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In 2011, Philip Zimbardo gave a TED Talk called "The Demise of Guys," which has been viewed by over 1.8 million people. A TED eBook short followed that chronicled how in record numbers men are flaming out academically and failing socially and sexually with women. This new book is an expansion of that brief polemic based on Zimbardo's observations, research, and the survey In 2011, Philip Zimbardo gave a TED Talk called "The Demise of Guys," which has been viewed by over 1.8 million people. A TED eBook short followed that chronicled how in record numbers men are flaming out academically and failing socially and sexually with women. This new book is an expansion of that brief polemic based on Zimbardo's observations, research, and the survey that was completed by over 20,000 viewers of the original TED Talk. The premise here is that we are facing a not-so-brave new world; a world in which young men are getting left behind. Philip Zimbardo and Nikita Coulombe say that an addiction to video games and online porn have created a generation of shy, socially awkward, emotionally removed, and risk-adverse young men who are unable (and unwilling) to navigate the complexities and risks inherent to real-life relationships, school, and employment. Taking a critical look at a problem that is tearing at families and societies everywhere, "Man, Interrupted" suggests that our young men are suffering from a new form of "arousal addiction," and introduce a bold new plan for getting them back on track. The concluding chapters offer a set of solutions that can be affected by different segments of society including schools, parents, and young men themselves. Filled with telling anecdotes, results of fascinating research, perceptive analysis, and concrete suggestions for change, Man, Interrupted is a book for our time. It is a book that informs, challenges, and ultimately inspires.


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In 2011, Philip Zimbardo gave a TED Talk called "The Demise of Guys," which has been viewed by over 1.8 million people. A TED eBook short followed that chronicled how in record numbers men are flaming out academically and failing socially and sexually with women. This new book is an expansion of that brief polemic based on Zimbardo's observations, research, and the survey In 2011, Philip Zimbardo gave a TED Talk called "The Demise of Guys," which has been viewed by over 1.8 million people. A TED eBook short followed that chronicled how in record numbers men are flaming out academically and failing socially and sexually with women. This new book is an expansion of that brief polemic based on Zimbardo's observations, research, and the survey that was completed by over 20,000 viewers of the original TED Talk. The premise here is that we are facing a not-so-brave new world; a world in which young men are getting left behind. Philip Zimbardo and Nikita Coulombe say that an addiction to video games and online porn have created a generation of shy, socially awkward, emotionally removed, and risk-adverse young men who are unable (and unwilling) to navigate the complexities and risks inherent to real-life relationships, school, and employment. Taking a critical look at a problem that is tearing at families and societies everywhere, "Man, Interrupted" suggests that our young men are suffering from a new form of "arousal addiction," and introduce a bold new plan for getting them back on track. The concluding chapters offer a set of solutions that can be affected by different segments of society including schools, parents, and young men themselves. Filled with telling anecdotes, results of fascinating research, perceptive analysis, and concrete suggestions for change, Man, Interrupted is a book for our time. It is a book that informs, challenges, and ultimately inspires.

30 review for Man, Interrupted: Why Young Men are Struggling What We Can Do About It

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alexandru

    Only Zimbardo can write in a way to piss off both feminists and gamers alike, in a world of snowflakes everyone is offended judging from the reviews of the book I read before beginning reading it. It seems that the vast majority of those writing bad reviews never got to the conclusive part, which is explaining rather well what should be done in this world regarding growing boys. It is hard to understand the incredible hate in the comments about a book that is rather peaceful, which is trying to Only Zimbardo can write in a way to piss off both feminists and gamers alike, in a world of snowflakes everyone is offended judging from the reviews of the book I read before beginning reading it. It seems that the vast majority of those writing bad reviews never got to the conclusive part, which is explaining rather well what should be done in this world regarding growing boys. It is hard to understand the incredible hate in the comments about a book that is rather peaceful, which is trying to find solutions to a problem. I think the book is in a must read list for everyone raising boys these days and points out to serious problems going on around them. There is definitively a need to address the issues mentioned by the authors. Clearly the fact that Zimbardo is quite old and thus conservative can be felt in his style of writing, but it is a natural generations gap and should be treated accordingly. The fact that the authors analysed and explained these issues is great - in a world where any book about males' problems is becoming a danger to feminists - and useful, because it is giving advices how to correctly tackle the issues listed. An interesting book that is definitively worth your time.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Francesca

    I picked up this book with skepticism about how much of a "meninist" stance it might take concerning the difficulties of young men in society. For starters, this may be petty, but the title rubbed me the wrong way: it’s clearly a reference to Girl, Interrupted, but they chose to use “Man” instead, even though they are talking about young men, i.e. boys. I'm glad to report that this book is not “meninist” (much), but it still has its problems. I am incredulous at the sexist notions the authors pe I picked up this book with skepticism about how much of a "meninist" stance it might take concerning the difficulties of young men in society. For starters, this may be petty, but the title rubbed me the wrong way: it’s clearly a reference to Girl, Interrupted, but they chose to use “Man” instead, even though they are talking about young men, i.e. boys. I'm glad to report that this book is not “meninist” (much), but it still has its problems. I am incredulous at the sexist notions the authors perpetuate seemingly without irony--for example, in chapter twelve, there is an actual subsection titled, "Why Buy the Cow When You Can Have the Milk Free?" in which they quote one young man from their survey as saying "Men are as good as their women require them to be" from which the authors conclude that "easy access to sex affects men's motivation to achieve other life goals." How utterly offensive to both sexes--not only is it a breathtaking example of academically-couched slut-shaming, but it also implies that men are basically led around by their dick and can do no better unless "rewarded" by women with sex. Or when the authors dismiss the pay gap between men and women as “deceptive because it is not…men and women doing the same work,” completely ignoring that the reason female-dominated fields, like teaching, pay so much less is precisely because “women’s work” is less valuable in a sexist society. For example, in Russia, where women dominate the medical field, doctors make far less than they do in America, where the field is dominated by men. And I don’t even know what to say about chapter thirteen, “The Rise of Women?” I am similarly speechless at the authors’ assertion that “'affirmative consent' rules on campus put young men in the position of parent (he is still expected to take all the initiative and therefore take all on all of the responsibility) and young women in the position of child (she shares none of the burden of initiation or responsibility and therefore has no accountability)” as well as their baffling assertion that “in cases of sexual assault men are seen as guilty until proven innocent yet there are zero consequences for false accusers.” There are many examples throughout the book of the authors conflating power and privilege and making claims that men’s lack of power in some areas means that their privileges as men are moot, too many to list here. The truth, which the authors seem unwilling to admit, is that women are still hugely disadvantaged in our culture. It’s the same reason that “reverse racism” isn’t real—just as black people have centuries of being held back and oppressed to overcome in order to be on equal footing with white people, so too will women be a long time overcoming the sexism that has held them back and erased their contributions throughout history. Instead of recognizing this, the authors accuse women of wanting to have equal opportunity without equal responsibility—to “have it all”—when in reality women are pressured to “be it all”—they have to be beautiful and sexy while also having a career and raising a family, and if they eschew any of that, or fail to do any of it perfectly, they are criticized harshly for it. I am also wholly unconvinced of the book’s major premise: that the reason young men are, in the authors' words, "shy, socially awkward, emotionally removed, and risk-adverse...unable (and unwilling) to navigate the complexities and risks inherent to real-life relationships, school, and employment" is mainly because of too much screen time, particularly with video games and online porn. It's not that I don't think that video game and/or porn addiction are a problem, but I think the authors give them far too much credit. Addiction is almost always a function of the addicted attempting to fix/self-medicate some other underlying problem in their lives, and no matter how many anecdotes the authors can trot out about totally socially "normal" young men who found themselves becoming addicted to video games or porn and losing their formerly robust ability to interact socially with others, I still think for the most part this is not the huge problem the authors make it out to be. There is a lot of hand-wringing and head-shaking by the authors over the effects of video games and porn on young men's minds, without a lot of solid evidence to prove this is warranted--for example, at the end of chapter eleven the authors make a dire warning about kids becoming detached and losing the ability to empathize in their future lives "especially as drone technology presents itself as a deadly real-world extension of gaming technology." But this particular concern has already been demonstrated to be a false one--drone specialists who are responsible for remote bombings in the military experience the exact same level of post-traumatic stress over their work as pilots in the air who drop bombs, although drone operators get much less recognition and help with their stress. As for porn warping men’s minds, there could be a scientific case for this, but the case the authors actually make is far from a scientific one. In fact, I'm not all that convinced that the real "problem" with young men is at all how the authors have framed it in this book. The authors attempt to emphasize the differences between men and women repeatedly and draw the conclusion that men in many ways are worse off now, but they hardly acknowledge that the sexism that affects men is the exact same sexism that has oppressed women for much of our history. The reason many men feel trapped by a narrow definition of masculinity—one that prevents them from displaying emotion or embracing their “feminine” nurturing side—is the sexist culture that creates that narrow definition and attempts to maintain it by punishing men who try to step outside of those boundaries, and their punishment is rooted deeply in misogyny. If a man who chooses a traditionally female-dominated career or role is seen as less of a man and this is a punishment, then it follows logically that being associated with the “feminine” taints men and robs them of masculinity. In other words, it robs them of power and privilege which women are locked out of from the very start. The message is "You better act like a man, or else--we'll treat you like a woman, which is the worst thing that can happen to you." I think this is the real reason men are struggling to find their place in the modern world--after all, if the worst thing you can be is a woman, then women had all the incentive they could possibly need to try to break out of their socially prescribed sexist roles and claim new ones that were heretofore reserved for men. But for any man who wants to break out of the narrow sexist roles deemed appropriate for him, there is everything to lose, if you look at it the way our sexist culture has groomed us all to see things from birth. There are other social problems the authors blame for young men being "adrift," such as over-reliance on illegal/prescription drugs, a lack of male role models in their early lives, and failing schools, and I believe there is truth to these observations. However, the authors provide very little in the way of actual evidence, beyond anecdotes from those they surveyed and quotes from pop-science news and magazine articles. This isn't to say that young men aren't struggling, but the problems young men face could easily be framed as problems that young women are also facing--and there are probably plenty of anecdotes you could find to back that up too. There is a whole lot of correlation pointed to here and assumed to be causation, and they basically admit in the introduction that they felt men were struggling and went out to search for evidence proving why, rather than to search for evidence that they are actually struggling in the way they claim. What’s worse, their conclusions are deeply rooted in heteronormative ways of thinking and privilege traditional heterosexual marriage as the “best” way for men and women to live and for children to be raised. They assume that people losing interest in traditional heterosexual coupling and marriage must necessarily be a bad thing, despite the overpopulation of the world, imply that homosexual couples can’t raise a child properly, and completely erase asexual and aromantic people from the equation. Finally, the solutions proposed by the authors to the “young men problem” that they have identified are also problematic, as well as lack-luster. The male author, Phil Zimbardo, nostalgically references his personal history with sports in his youth and recommends that all young men get involved in sports in order to learn leadership and teamwork, as if this is the only appropriate way for boys to learn these skills. Couldn’t they learn them in debate club, or maybe in a competitive cooperative board gaming club? I suppose the authors want to encourage outdoor exercise, but video games like Pokemon Go include this as an element also, incentivized through the gameplay. Their recommendations for government change seem commonsensical, but in this age where Congress can’t even pass legislation that has strong bipartisan support, you may as well recommend we wave a magic wand to solve these problems. And their recommendation for women to stop practicing “no-strings-attached” sex not only smacks of slut-shaming again but also promotes the idea that sex is a transaction that men “purchase” from women through their behavior and their attributes—not only a ridiculous idea, but an incredibly harmful and dangerous one. TL;DR – This book is a very narrow-minded, heteronormatively skewed analysis of the difficulties facing young men—and women—in the modern world. There are some things I agree with, but mostly it misses the point. We can’t get men and women to be more equal by pretending that they aren’t equally capable of controlling themselves, and of striving for excellence in whatever arena they find meaningful and fulfilling. What needs to change is the idea that men have to guard their masculinity above all else, to the detriment of their humanity, as well as the idea that this is, somehow, not a feminist concern.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alireza

