The Problem With Men

For millennia, men have assumed a certain dominance, both physically and culturally, over the world around them. Yet, as we enter an age of disruption, wherein the norms of history are rapidly succumbing to irrelevance, even the traits that once distinguished men—be it winning glory in battle through a marked propensity to risk, the ability to hunt game large enough to feed a family through a craving for ultimate satisfaction, or the ability to out-earn a colleague on account of aggressive business tactics—are translating into drug addictions, rising domestic abuse rates, and an alienating recklessness amid the demands and mores of twenty-first century life.

The trend goes beyond societal forces. Men’s bodies themselves are under assault, as the Y chromosome is encountering greater problems reproducing, and is overly prone to toxins and mutations on account of its placement in a cell. Males are more likely to develop a wide range of diseases, perhaps in part because of the size of their brain in comparison to their bodies, and are less likely to survive birth. They stand at a significantly higher risk of learning disabilities and developmental disorders, and generally die at a younger age.


What’s more, with the current recession, men have found themselves increasingly victim to powerful feelings of insecurity, which could likely general an overarching pattern of anti-social behavior, including a very dramatic and rising cult-like inclination to take out their entire home.

Given the precarious state of masculinity at this pivotal moment, Big Think presents The Problem With Men, highlighting the latest research into the field and uncovering some of the measures that can be taken to prevent the potentially drastic consequences.

A new study says alcohol changes how the brain creates memories

A study on flies may hold the key to future addiction treatments.

Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Mind & Brain
  • A new study suggests that drinking alcohol can affect how memories are stored away as good or bad.
  • This may have drastic implications for how addiction is caused and how people recall intoxication.
  • The findings may one day lead to a new form of treatment for those suffering from addiction.
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How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
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Heatwaves significantly impact male fertility, says huge study

As the world gets hotter, men may have fewer and fewer viable sperm

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Surprising Science
  • New research on beetles shows that successive exposure to heatwaves reduces male fertility, sometimes to the point of sterility.
  • The research has implications both for how the insect population will sustain itself as well as how human fertility may work on an increasingly hotter Earth.
  • With this and other evidence, it is becoming clear that more common and more extreme heatwaves may be the most dangerous aspect of climate change.
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