Real Men Don’t Need the Bible to Grow Up

There’s been a lot of buzz lately about the man-baby boom. And when I write man-baby, I’m pretty sure you know who I’m talking about. You’ve seen ‘em in movies like “The Hangover,” “Knocked Up” and “Hall Pass.” You probably know some personally, actually — ones that can’t seem to hold a job, ones that treat women like blow-up dolls, ones who can’t finish school, can’t move out from mom and dad’s and have no personal ambition or goals to discuss or think about, period.

While men still outearn women, the gap is shrinking. When it comes to young adults, women are graduating from college in greater numbers, have higher GPAs and for the first time ever, are more likely to earn a PhD than a man is. Women are also getting married and becoming parents at younger ages, while men are still more likely to live with the 'rents. What is the cause of this growing divide?

On the flipside, William J. Bennett, CNN contributor, and author of The Book of Man: Readings on the Path to Manhood recently wrote that, “for the first time in history, women are better educated, more ambitious and arguably more successful than men.” The New York Times reported in 2010 that women account for more than half of college students and nearly half of the work force.

It should be a woo-hoo!-women moment. And it is. But it’s hard to be completely happy about the fact that while women are becoming more successful, men seem to be regressing.

Bennett writes:

Today, 18-to-34-year-old men spend more time playing video games a day than 12-to-17-year-old boys. While women are graduating college and finding good jobs, too many men are not going to work, not getting married and not raising families. Women are beginning to take the place of men in many ways.

Articles from Hanna Rosin (The End of Men), Kay S. Hymowitz (Where Have the Good Men Gone? and Fiona Roberts (America’s Lost Boys: Why ARE so many young men failing to grow up?) have also highlighted the plight of young men in America.

According to the Daily Mail article by Roberts, psychologists blame the man-baby trend on a range of factors, from boys becoming disillusioned at young ages about their roles in society to the rise of video games and the internet.

Research like the ones cited above might hit close to home, considering many atheists are young and male. Research from Ariela Keysar (2007) reports that one-third of American atheists are under 25 years old, and half are under age 30. About one-fourth of 25-year-old white men lived at home in 2007 — before the latest recession — compared with one-fifth in 2000 and less than one-eighth in 1970 according to the New York Times article cited earlier. However, research also tell us atheists tend to score high on measures of IQ, especially verbal ability and scientific literacy.

So what is the problem with men these days? Or is there even a problem?

Immature men get a "Hall Pass" from their wives in this 2011 film.

It’s not like there are a ton of great role models out there. Ashton Kutcher? Chris Brown? Ben Roethlisberger? Even the usually brilliant Richard Dawkins got some heat last year for mocking Rebecca Watson after she said she felt uncomfortable when a man propositioned her in an elevator.

Mark Driscoll, noted sexist and a founding pastor at Mars Hill Church, thinks more young men need the Bible to grow up.

Earlier this month, Driscoll wrote:

I’m a pastor, and I know this will seem crazy, but let’s put down the remote, set aside the porno, and see if maybe the Bible has any wisdom since what we are doing isn’t working.

In an older RELEVANT magazine interview, Driscoll said that men have entered an extended adolescence as “guys.”

It’s just extended adolescence, where 20s, 30s, sometimes even in his 40s, he doesn’t really want to get married, doesn’t really want to have kids, doesn’t really want to pursue a career. He has a lot of hobbies, got a lot of buddies, watches a lot of porn, gambles, has a lot of fun, maybe plays in some band or is in a guild of World of Warcraft, or something ridiculous like that… I think part of the problem is, as well, that the Church in large part has accommodated that.

Those guys tend not to go to church. If those guys do show up at church, it’s usually just to find a couple of gals to break the commandments with. And the Church doesn’t really know what to do with them, so the least likely person in America to go to church is a guy in his 20s who is single. Without knowing what to do with those guys, they commit crimes, they get women pregnant, they’re a drain on social services, they don’t raise their kids, they don’t contribute to church, they’re not getting ready to lead the next generation. I’d say it’s nothing short of a crisis, it’s a real problem.

According to an article on The Catholic News Agency’s website, “Nearly 40 percent of post-abortive women in one study reported that partners pressured them into having the abortions.” Emory University professor Elizabeth Fox-Genovese is quoted as saying “the most enthusiastic fans of abortion have been men — at least until they have children of their own.”

Christian blogger Ruthie Dean also writes that women have been damaged by dating immature guys who don’t want families — immature guys like the one she calls “Mr. I Don’t Believe in Organized Religion.” She wrote on a christanitytoday.com blog post last week:

…standards should not be created based on the worst examples but instead on what God deems right…. humans cannot change people. God is in the business of changing and redeeming men’s hearts.

I know someone who agrees with Driscoll and Dean. She told me she wishes the guy she is seeing (he is 23ish) would move out of his parents’ and go to church. She mentioned his atheism as if it was a problem that would keep him from maturing. I took offense to that.

OK, well, sure, there are some basic, positive concepts that could benefit anyone in the Bible.

But there’s a whole lot of scary stuff, too.

Should women be treated like property and killed if they don’t cry out for help while being raped? Should men be willing to give their wife sexually to a pharaoh as a bargaining chip like Abraham did? The Bible is a literary cornucopia of men behaving badly.

As a pre-teen in Bible school, I heard the story of David, Bethsheba and Uriah. When my Bible teacher read the verses where God described David as a man “after my own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14; Acts 13:22), it made me feel like if a murderer and pervert was the closest person out there to God’s heart then humanity had to be absolutely hopeless. The message I got was that something was wrong with each and every one of us.

Now I’m a little older and a little smarter. And what I hope for is to not marry a man like David. And I don’t want my future kids to have a dad like Abraham, who would sacrifice his son because he heard voices. I definitely wouldn’t want to marry a man who prays upon and bases his ideology on the Bible, especially not with messages like these:

Let a woman learn in silence with full submission. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent. — 1 Timothy 2:11

If men need fiction to grow up, I’m thinking books like To Kill a Mockingbird, The Handmaid’s Tale, If This is a Man (not fiction), and Brave New World are good starts. To me, Stieg Larsson‘s Millennium series offers more of a solid condemnation of violence done to women than the Bible does.

What do you think? Are the statistics concerning the growing immaturity of men overblown? And if not, what will help?

(Image via Shutterstock)

About Emileigh

Emileigh Clare is a journalist living in York, Pennsylvania.

  • T-Rex

    Let’s see. Stay at home and jerk off and  play video games all day while my wife works and brings home the bacon, or go to work every day? That’s a tough one. /sarcasm

    • http://profiles.google.com/tychabrahe Lauren Eve Pomerantz

      But you know, it shouldn’t be.  If that’s what you do all day, how do you matter to your family and your community?  What I do at my job matters.  What I bring home matters.  How I serve people and movements I support in the community matters.  I’m not a useless consumer.  Enthalpy vs. entropy.

      • Anonymous

        I’ve been having tons of arguments about “human flourishing” or fulfillment being at least a greater good than pleasure for exactly this reason. We should be careful with things that give us good feelings but do not track with reality. We have these emotions and rewards for an evolutionary purpose, and if we let them get hijacked completely we may make ourselves vulnerable to ignoring what we need to flourish and survive.

        • http://wordsideasandthings.blogspot.com/ Garren

          Why should gene propagation be more important to me than personal pleasure?

          • Anonymous

            I didn’t claim that evolutionary success is the highest good. I didn’t claim that evolution gives us anything but physical explanation. Personal pleasure for its own sake often fails when it isn’t sustainable (rich people would be living the best lives by hopping themselves up on cocaine indefinitely). Fulfillment is a different kind of happiness (or rather, means something different than *that* kind of happiness) in that it tracks external factors and is more “stable”. I only invoked evolution to provide a status quo ground level for the evolutionary/survival reason for happiness/pleasure/success. One could make the same argument here about obesity/happiness and sufficient nutrition/fitness.

      • Jonah Horowitz

        You’re assuming that actually making a difference is enough to evoke the feeling of making a difference. I submit that a lot of men can’t achieve that feeling these days with any occupation/vocation/activity within their financial means.

        • http://profiles.google.com/tychabrahe Lauren Eve Pomerantz

          Why not?  Why isn’t bringing home a paycheck so that your family has a roof over their head and food on the table something to be proud of?  My grandmother was a widow who did that every day so that she could keep her child (whom her late husband’s sister and brother-in-law wanted to adopt to make it “easier for her”). 