    After reading a few top reviews of this book, I decided to add my own thoughts to this polemical collection, hoping that it would be beneficial to someone. - The book is about `male' problems. The mere fact that the purpose of this book comes as a surprise to a whole lot of people, admittedly even offensive to the agenda of a few, indicates how it has been overlooked in our society. - The book covers issues relating to sex, relationships, the effects of playing video games, and a few more topics t After reading a few top reviews of this book, I decided to add my own thoughts to this polemical collection, hoping that it would be beneficial to someone. - The book is about `male' problems. The mere fact that the purpose of this book comes as a surprise to a whole lot of people, admittedly even offensive to the agenda of a few, indicates how it has been overlooked in our society. - The book covers issues relating to sex, relationships, the effects of playing video games, and a few more topics that the authors believe has led to the current withdrawal of some of the youth from the society. Of course, it does not imply all men will have all of these issues -- that is rarely a result of any psychological study. The authors have identified some of the factors that they believe contribute the most to the current downfall trajectory of men and they offer their best psychological explanation to the situation. As a guy, I could relate to a plenty of the observations they have made, and I utterly enjoyed reading the comments of a Psychology expert. - Reading this book is recommended to people who do not carry a strong sense of self-righteousness. If you think you might be wrong about a few things, I'm sure you'd enjoy learning about a different perspective.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Laura Milvy

    I HATED this book. Sure he had some good observations about boys wasting their lives on the internet and the harmful effect. He enjoyed his research on porn just a bit too much. The one lines about Porn I agree with is "Why is taking your clothes off the only way for a woman to publicly communicate self- acceptance? When we insist every woman is beautiful and encourage them to show more skin as a form of empowerment, we not only place even more emphasis on physical appearance, we devalue it." Th I HATED this book. Sure he had some good observations about boys wasting their lives on the internet and the harmful effect. He enjoyed his research on porn just a bit too much. The one lines about Porn I agree with is "Why is taking your clothes off the only way for a woman to publicly communicate self- acceptance? When we insist every woman is beautiful and encourage them to show more skin as a form of empowerment, we not only place even more emphasis on physical appearance, we devalue it." This hit the spot with me especially as I have been talking with younger woman who have been telling me it is empowering to post nude photos. YAWN. But really, why is it so hard for woman to use their brains to be empowered. The authors sexism also rings out loud and clear. So much so that I had to write comments in the columns as a way of disputing what he said. He places much of men's decline in society, with women's success and rise. I kept checking his credentials which continue to surprise me but maybe since he is an older man, I should not be. All in all, his views were appalling.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    An infamous psychologist attempts to regain his dignity with this novel, by making wildly alarmist claims about Western society primarily based on one online questionnaire. You know, because the Internet is notorious for being entirely honest. Third time's a charm, Zimbardo.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Marshall

