The New “Gender” Math? More Women+Less Men=A Better World?

A few weeks ago, in the early days of the latest Government “crisis” over the shutdown and debt ceiling, Piers Morgan interviewed two women, one of them actress Sharon Stone, about a documentary they were promoting focused on bringing equality to girls and women around the world.  It was an insightful, positive interview about a very important global topic.

At one point, Piers asked a question that lately has been asked a lot: Would the world be better off with less male leaders and more female leaders?

Sharon Stone brilliantly deflected the question by asking Piers what he thought.  His response: Yes!  The world would be a better place if we had more women running things.  He cited the wars that men often lead us into and of course, mentioned the testosterone mess in Washington, DC.

Sharon tactfully agreed with him, citing some of the great female leaders of late from Margaret Thatcher to Hillary Clinton (not to mention Condolezza Rice and Angela Merkel, to name a few).

This The-World-Would-Be-A-Better Place-If We Had More-Women-Leading-It argument is increasingly growing in volume, and for good reason.  This latest testosterone-led DC mess was ultimately fixed by several women.  Women seem to be much more suited to collaboration conciliation than competitive men.  (In part, this is due to biology: Women have more oxytocin, a bonding chemical.  Men have more testosterone, an aggression/competition hormone.)

So it’s not a stretch to suggest the equation: More Women + Less Men=a Better World!

But hold on.  While the world does need more women in leadership and the perspective and gifts that women bring, that doesn’t mean the world needs less men.

What the world needs is better men!  Men of character and honor and sacrifice and a servant’s heart.  There are times, many times, when the world needs the energy of testosterone to get things done, to fight the foe, to set things right—just as there are many times the world needs the leadership energy of collaboration and relationship that many women bring.  One leadership energy is not better than the other.  Both are crucial and essential to a better world.

The challenge is that we too often see men using their energy in self-centered, destructive, peacock strutting ways.  That doesn’t mean we need less men.

We need better men!

And better men are built from the ground up—starting when they are boys.  Teaching boys early on the unique power of male energy and how to harness it for good will go a long way in building better men and in building a better world.

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About Tim Wright

I've been a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America since 1984, currently serving as the founding pastor of Community of Grace in Peoria, AZ. My wife, Jan and I, were married in 1979. We raised two kids and currently have 3 grandkids. I love to ride my bike, travel, read British Mysteries, and Disneyland. I have written 6 books, including my newest--Searching for Tom Sawyer: How Parents and Congregations Can Stop the Exodus of Boys From Church. My website:

  • David Murrow

    Tim, have you read the new book “Men on Strike”? Society no longer encourages better men. It no longer incentivizes noble behavior. We can stand in the pulpit and call me to step up until we are hoarse. But until the incentives change, men won’t change.

    • RevTim

      David, I have not heard of the book but I will order it. I’m intrigued with the changing the incentives thing. Let’s continue to mull that one over….

      • David Murrow

        Just Google “Men on Strike” and read the summaries. The author is on to something…

  • Nancy French

    I’d disagree that any women “fixed” the mess in DC! Still a mess!

    • RevTim

      Touche’. Let me rephrase: Women helped move the mess down the field?


      • joel

        I’d argue that the testosterone was necessary to stand up against raging, out of control government. It was deflated by an estrogen preferring political culture and media. Testosterone stands up and fights the good fight, estrogen compromises and sacrifices liberty and fiscal sanity just to ‘get along’. There’s a BIG mess ‘down the field’!

        • RevTim

          Joel, while the point of my blog isn’t the latest mess in Washington but the perceived sense that the world would be better off with fewer men in leadership, I agree wholeheartedly that we need good, strong, positive, testosterone in Government that harnesses the energy of testosterone for the good of the people. I disagree with you that estrogen compromises and sacrifices liberty, etc. We need both gifts. From my perspective as a Christian, that’s why God created us, in His Image, male and female. The world needs the best that men and women bring to the table. One without the other always leads to imbalance.

          • joel

            Tim. I realize that wasn’t the point of the blog, but I think it’s a good illustration of our culture. If you look at what happened, both sides were willing to fight for their ideals, but the societal narrative was that they ‘talk nice’ and cooperate. The issues were lost in the anger at the conflict itself, which became the story (actually it was spun that way). The priority was that they stop fighting and ‘get along’ (the relationship was priority). As you said, it was ‘kicked down the field’, i.e., not dealt with. That’s a largely ‘feminine’ reaction to conflict. In my view, the balance between male and female is, as has been borne out through history, male leadership in the ‘macro’ and female leadership in the ‘micro’. That’s why the Bible, with a few exceptions, calls on men to lead in the church, society and family. When they do, they become ‘better men’.

          • RevTim

            Joel, I read Scripture very differently. And it starts with the 1st Chapter of Genesis where God creates us, both male and female, in his image. Men and women are equally the Image of God. If you overemphasize one you distort your view of God. There would be no Christian movement without the sacrifice of Ruth, the hutzpah of Esther, the courage of Mary, the evangelism of Mary Magdalene, the mission work of Priscilla, Lydia, and so on. Biologically men and women often relate to the world differently, but God created us so that we need both, because we need the fullness of God.

          • joel

            How is that different from what I said?

          • RevTim

            Joel, you said that men are called to lead in the macro and women in the micro. I take that to mean that men lead in the big things and women in the small things. You claim men are called to lead the church, family, society. I disagree with that exclusive view of the Image of God. I believe both men and women are called to lead in the macro and the micro. Does that help?