          What is so different between these men and the men of fifty years ago?

          • Wintermute

            More to the point, why does everybody have to value the same things you value?

            If a man’s wife earns an ample living to support their family, and she’s okay with him not working, then what business is that of yours?

          • Anonymous

            I think part of the problem is that society praises wives who are successful at work while at the same time considers men who make less than their wives to be slackers (something women who make less than their husbands are never labeled). This can break up marriage because the men don’t feel valued in society because society still expects him to be the bread winner even while preaching gender equality. We need to instill both working and parenting skills in both genders and teach people not to mock others who don’t follow the mold. Teach boys that they are still valued even if they don’t fit the old gender roles. Teach both members of the couple that a person of either gender is valuable regardless of whether they bring home the money or care for the kids and that the relationship should be 50/50 rather than one partner trying to be in charge.

          • Jonah Horowitz

            What’s different is that girls are often told that they can do anything boys can do, there is special attention paid to low self-esteem in girls, young women are publicly sought after in education and employment (even if privately men still receive better treatment), women are frequently praised for eschewing traditional gender roles and sometimes demeaned when they follow them.

            In contrast, boys are told girls can do anything they can do, there is barely any attention paid to low self-esteem in boys (in part because it tends to manifest in more antisocial ways), young men are told that their female cohorts are preferred in applications for scholarships and jobs (even if that is not actually true in practice), men who eschew traditional gender roles are more often mocked than praised and men who follow traditional gender roles are occasionally accused of perpetuating the oppression of women.

            The message many boys and young men internalize from this is that they are not as good as their female cohorts, and that they are part of a group (whose affiliation they cannot discard) which is responsible for the majority of evils perpetrated against the long-oppressed half of humanity without a Y chromosome. If they don’t have any other minority group with which to identify, this leaves many young men with guilt and shame which cannot be avoided, and the constant feeling that no matter what they do it could have been done better by a woman. Being emotionally stunted from a combination of traditional male socialization and the demonization of that same socialization, they are often unable to form coherent thoughts about their own emotions, and so they cannot even begin to recognize these problems let alone fix them.

            Some men rebel against this psychological quagmire and transform into young misogynists, some are able to set it aside and get on with their lives regardless, and some simply give in to it and revert to a child-like state of ignorance and entitlement (these possibilities are neither exhaustive nor mutually exclusive).

            To be clear: I am not trying to say that any of the efforts to help women and girls are misplaced, misinformed or necessarily mishandled. I am not trying to blame women or feminism for the current state of these young men, and I am not trying to excuse misogyny or misogynists.
            I think that one of the major victories of feminism so far has been that people now publicly consider the effects of policies and practices on women and girls, and that these considerations are often taken seriously (even though it also often takes great effort for this to happen). This is all well and good, and we need more of this consideration, understanding and action. What we also need is public consideration of the effects of policies and practices on men and boys (without assuming that they are being considered by default, which was part of the problem in the first place!) and for these considerations to be taken seriously. So far as I can tell this process has begun, but it has also been a long time coming.

            We need to stop letting “taking men into consideration” be synonymous with “not considering women”.

            We need to stop letting misogynists speak on behalf of men, and a big part of that is to recognize that if a man is trying to speak in support of men, or to point out harm done specifically to men (regardless of the source of that harm), that does not in itself make him a misogynist.

            But that’s just my opinion.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ORRVVC5R2QWLTXEM6SX5L6BORE Jay Arrrr

            Why not? Because no matter what you do, there’s always someone or something whispering in your ear that it’s not “good enough”, that you’re slacking, that you’re capable of so much more, should have gotten that advanced degree… etc. etc. etc…..

            BLEAH!
            I feed myself, I house myself, and I have some really neat toys. I’m also 55, twice-divorced and an empty-nester… I don’t own the roof over my head, I drive a 10-y-o car and I still file a form 1040EZ. I have no desire to try to re-enter the Rat Race.

            Oh, and I live with my mom… she’s in a box on top of the bookshelf.

      • http://profiles.google.com/statueofmike Michael S

        I think some people need an opening sarcasm tag to parse it correctly.

      • Anonymous

        A lot of people feel that what they do for work *doesn’t* matter. What they bring home might not be as important to them as their avocations are, or their time is. Not that I’m suggesting staying home, jerking off, and playing video games is the answer, and I’m not suggesting that I’m in this group, but what do you have to say for the people with pointless workaday jobs that drain their will to do anything substantial in their off time?

  • Anonymous

    In our culture, morality and religion are linked and there is no institutionalized education about morality in school. Or rather, I submit that there is often through literature, but these themes are unexplored or not taken seriously by the students.

    Personally, I’m somewhat bad in my inner-dialogue in thinking in calling adulthood “manhood”, but I think there’s something lacking in the word “adulthood” that doesn’t take into account the kind of moral seriousness. Women are starting to take their place as moral, autonomous adults and some men seem to take this opportunity to not take their lives seriously.

    We need social institutions outside of religion that describe what the appropriate responsibilities are in different kinds of relationships. Culture alone may not be enough.

  • Guest

    This research loses me when it uses video games as an indicator of immaturity.  A large percentage of games are intended for adults, and old men didn’t play video games in their twenties because they hadn’t been invented yet.  It’s a hobby like any other.

    Hall pass is a pretty silly example as well.  I don’t think the male characters in hall pass were being played as positive examples of male behavior.

    To be clear, I’m not complaining about this blog post. I like it.  I’m pointing out the dumb arguments in the CNN and Daily mall articles that are mentioned.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t think this is a matter of the kind of entertainment someone pursues, but how much time someone spends in recreation vs self-improvement or in improving relationships with people, etc. Sometimes people say this stuff really sloppily, or they are thinking really sloppily.

      • Guest

        I agree completely, which is why they need a more accurate metric.  Something like productive use of time versus recreation, instead of “oh no, men play video games”.  Then we can see if this is a real problem or only media hype.

        • Michael S

          The focus on video games gives it a smell of alarmism.

  • Justin Miyundees

    I’d recommend 1984 as well.  I believe it’s an allegory based on the story of Abraham.  Tragically and tellingly Winston Smith succumbs to the “religion” of the day and gives up the one thing he loved in life and he is lost – how painful that is!  Add to that Abrahamic moment the “newspeak,” the rallies, the “victory over the orgasm”, the glazed over look of true believers, with Big Brother as God and O’Brian as the messiah, it’s just a great work.  

  • http://wordsideasandthings.blogspot.com/ Garren

    Is it such a bad thing to not want children when money is tight?

    Well, ok, it’s obviously good for religions when their members engage in evangelism-by-breeding.

    • Alex

      Is it bad to not want children when money is not tight?

      • http://wordsideasandthings.blogspot.com/ Garren

        Point.

    • Alex

      Is it bad to not want children when money is not tight?

  • Reginald Selkirk

    …standards should not be created based on the worst examples but instead on what God deems right…. humans cannot change people..Is Ruthie Dean calling for a return to slavery?

  • Brian Lynchehaun

    Incidentally, everywhere in this article that you have “men are x” or “women are y” needs an “American” qualifier tacked on, thanks.

    Which is not to say that I’m asserting that things are necessarily different in other countries, but A) if your studies are of Americans, qualify your article accordingly, and B) your statistics don’t reflect the country in which I currently reside (Japan).

  • Anonymous

    I think the term is “Man Child”

  • jeff

    “Those guys tend not to go to church. If those guys do show up at church, it’s usually just to find a couple of gals to break the commandments with.”

    I didn’t know that was an option.  Maybe I should go to church!
    Hey baby, wanna gather some sticks on the sabbath with me?

    • http://www.miketheinfidel.com/ MikeTheInfidel

      Sweetie, I’ll bear false witness to you all night long.

  • http://twitter.com/jennywags7 Jennifer Wagner

    No research was cited about the percentage of female 25 year-olds living at home, but I would assume that the number is close to that of males. I just think people live home longer than they used to… that to me doesn’t scream so much about a child’s immaturity as it does about our current economy and the difficulty with living on your own and making ends meet. 