    This book's premise is that men and boys are in trouble. This is a fairly controversial claim, particularly among feminists, who demand all gender-based sympathy be directed toward women. They've been very successful at this, maybe too successful. Women have increasingly outnumbered men in college for years, and the trend has yet to abate. Unfortunately, this book fails miserably at making the case. The "symptoms" in the first part of the book are that men are viewing internet porn, playing video This book's premise is that men and boys are in trouble. This is a fairly controversial claim, particularly among feminists, who demand all gender-based sympathy be directed toward women. They've been very successful at this, maybe too successful. Women have increasingly outnumbered men in college for years, and the trend has yet to abate. Unfortunately, this book fails miserably at making the case. The "symptoms" in the first part of the book are that men are viewing internet porn, playing video games, and smoking marijuana instead of working their asses off and proving themselves. The "causes" in the second part of the book are that men are viewing internet porn, playing video games, and smoking marijuana. Basically, they're slacking off and jacking off, and the reason for this is that they're slacking off and jacking off. This whole book is one big circular argument. People have been going after pornography, masturbation, and video games for decades now. Ever since the 70's, moralists have been going crazy with court trials and parental controls, trying to get rid of pornography. It's never shown itself to be the enormous social problem moralists have wanted it to be. They thought the world would end because 16-year-olds might get their hands on a Penthouse. Now we have pre-teens with access to gigabytes of every kind of porn imaginable, and no moral collapse seems to be upon us. Then along comes Zimbardo, thinking he's hit upon some kind of epiphany here. Video games are far more pervasive than a few decades ago. I remember in the 90's, particularly after the Columbine shooting, that video games were supposed to be the cause of this huge new generation of violent criminals. It seemed so intuitive: these kids spend hours in front of a screen, engaging in a constant barrage of intense violent encounters. It's like the perfect training simulation for criminal behavior. It made sense that they'd all become violent, but it never happened. Violence has gone down, and gamers are the least violent of all. Then along comes Zimbardo, thinking he's hit upon some epiphany here. Marijuana has not turned out to be the moral disaster it was proclaimed to be. I grew up in the 80's, and I remember all the anti-drug campaigns. Just say no! This is your brain on drugs! Drugs, all drugs, destroy lives. Alcohol is fine, just wait till you're 21, and you're in for a treat. But stay away from marijuana and crack and cocaine and heroine (all one category). Again, marijuana has proven to be mostly harmless, and even enormously beneficial for those with chronic pain. The real disaster turned out to be the heavy handed approach the government took toward solving this non-existent problem. Then along comes Zimbardo, thinking he's hit upon some epiphany here. He's way off the mark that pornography and masturbation cause addiction, marriage troubles, sexual deviance, and impotence. Of course you can find anecdotes to the contrary. Polling is vulnerable to many biases. To make a case, you have to conduct controlled studies, and these studies have found no significant problems caused by masturbation and pornography for most people. It does cause problems for some, but that's true for a lot of things in life. Many sex therapists find that the fear of pornography and masturbation causing problems tends to cause more problems than pornography and masturbation themselves. This book was a bit confusing. Sometimes it talked about ways that men are being left behind and need help. Other times it seemed focused on shaming them for their piggish ways, their laziness and sexuality. Grow up and get a job you deadbeat, stop choking the chicken, it's time to man up. That sort of thing. The kind of bullshit parents have been feeding their boys since the beginning of time so they'll fight the wars, build the skyscrapers, and earn the money. This book is disrespectful of both men and women. It portrays men as creatures who always crave the path of least resistence. By nature they do not want to be challenged, start careers, or commit to relationships. Given their druthers, they'll just spend all day goofing around and jacking off to porn. If women don't force them to man up, they never will. They portray women as slutty princesses that just want babies. They chide women for not demanding enough of men because it's more fun to fool around. It never seems to occur to the authors that maybe there are plenty of men who, aside from some flings, really are wanting a deep connection and commitment with women, or that there are plenty of women who don't want babies or even long-term relationships. This is the kind of line that pissed me off: "If instead of requiring the 70 percent effort normally needed to initiate (and potentially maintain) a relationship with a quality woman, it only takes a man 50 percent effort, that's the amount of work he'll put in. Every time. This benefits men in the short term but the consequence is that they are seldom forced or challenged to develop their more enduring relational skills." Here's another one that made me scream: "Your message, because you are a female, to males is that there will be a steady supply of desirable women who are actively sleeping with them. As long as a man knows he has access to new partners and hasn't already established a deeper relationship with a woman, it is in his best interests not to. And he knows this. Furthermore, it only perpetuates the access to random, no-strings-attached sex because desirable women are not being taken 'off the market' into long-term relationships." As if all of this isn't bad enough, this book is horribly researched. It states opinions as though they're fact. The quotes above are perfect examples. All they're doing is perpetuating stereotypes (men are pigs who all want the same thing) and folk wisdom (why buy the cow when the milk is free?), without a shred of data. Much of the evidence it cites are anecdotal, and a lot of these anecdotes came from a single survey. They make a lot of spurious claims. I checked a few of their sources, and they've always turned out to be flawed. In one case, the source they cited actually debunks the claim they're making. A real disappointment I felt about this book is that I admired Philip Zimbardo before reading it. That's the primary reason I read it. He wrote one of my favorite books, The Lucifer Effect. Even then, I was aware of his penchant for uncontrolled studies. His Stanford Prison Experiment was monumental, but it was not a controlled experiment. Still, I felt like he got the job done. This book was sad for me because I see now that he's just a bad researcher. In some ways, I envy the boys and men growing up in today's world. Their entertainment is so much more engaging, so readily available, so easily accessible. I think back to all the decades I tried so hard to prove myself. It would have been such a relief to just not give a shit, and enjoy what technology has to offer. Technology is amazing now, violence is down, health is up, financial prosperity is up. It's not a utopia, but it kind of is the best of times. Give men a break. Let them slack off and jack off. Men have been working way too hard for way too long. It's high time men started serving themselves instead of women and children. Let the women fight the wars, build the skyscrapers, and earn the money. It's what they say they've always wanted. Maybe some day they'll get sick of it like we have, and we can find a better balance.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Selwyn

    Man (Dis)connected: How Technology Has Sabotaged What it Means to be Male (2015) by Philip Zimbardo and Nikita D. Coulombe is a clear-eyed appraisal of modern masculinity and how technology is accelerating the decline of men. The book follows four years after a short but provoking TED talk delivered by Zimbardo in 2011. His message to the psychology community and beyond then was simply this: hooked on a cocktail of porn, video games, and prescription drugs, young men are failing like never befor Man (Dis)connected: How Technology Has Sabotaged What it Means to be Male (2015) by Philip Zimbardo and Nikita D. Coulombe is a clear-eyed appraisal of modern masculinity and how technology is accelerating the decline of men. The book follows four years after a short but provoking TED talk delivered by Zimbardo in 2011. His message to the psychology community and beyond then was simply this: hooked on a cocktail of porn, video games, and prescription drugs, young men are failing like never before, academically, socially, sexually - it’s time to do something about it. Since then research into the effects of online pornography and video games has increased, and Man (Dis)connected represents a fuller appraisal of the current situation as well as an opportunity for the authors to work through some potential solutions, something that the world-famous psychologist’s TED talk tantalisingly omitted. Although pornography and video games are the headline news here, what lies behind this exploration of how young men are living their lives is far less to do with the technology directly, and more to do with the isolating effect it has on young men. While women - who are disposed to be more social than men, Zimbardo argues - increasingly outperform their male counterparts academically, socially, and increasingly in the work arena, young men are retreating to the isolation of their own bedrooms, where video games offer a safe and easy way to gain a sense of achievement, and pornography provides a warm embrace without the requirement to negotiate any form of social interaction. Of course, the more often guys retreat into isolation, the less opportunity they have to develop the life skills they need to succeed in the world. It is in these self-formed realities that guys’ sexual education is played out. No wonder then, that sexual failures and objectification of women are on the increase. When young men do venture out from digital sanctuaries, their concentration is wrecked from the lightning fast stimulation that video games provide and they are increasingly diagnosed with ADHD as a consequence. Not only this, but anxiety disorders are on the increase, and young men are more likely to be medicated than ever before, whether for supposed ADHD or an anxiety condition. All this is set against a picture of absent fathers, disconnected families, economic turmoil, poor health, and lack of exercise that makes up the modern world for many youngsters in the west. It would be easy to feel despair at the state of modern masculinity when painted in these terms, but Zimbardo and Coulombe’s message is not one of hopelessness. Indeed, they see positive aspects to all of the technology they discuss and the final section of the book is reserved for the discussion of potential solutions as the authors see them, whether these be suggestions for how the media - porn and gaming included - can adapt to offer a healthier message, the government can help encourage men to take responsibility for their own lives and reach their potential in the real world, or for the men, women, and families who are affected by the new digital world to adapt to this new arena. While the authors are convinced that there is financial-incentive enough for pornography companies to produce romance-led films and move away from the dulling objectification of women, video games companies to produce more social games, and governments to produce better citizens, one is aware at all times that this has to be a financial argument as, after all, digital media is designed to appeal to men’s every desire - from lust to violence - and make money from it. Ultimately, it is the companies that profit from keeping men spellbound that will determine the shape of media going forwards. Trying to unpick the effect of technology on modern masculinity in under three hundred pages sounds like an incredible task, and it is, but Zimbardo and Coulombe have organised Man (Dis)connected - cycling through the symptoms, causes, and solutions - into a remarkably reader-friendly series of information flashes; short, sharp, and reminiscent of the style of browsing digital media that insists information be compacted into chunks bearable to even the most addled grazer. This is a smart move, and even when the chapters become longer as the book moves towards the causes of the problems, it never becomes weighed down. Instead, it is a light and breezy trip through an area of social psychology that should be as important to the general public as it is to researchers. The digital world is ubiquitous and failure to engage with everything that stems from this can only be to the detriment of society’s shared future. Engaged is, in fact, a perfect word for Man (Dis)connected. Undoubtedly this is helped by the extensive survey data collected by Zimbardo, which is often referred to and offers a chance for young men to have their own say on the problems that affect them. Despite being a somewhat whistle-stop tour of the issues (the pages of notes and references kept neatly to the end of the book indicate how deceptive the feeling of lightness in the main text is) there are few areas that one feels are left unaddressed in some form. Young men will recognise the landscape as described here, and for everyone else this will provide an entree into the often disturbing worlds of young men. Orwell wrote that the “power of facing” was one of the key skills of a good writer - so too for a social psychologist, and little is turned away from in Man (Dis)connected. At times, the authors appear to be pointing back to a form of masculinity now swept away as the preferable model for modern man, but aside from this and a few sentiments relating to the rise of women that might be challenged, this is as clear-eyed and on-point evaluation of modern masculinity as one could expect from what is, in essence, a popular psychology book about the plight of young, heterosexual men. To declare a bias, Man (Dis)connected is, to my mind, the non-fiction equivalent of what I attempted to capture in fiction in my own debut novel, ****, or, The Anatomy of Melancholy (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...). Clearly, this makes me both the ideal reviewer and the most biased, but this seems to me a well-rounded, engaged discussion of an absolutely crucial topic for our times. Young men are starting to recognise the problems of their lifestyle, and it is time that the wider community acts on this before a generation of young men are lost entirely to the stupefying effects of the digital world.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Joe

