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Is it possible that the depiction of males (stereotypical males) in electronic media is responsible for the demise of male (general)?

As Philip Zimbardo explained in his newest TED talk (The demise of guys?), boys are now outperformed by girls in school (elementary, graduate, etc), and what we're now seeing as that (from my observation) the world is switching roles in society (we're seeing more female leaders, the introduction of females to the working industry, etc). As the world changed since the raise of women's rights, is it fair to say that media depiction of males (males are insensitive, insecure about relationships, afraid of commitment, so on and so on) in our society is mostly responsible for "the demise of guys" as Philip Zimbardo stated.

  • Aug 16 2011: When a respected man, a good man, dies in my community, speakers at his funeral talk about what a good man he was. Usually the traits they list include generosity, kindness, and sense of humor; they talk about what a good father and husband he was, and how he contributed to the community.

    However, the media depict the best men as those who get laid the most, those who can throw the best punch, those who can take a bullett, those who have the most money, those who have the fastest cars, those who score the most points, and those who can drink the most beers. Essentially, boys' role models in the media are rich superheroes who get laid a lot, or rich thugs who get laid a lot.

    When the media does portray a family man, he is normally a buffoon. He burns down the kitchen when mom is away; he cannot match his own clothes; he's socially inept; he cannot balance the family checkbook. Always, at every turn, he's outsmarted and outwitted by his funny, sexy, sassy, smart wife.

    So imagine little Johnny sitting at home. His parents are divorced. His dad, for whatever reason, is out of the picture. All he has to show him what a man is are sitcoms, video games, and pro sports.

    Yes, the media is partly to blame for "the demise of guys."
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    Aug 7 2011: I'm hoping for the demise of stereotypes but I can't see it yet.

    Boys aren't failing, assessment systems are failing boys.

    The question we must ask is "What are we measuring (assessing) and WHY?"

    Have traditional assessment systems measured what boys are good at? Yes, for some boys it has but for other boys, it hasn't. Same for girls.

    By bandying around gross generalisations like 'boys are failing', very little is achieved other than to perpetuate stereotypes.

    The problem lies with the systems, not the gender.
    • Aug 12 2011: On that note: I always felt that many "assessments" in life whether for employment or education are biased in favor to males. But the tables aren't necessarily turning. Are boys failing now that the assessments are fair? Are girls succeeding because they are fair? Is this something no one wants to face or question?
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        Aug 13 2011: It's not about gender vs gender. Say, rather, assessment systems are failing both genders.

        Many people seem to be looking to rejig assessment systems so that they are 'fair' when in fact, the vast majority of assessment forms are invalid with regard to the person being assessed.

        Peer and self assessment are the only valid forms of assessment if your goal is to help the worker/learner improve. All the others are for the number-crunchers, to make their job easier.
  • Aug 11 2011: Education guidance at an early age by career minded parents / mentors or being part of a societal group (perhaps a religious group) that enforces study and behavioural guidelines would seem to provide a good start for both genders. Young males in particular need good role models and mentors. Young females seem to be able to gain help from their peer groups for support with greater ease than a typical young male. I also strongly believe in gender split classrooms as each gender develops at different rates and has differing strengths in different areas. This is directly in opposition to the current social engineering where both genders are treated as if they were the same.

    Each gender is equal in their importance to Humanity and in their potential but they are not the same.

    As a predominantly gay 50 year old who has traveled the classic route of education , house purchase , long-term relationship and latterly small business owner , I find some of the whimpering from the 'average male' rather pathetic and ,in old language , rather unmanly !

    Young males certainly need less of the vitriolic and patronizing feminist message and more of the supporting familial and leadership orientated message. To balance this statement , young females also need less of the misogynist and patronizing message and , again, support from family and society to aspire to the highest levels of achievement.

    The current demise of the 'success' of males is , I believe due to the speed of changes of sexual roles and the trite and banal media who present anything but a balanced message. The media (as has been seen by the recent NOW fiasco ) are a virulent and dangerous force if left unfettered.

    I think it is SUCH a shame when we have ONLY two genders , that each cannot appreciate each other for their strengths and weaknesses. Math demonstrates (Game Theory) that co-operation and not aggression creates the best outcome for all parties. As Oprah says "You can have it all. Just not all at once."
  • Aug 11 2011: What I want to know is, why aren't we using the word 'crisis' with all things male. With feminists it's 'a crisis' in women's health (but guys live 9 years less), it's a 'crisis' about girl's education, (Although there are more female college students than male), and it's always a 'crisis' when a woman doesn't get paid as much as a man, although two guys in the same office with the same title don't necessarily get paid the same.

    We hear of 'crises' every day for females, what we hear about boys is 'predator' and there are first grade boys who now have that label for daring to be friendly with girls. First step for divorced men: the restraining order. It is an anti-male world out there. 70% of all the people who have lost their jobs in the Great Recession have been male, but no 'crisis' there either.
    • Aug 12 2011: Maybe its not a "crises" because it was expected and not regretted.
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      Aug 14 2011: Maybe you should stop waiting for someone else to declare it a 'crisis' and do it yourself. Someone had to be the first to declare the other items listed as such.
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    Aug 14 2011: Irish men, displayed all these traits of disconnection, a fear of intimacy and committment, indifference re achievements and maturity, lack of character etc, long before the internet and digital revolution...Socially awkward with little expected of them (based on unhappily married themselves Irish Mammies' prediliction for spoiling their sons) and the experience that Irish men fail to deliver on so many fronts meant Irish women became increasingly powerful, capable and lonely. Women became independent because they had to. Oscar winning film director Jim Sheridan and Live Aid legend Bob Geldof have said 'Drink has ruined Irish men', and 'An Irish man's greatest ambition is his next Saturday night out'. I'm a woman (of course!) and not a man hater, there are some very fine exceptions to the rule but I tacitly accept all this since I was born. To my mind then, this theory applied to men's place in the world through social media is rather convenient. There is no pressure for men to be better, or expectation to be better, or desire in men themselves to take equal place in evolution, so let's face it, why would they bother?
  • Aug 12 2011: This is a good point because women have been portrayed as weak, inferior, and perpetual victims or if not the ultimate "She Devil" for years and society mirrored the example.
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      Aug 13 2011: You have forgotten to include some other stereotypes - nurturing, emotionally-literate, multi-taskers, natural carers. Behind every good man is a good woman...

      My advice is to ignore ALL stereotypes.
  • Aug 11 2011: Not so much media depiction as a society that doesn't know how to define male anymore.

    We have traditionally defined male as "anti female" (other than female, opposite than female); which is essentially a losing deal for everyone. Well, when females starting succeeding in the workplace, under that warped agreement, males by definition start "un-succeeding".

    Both genders are important to our world, and there's nothing "wrong" with either gender.. When the collective we finds a way to define male as something other than "anti female" and killing machine, we win. Guys, who do you want to be for the world?

    www.tracyelpoured.wordpress.com
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    Aug 9 2011: Michael,

    From all I've seen, I'd say consumer (and thus, media) -driven social norms are very much a part of the problem, ultimately, I'd say for both genders. The stereotypes have an off effect of at once inflating and diminishing both sexes.

    I started a related Q, you might be intreated in, here: http://www.ted.com/conversations/4901/is_the_demise_of_guys_a_harb.html

    Andrea