    • http://twitter.com/e__clare Emileigh Clare

      Hi Jennifer, according to the Population Reference Bureau, the amount of young men living with their parents has recently risen from 14.2 percent to 18.6 percent. The amount of young women living at home remains steady at 10 percent. So, young guys are almost twice as likely to live at home. This info comes from here: http://www.prb.org/Articles/2011/us-young-adults-living-at-home.aspx?p=1

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=591058715 Thomas Farrell

    I’ve known young men living at their parents’ home, and every one of them was really unhappy because of it, and in every case it was for economic reasons – he couldn’t find a job. So, I don’t think that’s a reasonable measure of maturity.

    I’ve known plenty of young men in their 20′s and early 30′s who just didn’t want to get married. Some told me they just didn’t feel they were ready… and I think that’s a pretty mature self-assessment, actually. I suspect in previous generations they’d have given in to pressure and gotten married before they were ready, and later got divorced.

    Others, probably a majority, told me they were afraid of divorce and so saw no good reason why they should rush to get married before they were ready to have children, because the longer they are with a woman unmarried, the longer they have to settle down and be sure that this is the woman they want to spend their life with and have children with, the longer they have to ensure that this isn’t going to end in divorce. And since some of those guys were with a woman for a number of years and everything seemed okay and then things abruptly went wrong and they had a breakup, perhaps there is something to this strategy.

    A few guys also cited that their girlfriends were strongly pressuring them to propose (one friend told me his girlfriend told him on the second date “you have 3 months to propose to me or it’s over”), and they felt frightened off by this pressure to propose before they were sure about the long term viability of the relationship, and broke up with the girlfriends because of it.

    Frankly, if young men are waiting longer to marry, taking time to enjoy life before having kids, refusing to rush into marriage when pressured to do so… this seems like a sign of maturity and prioritization to me, not of immaturity and refusal to grow up.

    • Wintermute

      Of course, the conservative response to that would probably be that marrying and having a family isn’t about having fun, it’s about perpetuating society, and if you get married, then you’d damn well better stay married, even if it means lovelessness, infidelity, and spousal abuse. Those are what we call ‘family values.’

    • http://twitter.com/e__clare Emileigh Clare

      Hi Thomas, while there can be some maturity in not doing something you aren’t ready for, you have to admit that women who want families (a majority) are disadvantaged by that and understandably frustrated. That’s just my perspective.

      • Justin

        You’re welcome to your perspective, but it seems terribly entitled. There are alternatives for anyone eager and prepared to start a family that don’t involve demanding that others sacrifice their personal autonomy and enjoyment of lfe.

      • Justin

        You’re welcome to your perspective, but it seems terribly entitled. There are alternatives for anyone eager and prepared to start a family that don’t involve demanding that others sacrifice their personal autonomy and enjoyment of lfe.

      • Justin

        You’re welcome to your perspective, but it seems terribly entitled. There are alternatives for anyone eager and prepared to start a family that don’t involve demanding that others sacrifice their personal autonomy and enjoyment of lfe.

        • http://twitter.com/e__clare Emileigh Clare

          I’m not demanding that others sacrifice their personal autonomy and enjoyment of life and in no way do I think that having a family even does that to begin with. I don’t think that a lot of women think they are guaranteed partners or are entitled to them. But they are wondering why they can’t find partners that don’t have the same standards/values. It’s not exactly an entitlement issue.

      • Forrest Cahoon

        If it is a matter of men wanting more time to be ready for marriage and children, then find a guy who’s old enough to be ready. He may be a decade older than you, but so what? 

        • http://twitter.com/e__clare Emileigh Clare

          So basically you are saying that men mature slower than women? Your response for single women to date older men is kind of a cop out to me and I’m not just saying that because there are a lot of creepy, single 30-plus guys out there trolling for women in their twenties at gyms and coffee shops. Women are already frequently dating older men because of how they perceive the differences in maturity. Who are men in their twenties going to date? Teenage girls? That already happens and it doesn’t usually work for many reasons.

          • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

            Can’t men in their twenties date women in their twenties who aren’t looking to get married and start families? Not all twenty-something women are trying to acquire husbands and children.

  • Anonymous

    Funny you should mention Brave New World. Lenina Crowne has leaped off that novel’s pages and into our lives. It wouldn’t take a stretch to imagine that she carries a smart phone on her Malthusian belt, has Twitter & Facebook accounts, and sports a dragon tattoo on her back. We can see Lenina-like young women all over the place these days. 

    Aldous Huxley’s novel has grown in other ways beyond its author’s intentions. For example, Huxley nearly anticipates Gregory S. Paul’s thesis about the decline of religious belief in most developed democratic countries which have welfare provisions and universal health care coverage, through the speech Mustapha Mond makes to the Savage in Chapter 17:

    http://www.huxley.net/bnw/seventeen.html 

     “One of the numerous things in heaven and earth that these philosophers didn’t dream about was this” (he waved his hand), “us, the modern world. ‘You can only be independent of God while you’ve got youth and prosperity; independence won’t take you safely to the end.’ Well, we’ve now got youth and prosperity right up to the end. What follows? Evidently, that we can be independent of God. ‘The religious sentiment will compensate us for all our losses.’ But there aren’t any losses for us to compensate; religious sentiment is superfluous. And why should we go hunting for a substitute for youthful desires, when youthful desires never fail? A substitute for distractions, when we go on enjoying all the old fooleries to the very last? What need have we of repose when our minds and bodies continue to delight in activity? of consolation, when we have soma? of something immovable, when there is the social order?”

    And, of course, some people have interpreted Brave New World as a serious proposal for a utopia, for example, the futurist F.M. Esfandiary, who later changed his name to FM-2030. 

  • Siobhan Duffey

    Hymowitz? Really? Ugh. Vomitous stuff.

    This is really the brand new moral panic that could, isn’t it? OMG stop the presses! Cultural paradigms have shifted and people aren’t invariably constructing their lives the way that boring, self-righteous commentators without any particular credentials would like! That’s generally the thesis of this kind of article. Young people don’t feel moved to get married and raise kids immediately, often opt to live cheaply with roommates and used furniture while pursuing their actual goals (career, artistic, social, whatever), and frequently refuse to be the objects that your standard conservative kyriarchy wants them to be. Yeah, that’s news.

    Women have better things to do than be objects of desire? Men don’t care all that much about being objects of success? We’re talking about young people who have decided to live the way they want rather than the way they’ve been told. And they’re better for it. Later marriages last longer and make the participants happier. Wanted children in stable homes have better lives. The world has moved beyond the narrow perceptions of the moral guardians and they can’t stand it. The end.

    And, incidentally, I can’t say I buy goofy movies aimed at the young male demographic as a cultural weather-vane. My cohort had Juno. My older cousins had Sixteen Candles. My parents had mass-produced beach movies. I’m pretty sure kids’ comedies that ended in edifying lectures about the true value of good citizenship went out of vogue with corsets and steam engines. And even the Victorians had plenty of less respectable fodder. Why does every generation think the one that follows is the end of civilization? Probably the same reason the younger generation thinks they’re the first ones to figure out fun.

  • Mel Walker

    My opinion is that there has always been a subset of men (I can’t speak for women, not being one myself) who didn’t want to “settle down.” In the “good old days,” there was a lot of pressure from society to conform, find a wife, and start a family. I think there’s a lot less pressure now, partly because women are a lot more successful, business-wise, than they ever have been. Parents don’t need to worry about their daughters starving; they have jobs. Parents don’t need to worry about someone taking care of them in their old age, modern medicine and a decent safety net have helped take the pressure off that.

    Obviously I’m generalizing here, which I think is okay, because we’re talking about a general group, not specifics.I know there are churches that are pushing their mid-twenties men to get married. Whether that will work, or just cause more of them to stop attending, is something that time will tell.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

    Articles from Hanna Rosin (The End of Men), Kay S. Hymowitz (Where Have the Good Men Gone? and Fiona Roberts (America’s Lost Boys: Why ARE so many young men failing to grow up?) have also highlighted the plight of young men in America.

    Forever open bracket… mind… imploding…

    • Jonah Horowitz

      Here you go )

  • http://profiles.google.com/statueofmike Michael S

    The metrics used to define men as unsuccessful losers are pretty
    insulting. People have already commented above about the problems in
    economic success and video games, but I also find it insulting to be
    called immature because I don’t want to get married and start a family. I
    don’t even feel the need to keep the option open in the future.