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Had to dismiss this book after I discovered how ridiculous Zimbardo's (or possibly his co-writer's?) views on the role of women are. Spoiler: "if women stopped reading Cosmopolitan and Teen Vogue and started reading Forbes and The Economist instead, women would be earning as much as men, if not more!" So technically I haven't 'read' this book, but I've read as much as I'm going to.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    In Man (Dis) Connected the eminent psychologist Philip Zimbardo trains his clinical eye about what it means to be a man in the early 21st century. Young men can find out about sex through the internet, in ever more explicit ways, they can fight false wars on a computer screen, and see more and more horror exploding in the news. They are falling behind their female classmates, both academically and socially, whilst ever increasing unemployment has meant that fewer can find work in many of the old In Man (Dis) Connected the eminent psychologist Philip Zimbardo trains his clinical eye about what it means to be a man in the early 21st century. Young men can find out about sex through the internet, in ever more explicit ways, they can fight false wars on a computer screen, and see more and more horror exploding in the news. They are falling behind their female classmates, both academically and socially, whilst ever increasing unemployment has meant that fewer can find work in many of the older, masculine work places that their fathers and grandfathers took for granted. Computers are taking away their need to leave the house, whilst the increase in online gambling is causing more problems. Zimbardo posits many reasons for this general malaise, from absentee fathers, the glamourisation of drugs and crime, to a general disillusionment with schools, low paid, low level jobs, and a largely unfair, and indifferent society. Much like he did with The Lucifer Effect, Zimbardo’s previous, controversial, and abandoned project, where volunteers took on the roles of prisoners, and guards, he examines the problem from both sides. Seeing it as a world wide problem, rather than one confined to one country, or one generation, he posits that the way to improvements can be found in a multi-pronged attack, where the government, media, and local community can play a large part. However, there is very little historical context within the book, and during the industrial revolution, the two world wars, even the market street crash of 1929, young men would have found themselves facing similar issues, it is just that they are spoken of more, and studied more these days, particular with our ever increasing reliance on computers. The book is written in highly intelligent, but accessible language. Readers do not need to have three degrees in psychology to get the point, and there is a lot to learn from this book. The work of Zimbardo, and his research scientist Nikita S Coulombe is both vital and timely, with much to think about, not only for this generation, but for the next one, and the one after that.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Glen

    I'm going to call it... this is the most important book of the decade, even though it may be another 5 years before everyone catches up to Zimbardo and Coulombe and figures that out. Men are failing across the board, boys have no decent male role models, and there's no male equivalent of the feminist movement to help them along. Anyone in education or raising children should read this, and libraries should add it to their collections.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Anneloes

    A large part of this book read like an Men's Rights Activists lecture. The authors make a lot of claims about men's "nature", often without citing any sources. Moreover, the authors continually assume that only men can be possible role models for boys. Although representations of more nurturing men in the media are certainly important, it is also very important that boys also learn to respect women who are their superiors, like mothers, teachers etc. One of the proposed solutions to boys' misbeh A large part of this book read like an Men's Rights Activists lecture. The authors make a lot of claims about men's "nature", often without citing any sources. Moreover, the authors continually assume that only men can be possible role models for boys. Although representations of more nurturing men in the media are certainly important, it is also very important that boys also learn to respect women who are their superiors, like mothers, teachers etc. One of the proposed solutions to boys' misbehaviour in school was to stimulate men to go into teaching. However, the authors did not seem to consider that part of the reason why teaching is unappealing to men is because this work lacks value in the eyes of society. The solution is not to add more men, but to respect women who do this underpaid work more. The same goes for single mothers. Boys do not respect women because society does not respect women, and male role models are not going to change that unless they embrace feminism as well and do not blame women for not having their sons' respect. All in all, I found the message in this book very contradictory, since on the one hand it demonises feminism, but on the other it states that we should raise boys to be more respectful towards women.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dastaan

    Game changer, ground breaker, must read book! Enough said!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mike Peleah

    Zimbardo and Coulombe start honest discussion about different aspects of men and women relationships in the digital age. They are not limit themselves with simple explanations, but rather go quite deep and explore underlining causes and effects of very visible symptoms. Book consists of three parts: Symptoms, Causes, and Solutions. The last part offers possible solutions to a range of interested parties--Govts, parents, schools, media, women, and (young) men themselves.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Vishal Misra

    Gender psychology has always interested me, and I've always been interested in the laws pertaining to gender and sexuality. As part of my research, I'd heard the distant rumbles of the "men are failing" hypothesis, but I didn't pay it much mind. Neither myself, nor any of my male friends, were failing. We're all educated, successful professionals. But I did know about the detrimental effects of online pornography. I'd come across the TED talks by Zimbardo on the "Demise of Guys", and the TED tal Gender psychology has always interested me, and I've always been interested in the laws pertaining to gender and sexuality. As part of my research, I'd heard the distant rumbles of the "men are failing" hypothesis, but I didn't pay it much mind. Neither myself, nor any of my male friends, were failing. We're all educated, successful professionals. But I did know about the detrimental effects of online pornography. I'd come across the TED talks by Zimbardo on the "Demise of Guys", and the TED talk by Gary Wilson and creator of yourbrainonporn.com. Again, I hadn't paid it much mind. Porn had lost its allure for me in my early twenties. This book presents well researched findings that demonstrate that men are indeed failing. Though, it could be argued that they're failing at a dated model of masculinity. What truly disturbs, is that the model has no incentive to reform. The authors calmly show us that men are struggling in school, struggling to reconcile the new economic world with the world (and gender roles) of their baby boomer predecessors. In turn, this contributes to a steady withdrawal from the world. They present evidence that many men struggle to have any functioning friendships with women (something that still shocks me when I think about it), and that they are replacing their needs to excel with video games, and their need to find a partner with online porn. They also show us that the pornification of life is having troubling effects on everyone. Men are expected by themselves, AND by many women, to be sexually on-demand. Media portrayals of men as oafish or trapped in prolonged adolescences does not help shift the image of men as mostly losers. Trapped indoors, eyes fixed online. This is a relatively nuanced text. The authors avoid sweeping generalisations. But there is no doubt that men face challenges. The workforce is changing, and men who do not excel at school or gain a valuable trade will struggle. In the short run this could mean increased crime, in the long run it appeals to a shift in electoral priorities. The more unemployed, but able, men we have; the more we will see rhetoric that blames this on women, immigrants or any other folk devil. However, the reality is, it is men and the education system which must change. The authors lay a set of proposed solutions to help assist guys. I agree with most of them, including widening sex education to include porn and deal with gender issues. Sex education must be more holistic as well, people must understand the hormonal shifts that occur with sex. Indeed, sex can hold a bad relationship together because of that hormonal cocktail, and this needs to be recognised. Finally, it is on parents to teach their children how to live. Good teachers and good parents make a world of difference. We must change what it means to be a man, but also must critically assess how millenials are engaging with technology. Fantasies and virtual realities seduce us all. For every man with unrealistic expectations of sex from porn, there is a woman with unrealistic expectations of romance gleamed from rom-coms and "chick-lit". This book is a timely reminder that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Justin Daniel

