency to let their sympathies affect wether or not someone should be punished for example. If you had to take the results of the men and the women in that study and choose one of the styles as being more similar to that of a parent, which style would that be? That of the men. If you had to choose one style that would be more suitable than the other to run a court system or a civilization, which would it be? That of the men.

    For the last 40 years or so people in the west have had an empathy craze. We have in a sense tried to replace morality with empathy. We have elevated empathy as the sole morality in a sense. By doing so we have indirectly said that women are the most moral gender as they score higher on empathy. We have also made women are moral guiding point, are priestesses in a way, since being the high empathy gender they obviously would know best now would`t they. Certainly there is some part in people that feel that way currently. I certainly felt that way before. Yet I felt discomfort with it and eventually started to feel that I had a different way of being good and moral. Through reflection and reading studies such as those linked I came to see it the way I outlined above.

    What happens when we remove mens feeling that they have a moral style that is worthy and more connected to being a man? We loose the potential in men. Men will try to become sensitive high empathy women instead but that just makes them dysfunctional. At least a fairly masculine man has his highest potential not in empathy but in universal morality. That is not just onnected to principle but is in fact a feeling or a specter of feelings. Feelings such as honor, feelings related to integrity and righteousness are connected to the masculine style of morality. The fact that we have lost a good language around this and a good ability to teach it is a tragedy and is a horrendous assault on men.

    The masculine style of morality is related to the crown chakra as opposed to the heart chakra. It represents universal depersonalized LOVE. Women are stronger connected to the hear chakra and subjective and individual and PERSONAL love. If you want to pick one as more “mature” it would be the masculine style, though both are needed in balance for a good result.

    So once again it is feminism, that through tearing down men have created the problem as well as the perception that the problem lies with men being bad when actually it does not. It is the self absorbed selfish perspective of feminists that have been unable to see the masculine pole of morality that has formed their basis for tearing it down. It has been their narcissism that has made them elevate female empathy as the sole morality. They have used it to get society to put women on a pedestal and to make the “judgement” of women above critique because through being the most empathic gender, they always know best but can not be held accountable for the reasons they they make the judgements they do.

    This study on parenting styles also show a tendency in the same direction:

    http://stagedreality.wordpress.....d-version/

    It is pretty obvious that the parenting style described in the study is more likely to occur in a person with high testosterone than one with high estrogen.

    Currently we don`t have any sort of vision about what a father is other than a mother with a penis that engages in rough and tumble play. This has made men try to emulate women and “mother” as best they can.

    In reality, as the study shows, men are in fact naturally drawn to a style of parenting that is very different from the nurturing style of mothering. They place more demands, they don`t give a “trophy” unless it is earned, they set more boundaries, they encourage independence and conscious risk taking, they demand a separation between themselves and the child and aid in the childs liberation from the parents as the child approaches adulthood. NONE of that is a major part of our current discourse of fathering. We are just encouraging fathers to become model the nurturing mother and insisting that men can do that just as well as women alongside showing appreciation for mens tendency to engage in rough and tumble play and take the kids out in nature. Some people have also started to understand that men accept more risk taking in children and that this might be beneficial but this understanding is at a beginning stage.

    THe result of this is that men are left with horrible self esteem as parents as they don`t see a clear role for themselves while women have one. So men try to model women as they are told. This just makes them into poor copies of women and somewhat dysfunctional. When your natural instincts are to behave in a different way and when your natural instincts are the road to actualizing your highest potential as a parent, doing something else undermines that potential. Also, at some level it feels of. And at some level you are bothered by something you don`t quite get. This unease shows up in the way you are as a father and it is not positive. If your instinct is closer to the fathering I described than classical mothering you will feel of somehow engaging in a mothering style. You certainly will never feel as at ease and confident as had you engaged in the fathering style that is more natural to you. Neither will you provide as much as what your children instinctively look to you for. And neither will you be as motivated to do it as to do what would be more natural to you. In addition women will be more attracted to men that father than men who mother. They will respect it more.