  • Anonymous

    This, too. I know people in jobs that definitely do make a difference, but it is a thankless job and they feel that they are so unappreciated in their role that unemployment almost seems like the lesser of two evils. What then?

  • Anonymous

    I’m going to pass on opining about the so-called “man baby” trend because I have not read the research. My snap instinct is to mutter “oh, bullshit”. The videogame indicator is laughable, and clearly is used by people who don’t understand that decades have passed since videogames were just a “kid” thing. Every adult working male I know, including married fathers buying their first property, plays videogames.

    Being European I find the whole “eek, he lives at home!” thing a little overblown, since living with the parents is relatively common here well into your late twenties or even early thirties, but I’ll admit that cultural differences could be at play. Still, in the middle of a terrible economic time, I’d be a little light on the condemnation of young people living at home.

    Of course, the differences in higher degrees is a much more relevant fact. It could be an indication of “decline” in men, but it could also be an indication of the decline of the value of higher degrees overall. The types of degrees also matter. If women now are getting more degrees mostly because of a rise in French Literature PhDs (no offense meant, mostly ;) ) that is a very different situation than if men are getting less, and women more, technical, economic and scientific degrees.

    It’s not like there are a ton of great role models out there. Ashton Kutcher? Chris Brown? Ben Roethlisberger?

    Excuse me while I LOL. No, guys don’t have any great role models. Except for most Nobel winners, most heads of state, most CEOs, most millionaires etc. The realm of the most powerful and most successful is still crushingly dominated by men. That’s not to say women don´t have good female role models, they do, but the men are hardly coming up empty here.

    Hey, there may be a problem. My general feeling is that the science is a little shaky, but it could be true. I think it’s still a very minor problem indeed compared to the barriers women still find to full equality, but it’s of course no good if women rise because men fall. I think society also could use some mind expanding in terms of what is “acceptable” for a role for men. Ask any stay at home dad how accepting society is of men taking traditionally feminine roles.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t think it is a minor problem if there is a growing difference between the number of men and women who get college degrees. Right now 57% of undergraduate degrees in America are given to women and it probably would be higher if colleges weren’t trying to keep some sense of gender balance in their population. People like to say college degrees are over expensive, but they really do make you much more likely to land a good job. Yes women face more pressing problems than men do, but that doesn’t mean that men don’t face negative stereotypes and gender expectations as well. I think the problem is that in our culture, intelligent boys are seen as more nerdy than intelligent girls, shaming boys who attempt to get good grades. Girls get praised as feminist success stories if they succeed whereas the boys get no special praise. Boys who struggle are labeled as losers whereas girls are less likely to be labeled like that if they struggle. Finally, in our society it is acceptable to make jokes about boy’s intelligence whereas that isn’t acceptable for girls. If we changed these negative gendered reactions, I think our sons would do better.

      • http://twitter.com/e__clare Emileigh Clare

        Agreed. Women are also more likely to get PhDs, have higher GPAs, etc. I don’t think we should blame men for not being completely in line with female peers but examine why this gap is occurring. I think changing some of the negative gendered reactions you mentioned would help.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tom-Jones/100001604772914 Tom Jones

    Just the latest crap the media has decided to blow out of proportion. Any one remember the Tiger Mother thing from a few months back?

  • Anonymous

    “According to an article on The Catholic News Agency’s website, “Nearly 40 percent of post-abortive women in one study reported that partners pressured them into having the abortions.” ”

    Well, THAT’S a reliable source.

    • Anonymous

      I’d find the results somewhat questionable even if the organization was more neutral. There is a great deal of shame applied to women who get abortions (despite it being a very common thing). I wouldn’t be at all surprised if many women wanted to do a little revisionist history and, when asked why they aborted, create some pressure from a partner that at the time was more of a simple agreement.

      • Heepsprow

        Hmmm, my experience has been a bit different. I have had four very close friends who have had abortions, the first when we were teenagers and the last occurred in our mid-twenties. Of these four, one had her boyfriend literally hold a gun to her head and told her would pull the trigger next time if she did not terminate the pregnancy. Another was repeatedly slapped and kicked until she agreed, and another was told by her bf that he would systematically ruin her if she had the child. Only one made a mutal decision with her fiance that now was not the time to become parents. My heart ached for all of them.

        • Anonymous

          Those sound extreme and not representative of most men.

      • Anonymous

        Also they use a negative word “pressure”. Couldn’t it just be that the guy was asking or even pleading with his girlfriend to get an abortion? In pro-choice states, if the condom breaks, the woman still has control over whether she wants a kid whereas the man has no control. It is a gender imbalance in reproductive choices and I don’t blame the man for asking the woman to consider his future in the decision.

        • http://twitter.com/e__clare Emileigh Clare

          If a guy asks repetitively or pleads with a woman to have an abortion he is pressuring her.  People need to be as responsible as possible when it comes to sex and using a condom isn’t always enough, especially if it breaks like you mentioned. If the couple discusses what they would do about an unplanned pregnancy beforehand, then no one should need to pressure anyone if an accident happens… unless someone changes their mind of course but even then I don’t think women should be pressured. But at least an initial discussion would have occurred. Of course, women should also start these conversations, not just men.

          • Anonymous

            “If the couple discusses what they would do about an unplanned pregnancy beforehand…”

            That sounds like an ideal version of a less-than-ideal situation.

  • Glasofruix

    Let’s see, on one side we have the “going to church on a sunday morning” card and on the other side we have “Sleep untill noon then play video games/watch porn/do relevant things” card. Tough choice between getting bored to death and get a day of rest after a week of hard work….

  • Alex

    1. Insinuate that most modern men are childish.
    2. Receive complaints from a lot of men.
    3. Use complaints to confirm 1.
    4. ?????
    5. PROFIT!

    I’m kidding, of course, but every joke is part joke. I don’t necessarily agree that the sky is falling and men are dying out. The world is changing, get used to it. (I wish I was as good at that myself as I’d like others to be… still, doesn’t make it any less true.)

    • http://profiles.google.com/statueofmike Michael S

      1. Insinuate that most modern men are childish.
      2. End with a recommendation for classic fiction.
      3. Filter target males by display of literature analyses.
      4. ?????
      5. DINNER!

  • Flah the Heretic Methodist

    Oh good grief.  I got married at 19 and it simply didn’t last.  Married my second husband when we were both in our late thirties — I was much better prepared to settle down than I was when I was younger and we were both better prepared financially.  If guys don’t want to settle down and get married then they shouldn’t do it, for the sake of everyone involved.  (As an aside,  they should avoid MD and Mars Hill like the plague, but that’s an opinion.)

  • Neil

    As a 39 year old who is happy, employed, not particularly ambitious, and who rejected christ in favor of sleeping in, marturbating, and playing music or video games at age 13, I fail to see the problem here! 

    The cult of ambition is strong in the US…almost as if most of us were raised to believe that we are inherently worthless and evil,  and must be vigilant, willing to work like a slave, and on the ball every second of our lives in order to avoid eternal torture or something like that!

    Simple facts:  
    Almost all people are not very ambitious.
    Almost people’s jobs aren’t that important, and all jobs can be filled by someone else.
    Almost all people aren’t going to do anything very special or be remembered for jack shit.  

    This is only news to people who live in a dream world. 

    There is no “crisis”, except to people who make their living off making people feel bad for being a normal human, who trade on feelings of guilt, envy, greed, and low self-worth.  If any of these trends went long enough, it might become a little bit of an issue for industries that rely on a large pool of competitive workers that they can play off each other to keep wages low. 

    When the day comes that there are millions of jobs in high technology fields going unfilled, or construction projects that can’t find workers even at union wages, or large stacks of investment money sitting idle just because nobody wants to start a business anymore, let me know.  

    • PJB863

      Hear hear!  Let’s not even get into the fact that we really no longer have any kind of meritocracy.

  • Denis Robert

    Wait a second: we’re talking about BILL F’ING BENNETT here people. That’s Bill-lost-8-million-dollars-gambling-Bennett, former Secretary of Education and poster-child for irresponsible behaviour, telling people that men need to grow up???

  • miguel

    OMG people are having fun!!! What a disgrace!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=750428174 Paddy Reddin

    A lot of it is in the upbringing, or lack thereof.  I know a lot of people who didn’t care what their kids got up to so long as it didn’t bother them, they can watch tv in peace.

