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.
Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.
- Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
- At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
- Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Neuroscience research suggests it might be time to rethink our ideas about when exactly a child becomes an adult.
- Research suggests that most human brains take about 25 years to develop, though these rates can vary among men and women, and among individuals.
- Although the human brain matures in size during adolescence, important developments within the prefrontal cortex and other regions still take pace well into one's 20s.
- The findings raise complex ethical questions about the way our criminal justice systems punishes criminals in their late teens and early 20s.
Three scientists publish a paper proving that Mercury, not Venus, is the closest planet to Earth.
- Earth is the third planet from the Sun, so our closest neighbor must be planet two or four, right?
- Wrong! Neither Venus nor Mars is the right answer.
- Three scientists ran the numbers. In this YouTube video, one of them explains why our nearest neighbor is... Mercury!
A new method of growing mini-brains produces some startling results.
- Researchers find a new and inexpensive way to keep organoids growing for a year.
- Axons from the study's organoids attached themselves to embryonic mouse spinal cord cells.
- The mini-brains took control of muscles connected to the spinal cords.
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