    If I had to choose one parenting style as the mature one I would choose the father style as the most mature. Though I think making such a choice is just silly because I think men and women should follow the style most natural to them and the combination of those two styles will naturally lead to the best outcome. It is a functional division of lane and neither style is better or worse just different parts of a whole and of a yin yang balance.

    Again we see the same pattern. Feminism has turned down the father and diminished the value of fathering in the masculine sense to zero and left men the only option of feminizing themselves. Same pattern as with empathy vs male universal morality. Men are reduced to nothing and women are elevated as the ideal good and as the authority and as the person who knows best in all cases but is not held accountable in her judgements due to the subjective nature of empathetic nurturing mothering.

    Fortunately, precisely because fathering is more natural to men than mothering classical fathering will show up in their parenting. There will however be far less of it than if they had understood what fathering was and if society had given it any value.

    The narcissism increases we have witnessed over the last 40 years is highly related to this. The lack of the male role in parenting is largely responsible for it. WOmen give tropes for participation and teach entitlement and impossible dreams etc. Men provide the reality check, the contact with the real world, the ego check, the boundaries, the demands, the attitude of earning things before receiving them etc. This is exactly what combats narcissism.

    The fact that masculine values have been vitally damaging in virtually every sector of society have contributed to the narcissism epidemic by having almost only female values in society at large and very little masculine ones to provide the natural counterbalance. Follow your dreams, you can become anything you put your mind to, empathy above ethics, listening to your heart above submitting to higher authority etc. etc.

    In a similar manner as I`ve shown our society do not understand neither the masculine pole of morality nor the masculine style of parenting neither does it understand the masculine in most other ways. And in the same way it does not celebrate masculine morality or parenting it does not celebrate masculinity in other areas either. In fact our society hates masculinity and attacks it everywhere. This prevents men from actualizing their potential because it is through masculine values men realize their highest potential NOT through becoming more feminine. That only makes men dysfunctional and end up as nice guys. In fact is is this, rather than the lacking ability to relate to our emotions in a feminine manner that is the primary crisis in masculinity and in dating and relationships for men.

    In the same way society don`t understand masculinity and do not appreciate it so do scientists not understand masculinity nor appreciate it. THAT is what leads them to conclusions such as because men have less empathy they are less mature. That is what leads them to see faults in men in are after are for being as good as certain things as women are and recommending men model themselves on women. They are ignoring to a large extent the masculine way of being and are lacking in an ability to suggest improvements in this are as opposed to just recommending men become more like women.

    New Male studies is a recently created discipline that sees itself as an alternative to the masculinity “research” of feminist gender studies departments. It sees the previous research as having been lead by a ideology and a view that masculinity is inherently problematic and it had denied biology. I am hopeful that this new discipline will correct the problems I have described and lead to researchers reconsidering both the conclusions of male immaturity and the solutions to male problems:

    http://newmalestudies.com/OJS/.....ue/archive


  53. These studies combined explain almost all the grade gap. They might actually suggest men would have gotten better grades had they all been corrected for. Certainly they show that men actually do PERFORM far better than their grades suggest they just are not given those grades due to grade discrimination and discriminatory evaluation criteria. That a different teaching style gives boys so much better results in reading suggest that a change in teaching style would further increase their performance a lot:

    http://www.publications.parlia.....020702.htm

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/ne.....tudy-finds

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....study.html

    http://www.theatlantic.com/mag.....ys/304659/

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-11151143

    Take note of the fact that the key reasons pointed to as explanations of both the grade discrimination and the actual reduced results is feminist policy.

    I am also skeptical that girls have actually started to learn better than before. I think they are also doing worse than before just not as much worse as boys and this combined with grade discrimination against boys leads to their better results.