    This leads to teens, then adults with no sense of right or wrong, only what they can get away with.

    Also, can we please stop with the “Dawkins is sexist” b.s.?  

  • Ms. Crazy Pants

    The New York times article said, “About one-fourth of 25-year-old white men lived at home in 2007.”  Has anyone bothered to consider that many of those guys were returning home from the middle east?  They come back and don’t have a job or a place to live, they may be injured, or suffering from PTSD, and suddenly they’re labeled as children for living at home?  I knew of several that when they returned it took them a while to readjust to civilian life, and they went through the adjustment at home where they could get help.

  • Anders

    I’m confused.  These types of articles seem to talk as if men are nothing but sperm donors for women.  What ever happened to marrying because you love the person?  I mean call me what you will, but if she only wants to marry me solely to have kids then count me out.
     Incidentally, I moved back in with my parents after college until I was 26.  This was mostly due to the fact that my work required I travel around the U.S. and live in other states for months at a time.  I saved a bundle on not paying rent.  Living out of a hotel doesn’t make dating very easy and when I was home my parents drove me nuts.  I eventually moved out and into various apartments because of this.  For a year I was unemployed due to the crappy economy so I took a job that pays barely more than minimum wage.   This year I applied to 4 different PhD programs, so I don’t lack for ambition but I have no money.  Therefore, settling down and starting a family has been the furthest thing from my mind.  I’m 29 years old right now.

    As far as video games go it seems a bit judgmental to say that those who play them lack for maturity.  I’m an avid gamer and I know of one college professor who plays video games.  I think previous generations spent just about as much time in front of the TV watching movies and shows.  I’ve also noticed that more and more girls are starting to play video games in the younger generations.  When I was growing up it was mainly seen as a nerdy boy thing to do, but I don’t think thats really the case now.

  • Anonymous

    The reason why 40% of women who have had abortions have been pressured by their boyfriends is because there is a gender imbalance in reproduction choices. If a condom breaks, a woman (if she lives in a state with abortion providers) can get an abortion. Men don’t have that option. If they aren’t ready to reproduce, they have to plead with their girlfriends to have an abortion because they don’t have any other way of controlling the situation once the pregnancy occurs. I’ve heard about 1/3rd of women get abortions at some point so they too don’t want to have kids too early, but it is just that the woman have more options than the men do at this point. So I don’t think we should criticize the men for trying to convince their girlfriends to get an abortion because society really doesn’t give them a lot of other options when contraception fails.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RPPWVLMFKJ7QCHLEVQAR5GSL5M momma J

      If you aren’t ready to have a baby, then don’t have sex. There’s pretty strong evidence that shows sex and babies have a strong correlation with another. 

      • Anonymous

        Good enough advice when heeded. Doesn’t work retroactively, though. #themoreyouknow

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ORRVVC5R2QWLTXEM6SX5L6BORE Jay Arrrr

        “If you aren’t ready to have a baby, then don’t have sex.”
        Guess that means you can spend Friday and Saturday night in mom’s basement, playing WoW and jerkin’ off…

  • XPK

    Is there any research into whether these trends are a product of increased average life spans? I know the average life span has increased dramatically in the past several decades. Is it plausible that an increased life expectancy is contributing to a decreased interest in growing up early? Pure speculation from my end, but it seems plausible.

  • Anonymous

    I can only speak from my own experience, but as one of these so-called “man-babies” I thought I would chime in.

    The article hits on a couple topics that I think make a lot of sense, but there are also some things that I think it misses. There’s definitely a problem with role models, but I think it overlooks the increasing frequency of mental and devlopmental disorders. So it (of course) only tells part of the story.

    One of the biggest problems for me is that I have never met any Man that I would consider a positive role model for the new, modern paradigm. Most of those I’ve met are still insistent on living in a purely patriarchal society where they have to dominate every factor of their lives. Women and children to them are little more than property and should do only what they’re told. I can’t accept this type of “Manhood” and so I’m left having no idea how to act. Granted I live in Utah, one of the most sexist states in the Union, so I think that has something to do with it.

    I also have a very mild form of Autism. People generally have no idea when they first meet me, other than a slight weirdness, but after getting to know me it gets to be fairly obvious if they know the symptoms. I’m extremely high functioning but it still has a definite effect in social situations, especially workplaces. Working in offices is basically a form of torture. Add to that mild nerve damage in my arms which makes it difficult for me to do precision tasks with my hands, making it nearly impossible to do any sort of manufacturing work.

    So you see, it’s not always so simple as a Man being immature. There are often extenuating circumstances that almost doom a person to such a life as being a “man-baby.” Trust me, it’s definitely not anywhere near a glamorous, or even enjoyable, life.

  • Anonymous

    I think the way boys and girls are seen in society is part of the reason why boys are falling behind. Being an intelligent boy is seen as more nerdy than being an intelligent girl. Intelligent girls are seen as feminist success stories whereas the boys get no such praise when they succeed. Boys who fail are labeled as losers whereas girls who fail aren’t personally labeled like this. You have terms like man-child but no such term for women even though there as women who fall behind as well. Women who make less money than their husbands face no stigma whereas men who make less money than their wives are considered failures. It is acceptable in our society to joke about boys being dumb when that would never be accepted for girls.

    For all of these reasons, struggling at academics can be more of a trap for boys than for girls. If we want boys to succeed we need to encourage them when they succeed rather than mock them when they fail.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/FDGYHBEWVNGUG763L5X4TON3JQ Nazani14

    I’m almost 60, and I can’t recall a time when there weren’t plenty of men who never found anything productive to do with their lives.  Maybe in previous decades some of them were sucked up by the military, stayed on the family farm or drifted from one menial job to another.  This is all a big waaaa about not getting younger people into church to take the place of the folks dying off.

    And of course, we evil women have crushed the fragile male work ethic by demanding equal pay for equal work.

  • GeorginaFSmythe

    “set aside the porno, and see if maybe the Bible has any wisdom” Nope, just mostly, sex and violence . So he is actually saying, “Don’t buy porn from there, you can get it here”.

  • Nhills

    The only way I could move out of my parents at this point is if I spent 80 hours a week working at four different fast food joints, doing nothing but working and sleeping.

    Now why would I want to live life like that??

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RPPWVLMFKJ7QCHLEVQAR5GSL5M momma J

      If you worked 80 hours a week at minimum wage you almost be making as much as I do in teaching with a Master’s degree. Why do you HAVE to make such a large amount to live on your own. Find a roommate to split rent with. Rent can be done for pretty cheap if you continue to live like a college student in this way :)

      • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

        As long as all parties are happy with the arrangement, what’s wrong with living at home? In many cultures, it is expected that adult children live with their parents. American culture tends to promote moving out as soon as possible, but not everyone wants to do that. It depends on how well you get along with your family members, but if I were in that situation, I’d rather stay at home than live alone or move in with strangers. I’ve never understood why living with relatives is considered a sign of immaturity.

  • http://commablank.blogspot.com/ LS

    I must confess this post really got to me for a second. I’m self conscious about the fact that–due to the financial crisis–I’m a college dropout. I’m not as interested in starting a family as I was a few years ago, I do play video games, and I do focus on my hobbies more than my career.

    Then I realized that this entire concept is fear mongering bullshit.

    I’m working to support my girlfriend through school while I save for my own return to higher education. I’m not interested in starting a family anymore because I now have things to live for which would put a strain on a family. I play video games as a stress relief, not as a life goal. And I focus on my hobbies because I’m trying to make them into my career.

    So fuck this noise. I’ve got a life to live.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RPPWVLMFKJ7QCHLEVQAR5GSL5M momma J

      I’m not too privy to this idea so please help me out. Exactly how does on turn playing video games into a career? I’m not poking, I’m being sincere because I really don’t understand. 

      I will poke at the idea that there is a direct correlation between finishing college and the financial crisis. Did the content of the classes change because of it? I don’t understand this one. (This is coming from a guy who grew up in a poor family)

      • http://commablank.blogspot.com/ LS

        I am not attempting to turn video games into a career, I’m trying to turn writing and tabletop game design into a career. And I’m doing that by self-publishing articles five days a week, and working on larger projects during the other two days of the week.