    Dr. Zimbardo is a psychologist who asks the basic question: why are men failing in the 21st century? We live in an era with unprecedented advances, equal rights unseen for most of world history, and technological superiority that has never been seen before. With all of this however, young boys are failing. They are consistently getting worse grades in school compared to females, they are more prone to be ADHD, in light of the recent recession they are not working as much, and are basically on th Dr. Zimbardo is a psychologist who asks the basic question: why are men failing in the 21st century? We live in an era with unprecedented advances, equal rights unseen for most of world history, and technological superiority that has never been seen before. With all of this however, young boys are failing. They are consistently getting worse grades in school compared to females, they are more prone to be ADHD, in light of the recent recession they are not working as much, and are basically on the verge of not being relevant any more. Dr. Zimbardo breaks his book up into 3 sections: symptoms, causes, and solutions. I think the most interesting is the first part: symptoms, with causes coming in a close second. Dr. Zimbardo attributes the decline of the male species with essentially three roots: pornography, video games, and drugs. The first two are the source of literally millions of wasted hours in young men’s life around the world. Dr. Zimbardo states that both are incredibly addictive, are used as a way to escape the real world, and when done in isolation, cripple the social skills of men. He demonstrates how young men use videos as an escapist fantasy that purposely uses a system of goals and rewards to help addict the user. While in the fantasy world, a young man can feel like he is accomplishing things he never has done in the real world, thus perpetuating the addiction. He talks a lot about dopamine and how video games make the user feel good about their accomplishments, even if they are detached from the real world. Similarly, pornography is a giant waste of time, addictive, and generally bad for your brain. He states how there has never been a time in history where men could view such a distorted view of reality in the world of sex until the 21st century, and it’s having vast repercussions on men. In general, pornography creates a fantasy world on how men perceive sex. While in real life, sex is meant to be within the confines of a relationship (and I would argue a marital relationship) that is suppose to cultivate emotion and interconnectedness with another person. Pornography largely detaches this last element from the equation: he explains pornography is incredibly selfish and the acts done in porn are in no way how a real woman wants to be treated or would find appealing if a man did it to her. What happens when young men view pornography apart from a sexual relationship is an unrealistic expectation of what sex is. They go into the bedroom expecting their wife to do certain things that are grotesque and even frightening because they have been conditioned by a fantasy world. It also is really addicting: similar to video games, porn affects the dopamine receptors in your brain to make you feel good about what you are seeing. The problem is that each time you view porn it takes a little bit more the next time in order to achieve the same “high.” Lastly, he looks at how medicated young boys are. Often times, boys are more susceptible to ADHD than girls. He shows how quite often boys don’t like school because of one reason or another and there after, are really difficult to keep engaged. The solution? Medicate them. He also makes great points on what this all means for women. If men are: 1) in isolation; 2) playing countless hours of video games (some people he interviewed played 14-16 hours.. a day); 3) and watching pornography, they are not being social. They are cooped up in their fortified castles of anonymity and solitude. The end result? Men are increasingly becoming socially inept. They don’t have girlfriends, they live with their parents, they don’t have jobs, and they don’t know how to talk to people. The thought of a girl may even make them nervous. So while technology has worked to connected us in a way that was unimaginable even 20 years ago, this is all going to the detriment of men in particular. Zimbardo makes some great points. The book is full of statistics that, as a millennial, are really frightening. Take a look at just one that he cites: “… imagine the kind of force gamers would become if every gamer dedicated just 1 per cent of his gaming time – 30 million collective hours a week – to make a real-world impact… Considering Wikipedia represents roughly 100 million hours of human thought, hypothetically 15.6 Wikipedia size projects could be accomplished every year if each gamer invested that 1 per cent into a crowdsourcing project” (Zimbardo, 250). Other statistics are saddening beyond measure. The average age a boy see’s pornography for the first time is 11 years old. But while I largely enjoyed reading the first two parts of his book, I could not agree with most of his “solutions.” From a Christian worldview, here are some things I think we need to do to curb this epidemic: Parents need to be more involved. I appreciate Dr. Zimbaro’s emphasis on father figures and their role in their kids lives. I really do. That’s coming from a secular perspective that is desperately needed. However, I think he downplays the significance of the parents role in the lives of kids. And by downplay, I mean he talks about it extensively, but I think this is the first step in solutions: parents need to be more involved in their kids lives. The computer age has been a great blessing to humanity, but it also has been a great weakness. Parents need to be involved in what their kids are watching and doing on the internet. They need to have tough conversations with them about sex and pornography that advocates boundaries within relationships, monogamy, abstinence, and the glory of God in their relationships (for my secular friends, I did say this was looking at this book from a Christian worldview perspective, so if you don’t agree with some of these things we can agree to disagree). Parents need to curb the excessive amount of media their kids intake and they need to reinforce the practice of reading. Lastly, I would encourage parents (and this is just my opinion) to totally cut out video games from their kids life. There is literally no bigger waste of time in this world than that, I think. And it really hurts the social development of kids (Dr. Zimbardo would probably disagree with me; he talks a lot about how the kind of problems associated with video games are when they are done in excess, so obviously that’s just my personal view on the subject). For those who are addicted to pornography or video games or both, there needs to be a greater urgency in the Church to address such issues. Obviously pornography is already being heavily opposed in the Church, but video games are seen largely as harmless. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone in the Church advocate for boys to cease playing video games, other than personal opinion. The problem with the latter is that I believe video games take away from the glory of God. When all of your affections are spent in a virtual world, how can you be an effective Christian? The answer simply is, you can’t. Lastly, I think that the Church needs to adopt programs of mutual accountability to address such addictions. Both of these issues are highly addictive and are very hard to quit. But quitting can be liberating and actually helpful. Once a coalition has been established, programs need to come alongside it to help young men retain their humanity and their unique maleness. One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard from women in the Church is that there are no longer quality men. Dr. Zimbardo addresses this in the book, but the question is why? Particularly in the Church where men are suppose to be renewed people by the grace of God. It my own opinion (through listening and watching), men in the Church are equally dysfunctional when it comes to relationships and dating. Is this due to the causes of video games and pornography? Perhaps. We need to bring together other males, particularly in the formative years of high school and college, to keep one another accountable to stopping such practices. The future is a little terrifying when reading this book. More and more kids are being exposed to ipads, iphones, computers, and video games at a crazy early age. How will they grow up? Will they be socially dysfunctional? Only the future will tell.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nishchay Mohan

    Philip Zimbardo has raised some legitimate concerns regarding pornography, video games and changing role of man in the society. Even though this book has raised a fair bit of criticism, I believe that Philip is doing the right thing by pointing out everything that is affecting 'what it means to be a man?'. This book is backed by statistics (I am not an academic but understand the manipulation that can be employed when it comes to statistics). This book deals with a number of issues facing today' Philip Zimbardo has raised some legitimate concerns regarding pornography, video games and changing role of man in the society. Even though this book has raised a fair bit of criticism, I believe that Philip is doing the right thing by pointing out everything that is affecting 'what it means to be a man?'. This book is backed by statistics (I am not an academic but understand the manipulation that can be employed when it comes to statistics). This book deals with a number of issues facing today's Man and also provides possible solutions to them which is quite unique and definitely helpful for an average joe like myself. I consider this book as an introduction to the issues and brief solutions which encourage readers to delve deeper into the empirical and peer reviewed research which is available for the taking.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alejandro

    This book brings up once more a topic that has been under the radar for quite some time, that of men not fitting in today's society and being unable to fulfill its future demands. While public feminism talk has focused on the symptoms that point out how outdated is the prevailing masculinity concept, Zimbardo goes beyond and decomposes the problem into its many dimensions and brings a fresh question. What if equality does not mean simply supporting women but also men so the latter can really com This book brings up once more a topic that has been under the radar for quite some time, that of men not fitting in today's society and being unable to fulfill its future demands. While public feminism talk has focused on the symptoms that point out how outdated is the prevailing masculinity concept, Zimbardo goes beyond and decomposes the problem into its many dimensions and brings a fresh question. What if equality does not mean simply supporting women but also men so the latter can really complement the former in the ways that make sense nowadays and in the future? An absolute must read for young men, but a very interesting one for young women as well.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dorothée

    Excellent book. Also highly recommended for people also interested in women's issues. My only criticisms are that the book almost solely focused on heterosexual men and that the title doesn't really capture what the book focuses on.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jarrod Zhang

    Although this book explores a vital phenomenon, the contents are poorly organised and most of the analysis seem to have been summaries of popular news articles.