          • joel

            Yes, the only thing I would say is that when I say men are called to lead, you seem to equate it with women’s voices or perspectives somehow being excluded or not needed. That’s not the case at all. And I also said the Bible calls men to lead, with a few exceptions – like some you mentioned. I’m sure you meant to include Deborah, who I think was the biggest exception to the rule. But even Deborah knew that it was “Israel’s princes” that needed to lead (Judges 5:2), and she wasn’t happy with Barak for not leading, nor was God (4:4-9). What it basically boils down to, I think, is the good ol’ complementarian vs, egalitarian debate (I’m obviously a comp.). Thanks for the discussion and opportunity to clarify, this is a topic that needs to be aired out, but emotions and caution tend to blur what’s being said.

          • RevTim

            Thank you,, Joel. It’s important and good stuff to be wrestling with.

          • joel

            I did a podcast relating to this. Could you give it a listen and possibly give me feedback/comments?

          • RevTim

            Joel, I’d be happy to. Give me a few weeks.

  • Joe Warne

    Yes we do need better men at all levels, but also better women. I have worked in offices where there were more women than men and there were all sorts of problems between the women. It is not an exclusive gender problem, it is a self centered people problem.

    • RevTim

      Joe, yup…the world does need better women, too. But that’s for others to write about! :)

  • Mary

    Although I appreciate your bringing up this topic, I think that it’s important to look at the fact (see some studies, below) that there’s an aspect of leadership – collaboration – that is hindered by having “high-testosterone” or “alpha male game playing” going on, and that’s moderated by having women as viable partners (having more estrogen at the bargaining table, which focuses more on building bridges)! There is an “up” to to high-testosterone behaviors in taking risks, but compromise isn’t part of it. Some recent studies suggest that having more equal distribution of men and women on financial boards would help avoid the more horrendous errors on Wall Street of recent years.

    It’s being looked at more closely scientifically these days, and I find it kind of fascinating to examine. For example, this was published in 2012:

    “Testosterone disrupts human collaboration by increasing egocentric choices,”

    Here’s a representative quote from the New York Times, in particular looking at women in finance:

    “The public benefits when women succeed in finance. When it comes to
    investment strategies, women are more conservative than men and more
    risk averse.

    “They also tend to invest for the longer term, a trait that can result
    in less-volatile returns. And recent evidence suggests that women may
    do better than men in short-term investing.

    “A study of hedge funds run by women found that they outperform funds run by men. Another study of retail investors found that men traded 45 percent more than women in their own accounts, but earned 2.65 percent less.

    “Outside the investing and trading sphere, there are also scores of
    studies about how women enhance the organizational environment. Women
    have been found to be more altruistic. There is a female style of corporate leadership, which involves more listening and cooperation, some studies indicate. And a paper that looked at companies in the S.& P. 1,500 index found that corporations led by women performed better.” )

    There are a lot more studies where that came from, and generally they argue that we need both men and women’s stereotypical leadership styles (which are affected by their respective gender’s hormonal makeup), working together, to achieve the best outcomes in business and government.

    • RevTim

      Agreed, which is my point, too. We need men using their testosterone in good, noble ways, along with the gifts women bring, to build a better world! Thanks for the great info.

  • Larry Ebaugh

    Tim, Liked your article. I think you’d agree that in the past few decades there’s this constant mantra about “empowering” girls. I hear it all the time as if it’s some national virtue. Don’t recall ever hearing anything about empowering boys. Maybe they don’t need empowering.
    Since many, if not most, elementary school teachers are women, I just wonder if subconsciously, or otherwise, many of them aren’t raising up girls while putting down boys. e.g. A girl expresses an opinion in the classroom. A boy contradicts her, and he’s chastised for being rude. And all he did was disagree with her. He learns he is not to contradict girls.
    And if you don’t think this is so, sit in on a few classrooms where the female teacher has feminist leanings. It might surprise you how cleverly this is done.

    • RevTim

      Thanks for the insights!

  • $6285828

    HEADLINE NEWS NUMBER 1 is a mess, and the rollout of Obama-care has been a
    debacle. The two people most responsible for this epic IT failure are
    Kathleen Sebelius and Marilyn Tavenner.

    If men had been in
    charge of this rollout, you can be sure they would have enforced
    fault-tolerant coding styles in the programming team, ensured that
    semaphores did not lock on the fork/exec when the servers spawned the child processes.


    Congress is a mess, and the budget negotiations have been a debacle.
    The two people most responsible for this epic failure are Reid and

    If women had been in charge of this congressional
    budget negotiation, you can be sure they would have enforced dialogue
    and discussion. They would have brought teams together to ensure
    agreement and respect.

    Which headline would NEVER have appeared out of respect for women?

    Which headline DID appear (in countless papers) to the complete
    disrespect of men? Which headline raised not an eyebrow and continued
    by diminishing the self-respect of our nation’s sons?
    Which headline was not only accepted, but praised?

  • swordcrossrocket

    What’s darkly humorous is that there was a funny example of women not making a better world:

    She literally took the advice of all women no men to heart, created her company around it, and it spectacularly imploded. That article lists why. Of course, this is Samantha Brick, who is out there, but the point is that male or female be careful of romanticising one gender over the other. We are all fallen, women as much as men.