        As for school, the financial crisis hit the town I was living in hard. My school raised their tuition so high that I was getting about half as much financial aid money after tuition was paid. I had to leave my job, and I couldn’t find work despite pounding pavement until my feet quite literally bled. After living off a few meals a week for about a year, I finally ran out of money to pay rent, and had to drop out of school and move away.

        So yeah, poke away.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RPPWVLMFKJ7QCHLEVQAR5GSL5M momma J

          Gotcha on the job idea thing! Sounds interesting. If you can use what you are passionate about and create a job out of it then I’m all for it. I hope if works out for you :)

          I understand the schools raising their tuition rates. Trust me, I know that first hand as well. What I don’t understand is not taking out a normal student loan. Not a government assisted Stafford loan, but one that you pay back after graduation. This is what I did. I went to school while taking out enough money to pay for school and for living expenses and paid it off once I graduated and started my job. 

          It sounds like it might work out for the better though. With the exception of making contacts and gaining references, it sounds like college wasn’t going to help much with the venture that you are pursuing. Did you get the idea while in college or after leaving? Just curious.

          Again, I hope it works out for you! 

          • amyc

            On the student loan thing: for some people, they only qualify for government loans.

            • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RPPWVLMFKJ7QCHLEVQAR5GSL5M momma J

              Oh okay. I didn’t know that was possible. I just assumed that if you were willing to go the take now pay later that they would let anyone go that route. My first student loan was in my parent’s name (though I was paying for it) and from then on they came in my name. I guess I qualified to take classes now and to pay the full amount back later even though at the time I didn’t have a job? The whole thing is a bit weird and it’s been a while I guess. 

              Grad school I paid as I went and am hoping to that again for my next Master’s if possible. I’m in a border city but the university I want to attend is on the other side of the state order. Blah!

              I’m amazed at how much university classes can cost. Especially grad credit! Geesh!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RPPWVLMFKJ7QCHLEVQAR5GSL5M momma J

    The statistics are not overblown at all. From what I can tell is that over the years it’s been a downward trend. I’m not blaming the public school system (I’m a teacher) but ever sense we’ve mandated people to go past the 6th grade or whatever we’ve taken childhood and extended it. The word teenager didn’t even exist 100 years ago. That’s because you were either a child or an adult. 

    It used to be that those in their teen years were expected to help with the family farm, to be a mature man or woman and to help out with different roles around the house. We expected them to take responsibility, go hunting game or farming to help the family eat, fight in wars at a young age. George Washington was sent as a surveyor at the age of 16 to map out different parts of the state that had not been mapped before. He was living off the land, with a job to do, eating what he could catch and kill, avoiding Indians, dragging around heavy surveying equipment over rough terrain, while trying to perform trig and geometry and create a map. 

    What society expects from kids today: stay out of too much trouble (yet expecting some), help out with the dishes on “your night” and make your bed. Our expectations have dropped immensely. Why?

    I was on a message board that was talking about these college “kids” and the kind of trouble that they get into. A 21 year old 7′-245 lb guy is not a kid. Yet society does not ever push him to be a man. 

    I don’t know what to blame for this. I think it’s a combination of factors: 1) School. Society sees a 17 yr old student as a child just because they are going to school. 2) Lack of accountability by parents, teachers and other authority figures 3) Lack of good role models. I think the numbers can be attributed to both the advance by women in society, but also by the decline by male society. Watch a few different t.v.shows, especially comedies. It’s always the guy that is the stupid, bumbling fool and the wife that is the responsible one. I don’t think t.v. is geared to show the realities of our society but that our society has conformed to its standards instead. 

    Some of the most responsible students that I have experienced are the teenage girls who got pregnant and had the child. They accepted responsibility for their actions and have not tried to run away from it. The worst ones are the baby-daddies. Talk about low-lifes. They aren’t manning up to the situation. But then again, who is at home to tell them/show them what they should do. My school is predominantly African-American. Statistics show that daddy isn’t around to teach them how to be a man. This is the biggest problem of all from what I see. We have to teach boys and girls what it means to take responsibility for our actions. To “take your medicine” if you will. 

    Instead we set up entitlement programs that teach people that the government will take care of them. Why find a job when the unemployment benefits will just keep on getting extended. This is not root of the cause, by government sure should go down to being guilty as an enabler!

    • http://commablank.blogspot.com/ LS

      >Not blaming public schools.
      >I am a teacher.
      >”ever sense”

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RPPWVLMFKJ7QCHLEVQAR5GSL5M momma J

        Okay, blame the schools but you can’t blame me personally without having been in my classroom. I hold people accountable. Period. A lot of guys need to “man up” and not roll over like a little puppy!

  • Gunstargreen

    Surely none of this has to do with the fact that most of the jobs still hiring right now are traditionally female jobs or that young people without any work experience don’t have a chance against all of the out of work folks with years of experience. Obviously it’s because they’re lazy atheists. Whatever helps you sleep at night.

    I don’t care if you go to church or not, this current trend has more to do with economic trouble than religious trouble. They act like some of these 20 and 30-somethings want to be living in with their parents. I’m willing to wager the vast majority of them don’t, they just lack another option right now.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RPPWVLMFKJ7QCHLEVQAR5GSL5M momma J

      I know I guy, who’s 25, lives with mom, finally finished college and has zero motivation to go to work. There is NO WAY my children are living at home at the age of 25 as long as they are physically and mentally capable of working. 

    • http://www.shadesthatmatter.blogspot.com asmallcontempt

      Where are all of these traditionally female jobs that are hiring that you speak of? I’ve been combing Chicago for them for almost 7 months now, and the only “traditionally” female job interview I had would have entailed a uniform of booty shorts and a tiny black tank top with Miller Lite splashed across the boobs.

      I didn’t get a callback from them, but, weirdly enough, I wasn’t all that broken up about it.

      But you’re totally right about the lack of options. I’m lucky to not have a massive pile of student loan debt to attend to, since if I did I’d be in some serious doo-doo. When I first graduated, I aimed high for some professional career-type jobs, and then had to lower my standards farther and farther as time went on and I got more desperate. Now, I spend equal time applying to “career” jobs and minimum wage-ish ones, but most employers are really skeptical of anyone with a college degree applying for a part-time customer service job. They KNOW you’re looking for something better.

      So, I’m in a delightful pickle, stuck between not having enough work experience and being overqualified. I’m glad someone else can at least recognize that I didn’t choose to put myself in this position.

  • Thegoodman

    I’ve read a few articles concerning the man-baby boom and it all seems like bullshit to me.

    “OMG a large percentage of a specific gender are no longer living up to their societal determined gender roles. 2012! Guns! Obamacare!”

    Maybe perhaps, in years gone by, unambitious/lazy/unintelligent men were forced into working roles and ambitious/driven/intelligent women were forced to stay home and have kids.  Now both of those demographics can do whatever the hell they want.  Good for them.

    I am a male, i am 29, i play a lot of video games (exactly what is with the video game stigma? is reading a book exercise? is watching TV somehow less evil?), I have an engineering degree, and I work a lot. My wife works a lot too and is better educated than me. We have no kids.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RPPWVLMFKJ7QCHLEVQAR5GSL5M momma J

      I think the issue the article was getting as what some people replace working with video games and have become a burden on society. As long as you are taking care of you and your family it doesn’t matter what you do with your free time as long as it doesn’t negatively effect others.

      • Anonymous

        The implication is was that somehow playing video games is the alternate to being productive. I could write an equally damning article saying something like “Women spend on average 2.5 hours a day watching TV. Meanwhile, men make up 50% of the work force and almost 50% of colleges!”The article is attempting to bring light to a point which deserves none. Was a study sited that links video games to a lack of income? How are these young bums buying all these video games? My father’s generation spent lots of time in bars after work. We spend it playing video games. Now we are the bad guys?Its just sensational nonsense. Women have earned their legitimate place in our society but our work is far from over. College degrees are also far overrated. I can think of a a least a dozen very legitimate careers that a person can have w/o a college degree. Every one of those work forces is dominated by women (I see this as a huge problem). Perhaps more women go to college because they see it as their only avenue to a lucrative job, where as men have other options.Sort through the bs, which this article is, and start thinking about the root of the problem. Which is, women do not have enough non-degree’d work opportunities. Their options are college or stay-at-home mom.  There are not many options in between. Men on the other hand are told to earn a living no matter how intelligent or wealthy they may be. Sexism is hurting both males and females who do not have the opportunity, drive, guidance, means, or intelligence to attend college.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RPPWVLMFKJ7QCHLEVQAR5GSL5M momma J

          I agree, the time that some people put into t.v. is just as bad if not worse. The article listed t.v. watching, video gaming and porn viewing as things that maybe we (society, not any one specific individual) can give up a bit of and replace it with something productive that benefits the better good of man kind. A job would be one example of a positive replacement. Volunteering time to a charity would be another. A third would be to spend more time with family. 
          It’s all about balance. 