  20. 5 out of 5

    India Jade

    I read ten pages and spewed in my mouth

  21. 5 out of 5

    Chris Esposo

    This is an interesting book written by a Stanford professor emeritus of psychology, offering his views of the current challenges "men" face in US society, specifically younger men. A fair portion of his thesis is plausible, specifically that positive role models for men are lacking in popular media, most of which have been filled with jack-ass, idiot-like characters, who either are perpetual man-child, with no sense of responsibility (he calls these "Peter Pans") or are outright louses to societ This is an interesting book written by a Stanford professor emeritus of psychology, offering his views of the current challenges "men" face in US society, specifically younger men. A fair portion of his thesis is plausible, specifically that positive role models for men are lacking in popular media, most of which have been filled with jack-ass, idiot-like characters, who either are perpetual man-child, with no sense of responsibility (he calls these "Peter Pans") or are outright louses to society/family/women etc. , and this in part, have helped breed a generation of like-minded men apeing the media they consume. The second and third legs that form the stool of his thesis, are a bit more problematic, but somewhat plausible; that technology, in the guise of video games and online pornography, have helped to retard men's development into viable socially productive adults. The third leg, although not stated as starkly, is that women's behaviours with respect to feminism have confused men and that the current "hookup culture" have made men complacent, destroying the incentive for men to become responsible, get jobs, start families etc. What is difficult to accept in this analysis is that "men" (I presume "on the mean" is implied), or any entity, are basically reflex agents with no initiative. Unable to "break through" their prodigious consumption/addiction to internet porn/video games and the hookup culture, to become productive members of society. On the face of it, it seems absurd. However, being totally ignorant of psychology, this could be the standard analytic framework assumed in the field. After all, although reflex agents are not utility maximizers, like economic constructs, which in principle can do whatever menu of actions one affords it in the model, to increase utility (showing more initiative), they nevertheless behave similarly, because they are often built from parameters of some classical distributions, and hence, tend to exhibit the same path-dependency based on environment (or 'constraints') that these reflex agents demonstrate. Again Individually, components of this argument seem plausible, for instance, the observation that video games provide a fantasy world, mostly for young men, that substitute real achievement for in-game achievements. Often times, the "skill" built-in video games, is much easier to obtain, than "skills" in real life, (become a level 25 wizard vs becoming a B.S in CS), and many games I've observed, especially mobile games, are essentially Skinner boxes, designed to get the user addicted through various random black-box techniques. The author contends the more time a person spends building achievements in the game, the less likely they are going to want to build achievements in real life, as failure to achieve, may break their perception of themselves as a "winner". It's also plausible that some men's morbid fascination with online pornography have desensitized them to real people, and real relationships, creating unrealistic expectations, although the author admits this is a two-way streak, and all people are probably somewhat guilty of this addiction in modern society. Yet, it's the inference in between any 2 components stated by the author that I have difficulty accepting, mainly because although being a well-published professor, he does not provide a lick of real data to demonstrate the threads by which all these components are suspended, are robust, or even there. He is resting his case that all these factors, interconnect, and together, are the main drivers of ill for men in modern America. That being said, the strongest component of the book really is the discussion of how men's identity is adrift in modern American society, caused by virtually no good media role-models, with many men having few or any good father-figures in their lives, the advent of technology with respect to two 2-fronts, 1. making large portions of men (and women) redundant in the labor force, 2. the associated vices from technology, and a social dialogue with respect to changing role of men/women. This almost certainly partially explains the results of the 2016 election. Simplified, the point is that American men no longer have an "initiation" into manhood, and without this, society risks an increasing mob of restless men, who will continue to cause mischief. This is summarized by a quote the author references early on in the book from an African proverb: "Initiate the boys, or they will burn down the village". There wasn't anything I haven't read before stated in this book, but if you are new to this perspective, it could be an interesting read. Just know beforehand that fundamentally, this perspective is more "conservative" (emphasize little c). Conditional recommend.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Verena

    This was an interesting read. It's well researched, not quite objective and provides many logically sound arguments. The authors tried, but ultimately they didn't live up to the high standards Zimbardo's name and position automatically set. I have to add that this book often contradicts itself and it's clear they don't want to offend men too much. I get that the authors had to consider how honest and frank they could be as to not offend men enough so they won't continue reading while still pointi This was an interesting read. It's well researched, not quite objective and provides many logically sound arguments. The authors tried, but ultimately they didn't live up to the high standards Zimbardo's name and position automatically set. I have to add that this book often contradicts itself and it's clear they don't want to offend men too much. I get that the authors had to consider how honest and frank they could be as to not offend men enough so they won't continue reading while still pointing out problematic developments. But this careful consideration resulted in an overtly kind tone that's sheltering young men from having to take much balme for their own actions. At the same time they continuously down played the need for a women's movement and had problems with the definition of feminism as in they criticised feminism for supporting the rights of women while not enforcing the rights of men in the same way. Since feminism is by definition pro equality and constantly strives to ensure both sexes are awarded equal opportunities and rights that resentment isn't justified just because men don't get the same support to (continue) to fill top notch positions (because they simply don't need the help) I especially take offense in the comparison of violence against women and men in the form of circumcision as equal. Apparently it's unfair that society only regards female circumcision as barbaric while little boys have to suffer. If they had done their research right they would have seen that female circumcision means cutting/ removing AT LEAST part of the clitoris and often sewing the labia partially shut, which causes intercourse to lack pleasure and be (sometimes excruciatingly) painful. They mutilate the female pleasure center at an age where the young girls are able to remember this truly horrible procedure (most often upwards from age 7, as a ritual of entering women hood), especially because they often aren't provided sedatives and have to endure the resulting excruciating pain. Contrary baby boys are lacking the ability to remember that event because their brains aren't able to consolidate that information yet. Furthermore male circumcision was born out of a religious and (once necessary hygienic) purpose, whereas female circumcision is being performed with the sole purpose of suppressing girls sexuality (by making it painful) in order for them to be "pure" and can be "enjoyed by a husband in their wedding night". I am also exasperated that the old "boys don't mature as fast as girls do. So girls need to make allowances for them" is being supported in this book. Instead of using this opportunity to give men back the responsibility to be well-formed proactive members of society and understanding the consequences of their own actions, the authors perpetuated the current male entitlement by supporting responsibility diffusion through the book in the form of blaming everyone and everything but young men for their own demise. I would have loved to read something truly progressive more along the lines of: "Boys, girls mature more rapidly than you. Look to them as examples of intelligence, responsibility and leadership" or in this context "as examples of better accomodation of the changing demands of our digitalised world with old and new value systems". And not "women must also encourage men to do more, to reach higher, to work harder in school and to make more time for people in the real world, rather than video games and porn." (p.243). "Women should find a way to reward the sincere attempts from men with more than affable regard, such as helping him develop something he is lacking (confidence, style, etc.) or giving him more insight about women so he will be a better man for the next woman" (p.242). Basically women are supposed to mother their partner instead of breaking up when the relationship doesn't serve them. They go even further and postulate that the shortage of "men with substance" (p.238) exists because women are too free in their sexuality by also enjoying casual sex with someone they are attracted too, not just 'nice guys'. I could go on forever with these kinds of statements and the underlying attitude they embodying. ... Ein insgesamt gutes Buch, viele interessante Anmerkungen und gut recherchiert. Eine Behauptungen sind meiner Meinung nach unwahr und fördern nur die Verantwortungsdiffusion die das problematische male entitlement noch mehr unterstützt.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Evan Micheals

    The content of the book seemed familiar to me and I felt like I was going over territory I was familiar with regarding the difficulties unique to young men in contemporary society. The work of Florence Williams (Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History); Chirsitna Hoff Sommers(The Wars Against Boys); Noah Yuval Harari (Homo Deus); Steve Bidduplh (Manhood); Warren Farrell (The Myth of Male Power) and Shawn T Smith (The Tactical Guide to Women) previously covers well what is covered in this book. The content of the book seemed familiar to me and I felt like I was going over territory I was familiar with regarding the difficulties unique to young men in contemporary society. The work of Florence Williams (Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History); Chirsitna Hoff Sommers(The Wars Against Boys); Noah Yuval Harari (Homo Deus); Steve Bidduplh (Manhood); Warren Farrell (The Myth of Male Power) and Shawn T Smith (The Tactical Guide to Women) previously covers well what is covered in this book. This work did not add a lot the was new to the discussion about Manhood. Sometimes it reads like an apology for men and masculinity and makes a lot of assumptions towards the Nurture Assumption. Assumptions such as about boys’ subject choices at high school. Maybe boys just find STEM subjects more interesting than art, music, and the humanities. I suspect they are not plotting to earn more, than women and reinforce the Patriarchy. The authors often appear to equate co-relation with causation. I stand on the Judith Rich-Harris side of this debate. Boys will be boys. Boys reliable make different choices to girl cross culturally. At times I found frustrating policies suggested promoted group needs rather than individual responsibility. The assumption being you could nurture your way out of this crisis. Men need clear and achievable goals within a hierarchy. Society could do a better show of explaining why it needs good men. Men need to be valued too. “If society wants to harness the constructive power of its young men, society is going to have to care about its young men” (P 201) Zimbardo identifies society moving from a family based to an individual based society and that lots of young men are dropping out of the mating game. Preferring porn and video games to partners. He is concerned about a lost generation of men who have given up on being good partners and husbands. He rightly desires to move society towards ‘family values’. Good families make better men. “Men must be needed because we can't be wanted” (P 178). The authors reinforced the trope that women marry across and up the socio-economic ladder. “The risk of divorce is lowest when the husband earns 60 percent of the income and the wife does 60 percent of the housework, and women report higher levels of sexual satisfaction when there is a more traditional division of chores” (P 181). Work and professional competence is important to men. It seems our marriages depend on it. The authors discuss men as ‘success’ objects. Boys "know that a significant portion of their value and desirability is directly linked to their earnings potential" (p 182). Men don’t get to opportunity to opt out. In spite of lip service, we do not value stay at home Dad’s, with society seeing this as a form of failure. I am not sure how we change this, but it has been around for a long time. It seems to me that the most serious and ambitious boys are willing to take responsibility for themselves and later their families would think like this. We need to encourage responsibility in boys towards men. The hierarchy of men starts early and it is not a bad thing. So many of the problems experienced by women (and blamed on men) come from within. "If we (women) really believed that we were sexy and funny and competent, we would not need to be like strippers or be like men or be like anyone other than our own specific, individual selves”. (p 175). It is not recognised that women competing with each other causes women just as much problems as women competing with and for men. I felt this book was written at the edges and extremes of the issues confronting young men. The case studies used did not always seem relevant to the majority of men and boys. I would agree that we need just as much activism and investigation to make more males teachers and nurses, as we have had for women becoming CEO’s, Chief Executive, and MP’s. The acknowledgment that most men have it rough (especially young men) is needed. The men that can take responsibility (and stop watch so much porn and playing so many video games) should be encouraged in every way possible. We need a boys can do anything message, especially around education, just as we did for girls when I was young. We may need to reform our educational institutions to make them more boy friendly. I guess this book is another discussion in the promotion of good and successful Manhood.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Shu