    Several countries have had TV-shows where students are enrolled in a boarding school and for some time are taught in the exact same manner as 50 years ago and required to learn what pupils learned 50 ears ago. Todays students are usually several years behind in performance in math and reading compared to pupils 50 years ago. When taught in the old way todays students quite quickly catch up and start performing much closer to the students in the past. So I believe that girls are also actually doing worse, certainly they KNOW less and read WORSE than they did before. They only do better in terms of receiving better grades, graduating more and going to college more. The study on learning to read showed the old teaching style not only gave boys much better results, and better results than the girls, but girls slightly better results as well.

    I can`t really comment on Rosin as I haven`t read her book just looked through some chapters in the bookstore. I seem to recall she said we did not know why boys performed worse in school. We do know several reasons and they where available to her at the time. I certainly found it few some google searches. I am happy that she draws attention to mens situation though. I found the way she treated her son in a video clip was abhorrent though. He is left in shame about boys being bad while the daughter gets smug and superior on behalf of girls.


  54. Anonymous -

    In general, when possible, I’d prefer if people were to link to studies, that they link to the actual original study rather than a mainstream news article or a manosphere, MRA, or feminist blog post that summarizes the study. I really don’t like when people post to someone else’s interpretation of an interpretation of a study because so many people are prone to mischaracterizing studies based on their own biases. The longer the chain of interpretations, the more likely it is to become like a game of telephone where the message gets slightly distorted each time. If the actual point of the link is to discuss the summarizer’s view of the study and not the study itself that’s different.

    I haven’t gone into detail in reading the study you mentioned, but from a brief skimming, I still have trouble with the idea that women have more empathy based on how they define empathy. Women feel more pain and discomfort when they see someone else being tortured or in pain? I don’t know if that’s necessarily empathy. Same for the other methods it uses to come to the conclusion that women have more empathy. I think empathy is more multifaceted and complex than that.


  55. Sherlock – I agree. I don’t think the declining performance of boys is proof that girls are more mature. I just think it’s due to a change in schooling and employment styles that is very conducive toward women. Only one out of four teachers is male these days. And many co-ed work and networking environments are becoming very conscious of bending over backwards to accomodate female-friendly ways of interacting. For example look at the recent Adria Richards debacle and how a man has to curb his humor style at all times lest he be accused of sexism. When typical male forms of bonding and interacting get labeled as sexist and hostile and evidence of a “boys club” or “frathouse” mentality but feminine styles of bonding and interacting are treated as normal and preferred, I think that does a lot to explain the gap and isn’t proof that women are somehow more mature.


  56. “- Studies show that men are less able to cope with negative emotions, show greater physiological stress to negative emotions, are more prone to violence, selfishness, to lack empathy, etc. So again, you really need to define “maturity” here.”

    Studies show men are better at coping with the emotions after a crisis event but worse at coping with the emotions connected to say the death of someone close. Studies also show men cope better with a hostile work environment. Both dealing better with crisis and a hostile work environment involve dealing with emotions. It involves dealing with emotions in a way that men are naturally better at. What I believe the researchers you refer to have been doing is they have been looking at emotional coping in all the areas that are natural feminine areas and looked at how men perform there. Obviously the results showed men coped worse. However, as the crisis study and hostility studies show men deal better than women in those areas and I can guarantee you that if you go through every situation that is traditionally more connected to masculinity than femininity and areas that have been more important for men evolutionary speaking men will show better ability to cope emotionally.

    Another study asked men and women what would give them the most satisfaction if someone they worked with insulted them or did something bad to them. Most men said that confronting the person would feel most rewarding to them. Most women said talking badly about the person to other people who knew the person behind their backs would make them feel the most satisfaction. Which shows more ability to deal with emotions properly according the view of western psychology? The men. Personally I don`t see it in that perspective, I just see it as differences in masculine and feminine behavior and i don`t think men and women will ever score the same on such a test so I think the maturity distinction does not really apply there but if I had to chose one as more mature I would chose the mens response and so would western psychologist. So I just gave you three studies that show men coping better. It seems to me that two things are going on. One is that, as I mentioned, researchers are looking at this through very feminized lens. Secondly, I suspect you are letting yourself be fed information from people with dubious perspectives such as a Hannah Rosin. It is just another version of feminist misinformation to serve their purposes in the way Christina Who Summers documents in who stole feminism. Feminists are generally incapable of processing information honestly and fairly and without a lens that will always undermine men even when seemingly attempting to help them. There are exceptions like Hoff Summers but they are extremely rare and rarely or never blank slaters. Their information twisting gets circulated widely and becomes a sort of common knowledge but is grossly misleading. Currently branding men as emotionally immure is important to them so that is what they spread. As I could easily come up with 3 counterexamples from memory I`m sure a serious effort could reveal 50-100 studies that showed areas where men show both more maturity and better ability to cope with emotion than women.