          I don’t know what the magic % of your time that should be spent on hobbies. I have known people to actually sacrifice spending time with their children in order to get their hobby fix, which happened to be video gaming. Perhaps I’m a bit biased against this hobby and so I’m not seeing as exclusively against gamers as it really is. 

           People need to have hobbies and interests, but when people start making selfish choices based on their interests then it starts to have negative consequences and doesn’t help out others. I used to play video games in college and it sucked up too much of my time. I can’t afford to do that anymore (money or time) so I replaced that with t.v. I FINALLY realized that and have got rid of my cable. I’m saving $90/month and I have more to give (again, time and money) to others. It’s been fun. 

          Entertainment in general can be a bad thing in large doses. I think the male population is going through a weird phase where a lot of guys are simply unmotivated and discontent with their lives. If one is discontent, then they usually fill it with some sort of entertainment as a source of escapism. That’s okay I suppose to a point, but it can become too much. It’s like alcohol. A beer or two is okay most of the time. If you drink too much it turns bad. Even if you just drink one or two a day, but are using this as your replacement of reality then I would consider that not to be healthy either. 

          Moderation friends. Moderation. 

          I’m curious. A lot of gamers have posted something in response such as “I play games a lot and I still have a job and am a productive citizen or whatever.” Maybe it would be more useful if people posted how many hours a day they played or were active in any other hobby that they pursue. My definition and your definition of “a lot” may be different. 

          Q: What % of your week is consumed by your hobbies? 

  • Thegoodman

    “Nearly 40 percent of post-abortive women in one study reported that partners pressured them into having the abortions.”

    So 60% of women made the choice w/o partner influence? Good for all of these people having abortions.  There are not nearly enough abortions in the world. Unwanted babies have an outrageously high percentage of ending up in prison. Keep the babies you want. Abort the rest.

    Why are people so down on abortions, video games, and living at home? None of these things hurt other people. Mind your own business.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RPPWVLMFKJ7QCHLEVQAR5GSL5M momma J

      OMG! Are you kidding me!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? Did you ask the baby if the abortion hut or not? My child is 12 weeks old (from conception). I’ve already heard the heartbeat two weeks ago. Call it whatever you want to, but an abortion is ending life. 

      I don’t understand how ANYONE who has read a biology text book can argue that. 

      I thought atheists were supposed to be “free, logical thinkers” 

      Think about this for a second:

      1) Define death- to permanently end all biological processes
      2) What is the opposite of death-life
      3) If death is to have all biological processes ended, then logically speaking the 
           opposite,life, is to have a biological process taking place.

      As soon as the sperm and egg come together as a zygote, biological processes take place (cell division). Maybe THIS is why some people are down on abortions. Geesh!

      • Anonymous

        You don’t have to ask a fetus if it hurts to abort it. They don’t have a functioning nervous system until around 24 weeks gestation, so there’s no possible way they could feel pain until then anyway. Strangely enough, at about 28 weeks, or the third Trimester, abortion becomes illegal in (I believe) all states. This is also just before the point where it’s no longer a parasite and can live without the mother, although precariously, at about 32 weeks.

        Also, according to Merriam Webster, Death in the sense we’re speaking of is “a permanent cessation of all vital functions : the end of life.” So conversely, Life would be when all vital functions are taking place. All vital functions of a human don’t start until birth (fetus’ don’t breathe). Therefore aborting before birth could not be ending life. Since all vital functions never took place, it could never have been considered Life. Is that a ridiculous argument? Damn right it is, but no more so than yours.  Making an argument based purely on a single definition is incredibly ridiculous, so in the future please try and come up with something better.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RPPWVLMFKJ7QCHLEVQAR5GSL5M momma J

          I had a friend whose child just celebrated his 1 year birthday this month. She had to give birth (at risk to herself as well) at 26 weeks. I guess technically she could have aborted that child and that would be  okay? 

          The child obviously needed help at first, but so do some babies born at 38 weeks. She’s the proud mother of a wonderful boy now! The thought of aborting that child, ending his life, and literally throwing him away is disgusting to me and makes me sad. How many other wonderful boys and girls have been thrown away because it was inconvenient to the parents or isn’t planned? 

          I can’t think of a more selfish act? Throwing away a child because the circumstances are tough.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RPPWVLMFKJ7QCHLEVQAR5GSL5M momma J

            Wow! A quick web search and I found that the youngest surviving premie was born @ 21 weeks 5 days old. He is now a healthy 25 year old.

            I’m glad no one threw him out with the garbage a week early because he was an inconvenience or a burden on the parents. That would have been a shame. 

            I’m not for sure where your 32-week number came from. But it’s clear that it’s possible. I knew about my friend’s 26 week old baby, but had no idea that 21 weeks. Wow! So why are we killing babies again? What’s the justification now? At the very least w should be making it illegal after 20 weeks. At the very least!

            I also learned a fun fact. At 9 weeks old the fetus reacts to loud sounds. So again, I don’t know about a fully functioning nervous system, but for sure they have some kind of a nervous system in order to react to a stimulus at nine weeks.

            I hear a very tearful story of a woman who worked as an assistant at an abortion clinic. She said that she was watching the monitor as the physician started to perform the abortion. The doctor inserted a probe and made contact with the baby. It responded to the poke and reacted. She then watched it get churned and sucked out. Disgusting! She said she was ill after this for 3 days and is a staunch pro-lifer now. 

            Do the patients generally get a chance to see the abortion take place in the monitor? If not, why do you think that is?

          • Anonymous

            I used to be pro-misery myself, until I actually spent some time thinking about my position, doing some research on fetal development, and thinking about where my ideas came from. I realized my position was crap. While I can’t force you to do the same, I can give you the most convincing argument I can think of right now.

            The woman having the abortion is the only one who knows the actual circumstances that are involved. There could be a violent household, neglect, immaturity, etc. Inconvenience is rarely even a consideration. Getting an abortion is a decision that a woman has to live with for the rest of her life. She knows it could have become a child, she knows some would consider it murder (she may even consider it such herself), most likely she also knows that many orphans are never adopted and/or live miserable lives. With all of the information she has, she has decided that it would be best for that child to not be brought into the world. No one should be understating the gravity of that decision, for she knows the world that child would have been born into far better than anyone else ever will.

            This is definitely not the place to be having this discussion though, so I’m going to bow out after this. Enjoy having the last word, I give it to you freely.

            • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RPPWVLMFKJ7QCHLEVQAR5GSL5M momma J

              You are right about the mother knowing the circumstances better than anyone else most likely. I’ve seen some of my student get pregnant in some really tough situations. Most of them have the baby. I’ve had one that I know of that had an abortion. The argument could be made though that teenagers are a bit more volatile than adults and are not seeing the situation for what it really is. A teenager isn’t always thinking about their child. They are thinking about #1. Trust me I’m surrounded by them daily. Most are extremely self-absorped. 

              I simply see the atheist/pro-abortion stance  as a bit two-sided seeing how most followers of this page are ALL about not indoctrinating children and letting them make the choice themselves, etc. The reason that people do those things is because the want what the best for the child. They are doing it because religion has had a major influence in their lives and so they want to teach their children the religion that they have followed because they think that this it the best thing for the child. 

              Whether it is or not, that’s another discussion. But I’m guessing the majority of people teach their children the values of their religion b/c they want the best for their child. 

              My point is this: If you don’t want people making those decisions on one topic (religion) for the child, then how can they have the right to choose if that child should live or not. The baby doesn’t even get a say in the matter! If you ask people who are alive “are you glad your mother didn’t abort you?” I’m pretty sure that everyone is going to see yes, unless they are clinically depressed. 

              Why is it okay to control one area of their lives so tightly and not okay to try and teach them in another area. Especially when the parent has their best interest at heart? 