    This is one of a few books I picked up for personal self-development. I graduated as a top student from my high school but I'm not happy with that because I didn't realize my full potential. I was just half fulfilled. The way I spent my weekend was play cards from Saturday 930 pm to midnight and get up early to internet cafe for the whole day, without eating anything until 5 pm and go back to school tired physically and mentally. Even in my third year in high school (last year in high school, ty This is one of a few books I picked up for personal self-development. I graduated as a top student from my high school but I'm not happy with that because I didn't realize my full potential. I was just half fulfilled. The way I spent my weekend was play cards from Saturday 930 pm to midnight and get up early to internet cafe for the whole day, without eating anything until 5 pm and go back to school tired physically and mentally. Even in my third year in high school (last year in high school, typically with huge pressure for national college entrance exam), when Google was still available in China, my friends and I went to Fengya cyber cafe watching porn masturbating and play games alternatively. After national college entrance exams, I told I Headmaster Hu that I could have done better. That was not being humble. It's my true feeling since I know I wasted a lot of time on games and porn. If I've spent more time in the little book store reading or finished more mock science exams, I could be much better on physics ans Chinese. Then I would have done much better in my final exams. Freshman life in college was much worse than in high school with unlimited internet access and mobile phone presence. The tough relationship with my girlfriend and adaptation to college life made things worse. Generally I now know facing pressure I ducked down to my private online fake life and avoid facing and resolving the real issue. And this problem went on and on, like a tide, with highs and lows but it's always there. It's there when I desperately prepared my undergraduate thesis and almost failed in my senior year(a price of this is I would later need to spend much more efforts , even now, to study what I should have that time). It's there when I prepared GRE physics in Jiaxin beautiful little house, when I studied for GRE in Xi'an and that's exactly the reason I spent one more year to apply. That's exactly why I can only go to THU in Shenzhen and did pretty bad there. That' mostly the reason I screwed up all the relationships during that and later periods. It's there last year I got C in my final and didn't get along with my adviser. Of course, other reasons also contributed. But I know, this tech related addiction in porn and political news is the single most important cause. My major is physics or specifically condensed matter physics, with specialty on superconductor, quantum computation and topological insulators. Of course I like tech. Without my personal computer, my horizons would not have broaden so much. But I also know my depth of thinking didn't improve that much since I had my computer. I didn't read as much as I could. I'm not really fulfilled since I know I could do better. Computer as well as mobile phone served as a constant distraction for me. Many attempts and progress have been made . Still this problem lingered and hit me hard sometimes. Like this week, I planned to finish semiconductor section 1 quickly but it ends up being immersed in Chinese political news many hours every day. I'm not on the right track. I'm so happy that I got this book from Zimbardo. His book Psychology and Life is very famous and popular in China. I would definitely think that book is better than this one, in the way that Psychology and Life is scientifically more rigorous and at the same time interesting and intriguing. This book, man disconnected, is not as rigorous or interesting as that, but it provides enough insights and thinking and possible solutions (many good resources) of the current challenge. Every person concerning this phenomenon/problem would find his/her position in the situation. I didn't agree on every point from the author but definitely it would help me think clearly how to resolve my own problem and may help me guide my younger brothers and more.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jacquelyn Mccrary

    I heard about this book from Dr. Philip G. Zimbardo himself during a lecture at the Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference in Anaheim, CA last December 2017. His lecture was especially interesting to me because I have raised three sons to adulthood and had also become concerned about many of the issues he covers in this book over my years as a parent and a psychotherapist. I ordered it on Kindle and read it very quickly. As a woman, a feminist, and a licensed professional counselor, I believe th I heard about this book from Dr. Philip G. Zimbardo himself during a lecture at the Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference in Anaheim, CA last December 2017. His lecture was especially interesting to me because I have raised three sons to adulthood and had also become concerned about many of the issues he covers in this book over my years as a parent and a psychotherapist. I ordered it on Kindle and read it very quickly. As a woman, a feminist, and a licensed professional counselor, I believe that much of what Dr. Zimbardo suggests about the causes of the current difficulties many young men face today is indeed true. The implications of his research, IF these problems aren't addressed in systemic ways by parents and the rest of society, are quite troubling. As he suggests, we've been successfully addressing many of the societal problems faced by young women over the past 50 years. They are now outperforming young men in both college and the workplace. Now, we need to pay attention to what is happening to an increasing segment of young men who are falling behind - both academically and socially. I felt that Dr. Zimbardo's emphasis on the extensive social problems caused by too heavy a reliance on video games and pornography for young men was a valid insight, although I must say that some of what he had to say about male sexuality made me feel somewhat squeamish. I found myself wondering how he knew so much about masturbation, as well as the ways to recover from the desensitization caused by this kind of addiction. I realize that Dr. Zimbardo is a much older man and he obviously "came of age" before most of his readers, so I tried to adjust my reactions when I felt that he had jumped to a few unsubstantiated and incoherent conclusions regarding the differences in motivations, advantages, and disadvantages facing young men and women today. Still, I think he's raised some very important points to consider and I would recommend this book to any counselor and any parent or grandparent of boys. It's an easy read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Magusky

    The author tries to understand the reasons for deteriorating male performance in society by quantifying it through different metrics. The book revolves mainly about 3 addiction issues : gaming , porn and drugs that according to author create a snowballing effect along with challenges to age old stable-family values to create an environment in society that ultimately acts as both the cause as well as the effect . Further author blames feminism movement for a narrow-view and suggests to incorporate The author tries to understand the reasons for deteriorating male performance in society by quantifying it through different metrics. The book revolves mainly about 3 addiction issues : gaming , porn and drugs that according to author create a snowballing effect along with challenges to age old stable-family values to create an environment in society that ultimately acts as both the cause as well as the effect . Further author blames feminism movement for a narrow-view and suggests to incorporate holistic attitudes towards all socio-economic issues . Failing school system and economic issues also fuel these problem . Some of the arguments particularly about education systems and effect of porn and gaming and relationship issues seemed wierdly exaggerated when viewed in seperation but overall if taken in context of book are acceptable . IMO author should have chosen some better words to present the facts and opinions at certain parts in the book . In chapter 12 of book it felt that author is suggesting that need of sexual satisfaction is the only motivation for men and if it gets satisfied freely men no more have any motivation to work. In the end as book suggested solutions ; not all of them looked promising but we need to understand such complex problems hardly have any straightforward solutions . Across different countries and cultures , a one size fit all solution can't work . The book does a good job of identifying institutions that need to change and cause of problems but falls somewhat short in suggesting good solutions . In terms of issues like these solutions should be taken as guidelines that need to be adapted to each culture in ways that are relevant to it. So in this sense book does a good job of explaining issues although solutions and some exaggerated parts should be taken with a pinch of salt .