  57. I wrote the anonymous comment. I did not intend it to be anonymous but somehow it ended up that way. I will link the the actual study next time when possible.


  58. I taught at a design college for a couple of years. When I started there was no material so I made up my own course. It was deep and demanding and I tested the students against real case scenarios and pushed their limits and put their skills to use. The ones who were interested on the subject learned fast, the ones who werent interested, it was too much for them.

    My best students were guys who werent really paying attention in class, they were doing the stuff on their own, and called me only for help. They were ahead of the program.

    I was ok with putting zero grades (F-) to the ones who didnt care about learning the stuff. My take: if you cant do this stuff, you aint gonna be making money with it on the real world, so why do you want a grade on it? go do something else.

    Nonetheless I got the “best teacher award” from the students four times in a row.

    So. A couple of women protested and wanted to pass my course, on the basis that they had been attending to class and had done most of the assignments. Were they able to do the stuff? no. But they wanted recognition for their efforts. I got pushed by the direction so I gave an A+ to everyone. A month later I got the official program I was supposed to teach. It was totally newbie and useless stuff, and I was expected to follow it to the letter and dump my demanding course. So, naturally, I quit. Now everyone is passing the course.

    Do they know how to do the stuff? no. They just made it more difficult for hiring departments to filter the ones who can do stuff from the ones who only have a grade.

    And the guys that used to be my best students, the school is now just too slow and mind numbing for them.


  59. The “empathy gap” disappears when you control for context. Men are also not worse at reading people’s emotions. These are myths reinforced by poorly-done experiments. Men are capable of just as much empathy as women, they’re just discouraged to show it in most situations.

    Please read “The Delusions of Gender” as it talks about this at length.

    The stuff about empathy and principles is interesting, but I don’t think it tells us anything about men and women. I don’t think men or women are any more inherently principled or empathetic than the other.

    Or at least, there’s no evidence that supports that. There’s also nothing that says that both men and women can’t be principled and empathetic at the same time (I would imagine this would lead to an ideal morality anyway).


  60. Also, in regards to parenting styles, and in support of my statement that men and women aren’t any more naturally principled or empathetic than the other, the APA did a review of 46 studies on same-sex parenting and found that there were no significant negative differences in children raised by same-sex parents than by hetero parents.

    In my opinion, this kind of throws the biological argument out the window.

    Studies do show that children without fathers do far worse later in life than children who do. But the evidence suggests that this is because children need two parents to get all of the attention and nurturing they need, not because fathers provide something inherently necessary to parenting.


  61. In my opinion, this kind of throws the biological argument out the window.

    I have only been skimming these comments on my smartphone and not reading them in depth right now. I’m planning to read them in depth at home. Who made the biological argument? I just want to make sure we keep track of who’s responding to who.


  62. Anonymous implied that men are naturally disposed to being principled and women empathetic. He then went on to say that best parenting practices require a balance of both of these approaches, “yin and yang” as he called it.


  63. “And it’s all carried out in peer-reviewed research. Not some old divorced dude claiming he’s going to tell you how the “vast majority” of women lie and cheat in 200 pages.”

    Yet Athol Kay is still getting far better results than couples counseling in terms of actually getting couples attracted to each other again.