              For those who are motivated in life everyone just wants a chance to be their best. Maybe they’ve worked really hard at something and just want their chance of success. I think this is why the show American Idol is so popular. I don’t watch it, but I’ve seen a few early seasons. People think, if I just had a chance, then maybe I could make it happen!

              Circumstances are just that, circumstances. “Through great adversity comes great opportunity” By aborting a fetus you are taking away that child’s chance to be someone great!

      • Jonah Horowitz

        Life is a process which has gone on unbroken for at least 3 billion years, and nothing so far has stopped it. What you’re talking about with abortion isn’t ending “life”, it’s ending a “human life”, and in order to decide whether or not that is the case we must first define what it is which makes something human. Until there is an agreed upon strict definition for “human”, there’s nothing simple about it.

  • Aaron Duchaine

    I am a 32
    year old unmarried male. I have never finished college and I have a decent
    paying job that I’ve maintained for 12 years so far. I live with my 29 year old
    girlfriend. Neither of us wants kids and if we did we’d adopt because the world
    population is 7 billion strong. Our combined annual household income exceeds
    $100,000 and my income contributes to nearly half of that. We intend to spend
    our lives using our vacations to travel the world (which can be done easily
    when you don’t have additional mouths to feed). Both of us are avid videogame
    players.

     

    I realize
    that we may be exceptions to the rule but it is extremely insulting to suggest
    that these exceptions are a sign of immaturity. I understand that had I
    finished college I could be earning more but I’m satisfied with my life. I don’t
    buy into this bullshit that I need to have a sixty to eighty hour a week job
    made available through a master’s degree to enjoy life.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RPPWVLMFKJ7QCHLEVQAR5GSL5M momma J

      I hope that works out for you. Living with the bf or gf usually does not work out well in the long term (statistically speaking). Don’t become a statistic!

      • Anonymous

        Interesting side-note, living with the wife/husband doesn’t turn out all that well about 1/3 of the time either, and that doesn’t even count the times where it SHOULD end, but doesn’t.

      • Anonymous

        Odd comment. D’you have a link for those statistics? May help to add some context, otherwise it’s not clear what you mean by “work out well” or “the long term”.

      • Anonymous

        That’s demonstrably a lie

        Getting married won’t magically fix a relationship. Either it works or it doesn’t

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RPPWVLMFKJ7QCHLEVQAR5GSL5M momma J

          Steve, when did I say that marriage fixes relationships? I never did say that. I apologize for not being clearer :/

      • Aaron Duchaine

        Or how about I put some work into my relationship through respectful and open communication instead of hoping to entrap my girlfriend in a contract that makes it harder for it to end when things become irreconcilable.  I’m not opposed to marriage but it is not a fix-all.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RPPWVLMFKJ7QCHLEVQAR5GSL5M momma J

          Absolutely! Communication and respect are the keys to any relationship. I didn’t mean to imply that you had to get married to have a successful relationship. That’s not what I meant at all. 

          I was just saying that from my experiences, every friend that I have known to move in with their significant other before marriage had the relationship end poorly. (that’s the statistic that I’m talking about)

          It’s a small sample of society that I am talking about as I know many more married couples than I know co-inhabitors (if that’s a term).

          I would define a successful relationship as one that, even if it ends in separation, it ends on good terms (still respecting each other). In other words, agreeing to disagree. 

          I think the idea that marriage is a fix-all is EXACTLY why it fails so often. Someone below said it was about 1/3 of the time that it ends in divorce. I’ve seen statistics that have it as high as 50%+ and even higher with the African-American populations. I think the idea that my world will become better with marriage is horribly false. I would say for me personally MY life is better with it than without it, but that’s because my wife makes me a better person and challenges me in a positive way. 

          With that said, marriage like any other relationship is difficult work as well. 

          I apologize if I came off as negative in my previous comment. That was not my intent at all :(

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ORRVVC5R2QWLTXEM6SX5L6BORE Jay Arrrr

    Oh, and I forgot. I’m also an ATHEIST! I get to slack-off even more and sleep in on Sunday mornings! That is, Sunday mornings when I’m not up early to go to the flea market, or out to breakfast with somebody, or to the firing range…

  • Aaron Duchaine

    The first image used to illustrate this post is insulting and sexist. I enjoy sports and, god forbid, drinking beer while watching sports. Does this make me a “man-baby?” The image also suggests that women dislike sports or dislike participating in the watching of sports. I beg to differ.

  • Anonymous

    WTF have I just read?! What is the point? Weird films, women graduate from colleges, atheists have high iq, male role models and the elevator, crazy pastors, men like abortions, bible is sexist. I haven’t found a single coherent thought in this mess. What does all this have to do with immaturity of men, and where did the author get this sexism to consider only male immaturity as if human immaturity has something to do with person’s gender?

  • Jonah Horowitz

    One more thing which I don’t think has been mentioned yet: I know several people (all of whom are second-generation immigrants) whose parents absolutely refuse to let them live elsewhere until they get married. I have no statistics on this, but I would imagine that a woman living with her parents would be looked down on significantly less than a man living with his parents, and so would have an easier time forming relationships, getting married, and moving out under these circumstances.

  • Anonymous

    You complain about men becoming less effective in their work habits, and yet you don’t see the correlation with the removal of Christianity from our society. And at the same time you fail to note that women, by in large, are more receptive to living under Christian or other moral guidelines than men.

    You don’t have to believe in God or support Christianity to see the most obvious cause of this trend. The society we live in today is far more willing to forgive people for their lack of personal responsibility than ever it has been in the past. And the divergence from Christian values and beliefs has allowed for that to happen. Divorce is no longer shunned. Sexual practices that do great psychological damage to your family aren’t viewed nearly as negatively as in the past. Drinking, doing drugs, having premarital sex, and participating in any number of self-indulging activities is now considered normal. In short, we have far less in the way of standards by which we are expected to live our lives, and that builds on itself. We no longer have to rise to the occasion of being responsible. We don’t even have to earn a living any more, as there are safety nets like welfare in place to save us.

    Christianity provided a firm threshold for defining what is and is not acceptable behavior. The standards are by in large higher than what society has on its own concluded is okay – hence the decline in standards. (and btw, your listings of specific occurrences from the Bible as evidence that the Bible teaches bad behaviors is just silly – the only measuring stick that counts is what people TAKE AWAY as being the Bible’s message, and that clearly is not the consensus. Please show us evidence that the majority of churches teach that it’s okay to share your wife. If you can’t (and you know you can’t), then you must be forced to acknowledge that you had no intention of being objective. Such blatant spin leaves me with little “faith” that you will treat any opposing perspective with objectivity.)

    Real men don’t choose to abandon belief systems simply because they get in the way of what they want. Christianity is highly inconvenient to the average porn addict (in other words, the average man). That doesn’t make it wrong, or at the very least, without value. I suggest you shift your strategy and attack our culture rather than the religion whose first-time absence so conspicuously corresponds with the problems you see.

  • http://www.facebook.com/april.kelsey April Kelsey

    I’m a Christian, yet I don’t see this trend of immature men entirely as a biblical problem…although I do think faith imparts some worthy values. I see this more as a cultural problem. We have to remember that in the past, society was structured to encourage men to accept adult responsibilities early in their lives. They often quit school in 8th grade or high school to help with the family farm or business and married in their late teens/early twenties. Now with young people being expected to finish school AND attend college, the start of adult life becomes delayed. It also doesn’t help that hard work isn’t as rewarded as it used to be. Wages have fallen, and people who do go to college often end up working outside of their degree field and changing careers 8 to 12 times. People who choose to study art, music, philosophy and literature (the pillars of civilized society, I would argue) are ridiculed to no end. All of that, coupled with the recent economic downturn, have left many young people feeling dejected and hopeless. 

    Our society, especially our media, also shares some blame. Modern TV shows for young people emphasize the importance of popularity over hard work as a factor for success. The idea pervades everything from Hannah Montana to Survivor. Men in sitcoms are portrayed as bumbling henpecked slobs. Men might have some good role models in the form of scientists and businessmen, but men like them aren’t portrayed on your average TV show or movie. And with the balance of power shifting away from men, and women taking on more responsibility both inside and outside the home, it’s no wonder to me that men have trouble feeling motivated and appreciated.  


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