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ciobanu Petru

    This book is clearly underrated !!! It clearly addresses the problem that the society has nowadays, but which will be devastating in the future - the threat of losing our Men. A society with weak Men is a weak society per se. The Masculinity - the Healthy one, not the ”Toxic one” that the current generation of Feminists is trying to put as brand on all the aspects of masculinity - is at stake here. Even if the author has a practical mind for all the aspects of this Drift, he still expresses wishful This book is clearly underrated !!! It clearly addresses the problem that the society has nowadays, but which will be devastating in the future - the threat of losing our Men. A society with weak Men is a weak society per se. The Masculinity - the Healthy one, not the ”Toxic one” that the current generation of Feminists is trying to put as brand on all the aspects of masculinity - is at stake here. Even if the author has a practical mind for all the aspects of this Drift, he still expresses wishfull thinking along the book( that ”Girls should take innitiative” and ”make more subscriptions to Forbes Magazines instead of Vanity Fair”). Even if i agree that this change is possible among a very narrow minority of women's population - it still contradicts the psychological, social-biological behavior of the majority of the women's population. He, as a long-life psychologist - should known better - this behavioral patterns don't change in a decade or two - not even in a century(if ever, at all). Women will never start ask men out (and i'm not sure I want "us", men, to "drive them" to that )- because it contradicts the basic biological chemistry of women and men. Men innitiate - women accept (or reject) - not the other way around. And that won't change any time soon - no matter how much propaganda or wishful thinking we will "invest" in that. Other than that - the book is simply fantastic - full of good advise and insightful trends. The statistics provided there and the bibliographical sources are plenty and well-positioned within the text. Is one of the books we need - if we want to build a better "Tomorrow", for all of us - humans.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Marek Pawlowski

    Niezwykle ciekawa książka na temat kondycji (czy też jak sugeruje Zimbardo upadku) współczesnych mężczyzn. Na początku trzeba dodać, że tytuł polskiej wersji został naprawdę niefortunnie przetłumaczony. „Gdzie są ci mężczyźni” jest mylący i nie oddaje w żadnym wypadku angielskiego tytułu „Man Disconnected: How technology has sabotaged what it means to be male”, dlatego też czytelnik może spodziewać się czegoś innego. Zimbardo i Coulombe skupiają się głównie na tym, jak współczesne technologie, w Niezwykle ciekawa książka na temat kondycji (czy też jak sugeruje Zimbardo upadku) współczesnych mężczyzn. Na początku trzeba dodać, że tytuł polskiej wersji został naprawdę niefortunnie przetłumaczony. „Gdzie są ci mężczyźni” jest mylący i nie oddaje w żadnym wypadku angielskiego tytułu „Man Disconnected: How technology has sabotaged what it means to be male”, dlatego też czytelnik może spodziewać się czegoś innego. Zimbardo i Coulombe skupiają się głównie na tym, jak współczesne technologie, w tym gry i przemysł pornograficzny, zmieniły zachowanie mężczyzn oraz to jak postrzegają oni świat a także jak na ich kondycji odbiły się wszelkie przemiany kulturowe, które zaszły w przeciągu ostatnich kilkudziesięciu lat. Analizy te składają się na 70 procent tej książki, reszta przeznaczona jest na porady, jak wspomnianemu wcześniej „upadkowi” zaradzić. Nie ulega także wątpliwości, że sama analiza jest przeprowadzona z widocznie założoną wizją tego, kim ten mężczyzna powinien w rzeczywistości być. To założenie dotyczące klasycznego ideału mężczyzny oraz sposób patrzenia na społeczeństwo, które już w dużej mierze przestało go realizować, prowadzi do wniosku, iż męskość chyli się ku upadkowi i takową sytuację trzeba zmienić. Właśnie to założenie (prowadzące do oczywistej konkluzji) wydaje mi się kontrowersyjne. Może po prostu we współczesnym świecie role płciowe zaczynają się przekształcać w coś zupełnie innego (zarówno męskie jak i kobiece). Rzeczywiście okres przemian na chwilę obecną ma negatywne konsekwencje społeczne, ale może jest to jeden z etapów ewolucji społeczeństwa a nie jego upadku. Sytuacje ulegnie normalizacji, gdy te nowe „role” – jakiekolwiek by one nie były – zostaną przedefiniowane. Zimbardo uważa, że powinniśmy przywrócić takie klasyczne w swojej formie role i momentami trudno się z nim nie zgodzić . Niemniej jednak czasem ma się wrażenie, że jest to analiza naukowca, którego świat zaczyna chylić się ku upadkowi i który walczy o stary stan rzeczy. Oczywiście zagadnienia związane z rolą gender są o wiele bardziej skomplikowane. Mamy zmieniający się status ról społecznych związanych z naszą płcią, który wywołuje ogromny chaos i niepewność w rozumieniu tego, kim mamy być i czego się od nas oczekuje. Pozostaje też pewien sentyment co do tego, że tamte klasyczne role w jakiejś elementarnej formie się sprawdzały. Oczywiście pytaniem otwartym jest to jakie działania powinniśmy podjąć. Czy powinniśmy poczekać i zobaczyć jak na drodze ewolucji te role same się unormują, walczyć o przywrócenie ich klasycznych form czy próbować zdefiniować role na nowo? Którekolwiek z tych wyjść niesie za sobą wiele niebezpieczeństw. W każdym razie gorąco polecam tę książkę nie z powodu prawdziwości tez w niej zawartych (te są dość kontrowersyjne), ale samej próby podjęcia tego ważnego tematu. This is a really interesting book about the condition (or as Zimbardo says the fall) of a modern man. At the beginning it’s worth to add that a title was very poorly translated into Polish as “Where are those man?” that is just misleading and does not correspond with the original „Man Disconnected: How technology has sabotaged what it means to be male”. That’s why a Polish reader may expect something different than what he or she gets. Zimbardo and Coulombe focus mainly on the subject of how modern technologies - computer games and the Internet porn industry - change that way the men behave and perceive the world as well as how they have been influenced by the cultural and social changes within the last decades. Such a kind of analysis constituted 70 percent of this book as the rest is dedicated to some pieces of advice how we can stop this “fall of men”. There is no doubt that these deliberations have one very strong assumption about how this real man should look like. The thesis about the classical ideal of man as well as perceiving the society from the point where we have already forgotten this ideal concept lead to the conclusion that the modern male is falling and we must do something to change this situation. However, in my opinion the assumption of this premise (which leads to obvious conclusion) is very controversial. Maybe the truth is that in the modern societies gender roles have changed into something completely different (that concerns both males and females). Maybe in fact in this period of time we observe the negative social consequences for men but this could be another stage of their evolution and not their fall. All of these may normalize when the gender roles (whatever we called it) will be redefined. Zimbardo says that we should defend these classical roles and in some parts of this book it’s difficult not to agree with his thesis. On the other hand, sometimes you have a feeling that this is the analysis of an old scientist whose world (the one he lived when he was younger) is shattering and he tries to bring it back to life. Of course this problem of gender roles is more complicated because we see how the society changes and how it affects our social roles which creates a large chaos and uncertainty when it comes to understanding of who am I and what is expected from me. On the other hand I think that many of us feel that this classical gender roles in some elementary part worked. Of course this is an open question what actions and measures should be taken. Should we wait and see how on the evolutionary road gender roles will normalize or should we fight to bring their classical forms back or maybe should we try to define these gender roles from scratch? All of these solutions entail many dangers. Anyway I strongly recommend this book not because of the truth of the thesis (that is controversial) but the efforts of undertaking such an important subject.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jorge Castillo

    What I really liked about this book was the use of statistics and raw numbers the authors use to sustain their ideas. At least on my way of seeing things, numbers give people a chance to look at things in a different perspective, for example: It is really often to listen things about the gap on salaries between men and women, some say it is a myth, some others sustain it is a reality that is affecting women all around the world. What we are not told at all is that there is a much higher percentag What I really liked about this book was the use of statistics and raw numbers the authors use to sustain their ideas. At least on my way of seeing things, numbers give people a chance to look at things in a different perspective, for example: It is really often to listen things about the gap on salaries between men and women, some say it is a myth, some others sustain it is a reality that is affecting women all around the world. What we are not told at all is that there is a much higher percentage of men willing to stay extra hours at work than women. On this book, the authors not only address the problem man population is facing, but also they suggest possible solutions that can be applied by yourself and this was what I most liked about reading Man Disconnected.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mr Greg Blakeley

    Informative but lacking entertainment value some great points have been published in this book to highlight the differences between the sexes. The emphasis is through the effects of open and gaming, among many other facets that lead to how men, and women, behave. Unfortunately the book becomes repetitive in some of the points the authors make, and at times seems more like a report cluttered with statistics. Whilst this evidence is clearly important for the book, some entertaining and insightful em Informative but lacking entertainment value some great points have been published in this book to highlight the differences between the sexes. The emphasis is through the effects of open and gaming, among many other facets that lead to how men, and women, behave. Unfortunately the book becomes repetitive in some of the points the authors make, and at times seems more like a report cluttered with statistics. Whilst this evidence is clearly important for the book, some entertaining and insightful embellishments would have been welcomed.

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