  64. ” To me, it’s just emotional venting. Women are simply more likely to talk your ears off about their emotions. I know this is a humor piece, but I think it’s funny precisely because it hits a major truth: http://www.theonion.com/articl…..the,27446/ I think most of the emotional discussions women do is just to take turns validating each other or to vent.”

    I agree with this to a large extent. And I don`t think women’s ways of relation to their emotions is a good model for men to copy. I think, a masculine man at least, relates differently to emotions and will do better with a different set of strategies for coping generally. I`ll write more about what I mean by that when I have time.


  65. ““Don’t try to solve a woman’s problem when she presents you with one. Just listen and tell her it will be okay. She just wants to vent, not necessarily find a solution.” I used to believe this and buy into it. I was always told that as a man it’s insensitive that we are always trying to be “fixers” and offer solutions instead of just listening and validating. Then I thought about it, and I realized, wait, which is actually more mature, just talking about emotions with no intention of changing or fixing things, or talking about things with a real desire to take action and fix them?”

    I see this differently and follow a model that works for me 100% of the time with women.

    As many men I used to start offering solutions when women came with a problem and found that did not work very well. After being told by many people that women just wanted me to listen I started doing that instead and it worked better. I got really good at it.

    At some point I started to offer my advice AFTER i intuited that the women had vented enough and was feeling seen enough. I found that this worked far, far better then only listening and emphasizing. I found that women relished in me giving them solutions. I also found that the more I could provide them with direction the more they responded well to it. If there was already some attraction or possibility for attraction there it would increase after I did this. I found it increased masculine feminine polarity.

    So what I do is first I emphasize and try to understand and show I am on her “team” so to speak. After empathizing I always try to analyze the problem and chop it up into understandable manageable categories to provide clarity. Unlike what people think this works really well as long as the empathy has been there first. After that I provide a solution and a direction. The solution might just be that there is nothing to do other than learn to live with something but then I might say somehting about how to do that. Usually though there is something concretely that can be done or ways of relating that can be changed. I have found that the more Clearly and strongly I suggest a direction the better women like it and the more attracted they become.

    I see both the clarity of analysis and the clear direction as masculine qualities that women seek in men and I think that is why offering these creates attraction. Providing empathy alone does not create attraction. It is more likely to diminish. But combined and in the right sequence it works really, really well.

    What I think women actually want when they vent is to get assurance that they have allies, that other people in their tribe are supporting them. The emphasizing probably gives women boost of oxytocin. Although I am not an expert I have read that when women feel stress what reduces it the most is oxytocin (while for men it is testosterone that does the same). The way I see it the oxytocin boost is women’s signal that someone is allied to them and in an evopsych perspective acceptance and allies are more important to women than mastery. For men mastery is more important than the herd relatively speaking and so testosterone boosts signaling that he will get things in order or handle it by enduring it, is the key stress reducing signal.

    But women want more from men than just allies. They want someone who can lead and stake out a clear course and that is what you do by giving a clear analysis and a clear direction. You provide her with some high quality, high substance dominance.


  66. As for gender differences this blog has links to various studies that do show substantial differences. Ricky, feel free to remove this post if you don`t want more posts that link to sites and not the actual study. I haven`t read the studies myself I just wanted to give you a tip about research that goes in the other direction of what Mark is claiming.


  67. ““The fact is also that both men and women defend each other in great numbers and there’s no way to know who does it more or who doesn’t do it enough.””

    This suggests otherwise:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15491274

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_are_wonderful


  68. Argh, forgot the link about biology:

    http://www.pellebilling.com/tag/biology/


  69. here’s also nothing that says that both men and women can’t be principled and empathetic at the same time (I would imagine this would lead to an ideal morality anyway).

    I agree that is ideal in a sense and somewhat achievable to some people.


  70. Cosigning Sherlock’s


  71. http://pjmedia.com/drhelen/201.....en-silent/

    “women and men help each other equally” nope. There’s something called the white knight (which I was trained to become early on). Im unaware of a female equivalent. Maybe the groopie, but a groupie will always turn on you if needed.

Leave a Reply