The Decline of Males: The First Look at an Unexpected New World for Men and Women

The Decline of Males: The First Look at an Unexpected New World for Men and Women

by Lionel Tiger
     
 

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Why have sexual and family norms of American society changed so dramatically in the last few decades? Lionel Tiger presents a unique perspective, offering arresting evidence that the real issue is reproduction, a biological process. He argues that the spread of effective contraception, controlled by women, gives them the sole power to decide to, or not to, bear

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Overview

Why have sexual and family norms of American society changed so dramatically in the last few decades? Lionel Tiger presents a unique perspective, offering arresting evidence that the real issue is reproduction, a biological process. He argues that the spread of effective contraception, controlled by women, gives them the sole power to decide to, or not to, bear children. Removed from the process of reproduction, men have begun to feel obsolete, resulting in their unprecedented withdrawal from family systems.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This provocative book raises questions about the awesome influences of nanotechnology and genetic engineering on the future of human sexuality and social structure. Highly recommended." —Library Journal

"Lionel Tiger, a pioneer of biological anthropology and developer of the concept of male bonding, here delivers a very well-researched and well-written brief for masculinism, which if successful, may gain parity with feminism and eventually transform women's studies within academia into what they should have always been, namely, gender studies."

—Edward O. Wilson, author of Consilience and Pellegrino University Research Professor, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University

"This book, written without the ideological blinkers that obscure most contemporary discussions of gender, is full of incredible nuance and insight that will reward careful reading." —Francis Fukuyama, author of Trust and The End of History and the Last Man, and Hirst Professor of Public Policy, George Mason University

"In an utterly persuasive book that must change the discourse on sexual politics, Lionel Tiger offers his startling perspective on humanity's future. By giving women unprecedented control of human reproduction, the new technologies of conception and contraception have already put men well on the way to becoming tomorrow's 'second sex'-with no reversal in sight." —Christina Hoff Sommers, author of Who Stole Feminism? and W.H. Brady Fellow, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research

"The Decline of Males is an extremely well and clearly written and powerfully argued account of the changing relations between men and women. The distinguished anthropologist, claims that the male faces obsolescence... I hope that the book is unduly alarmist, but I fear that it may not be." —Richard A. Posner, author of Sex and Reason and chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

"The Decline of Males will perhaps be tarred with the brush of 'backlash,' but it is no such thing. Lionel Tiger's vivid, readable account will help us all move forward to a time when equality between the sexes does not have to be achieved at the expense of men, children, and families." —Melvin Konner, author of Becoming a Doctor and The Tangled Wing: Biological Constraints on the Human Spirit, and professor of anthropology, Emory University

Library Journal
Stressing the framework of evolution, Rutgers University anthropologist Tiger (Men in Groups, LJ 8/69) explores the recent dramatic changes in human reproduction and behavior owing essentially to female-controlled methods of contraception throughout the industrial world. He documents a major shift in confidence and power from men to women, giving special attention to the profound social consequences. Tiger argues that males are now withdrawing from family life and feeling obsolete. A new family pattern, or "bureaugamy," is emerging: the mother-child unit (a return to the primary primate social bond) financially supported, in part, by a government agency. More and more alienated from the process of reproduction, independent males seek behavioral expression and emotional satisfaction in drugs, sports, pornography, and the military. Tiger also emphasizes the unspoken but important relationship between love and money. This provocative book raises questions about the awesome influences of nanotechnology and genetic engineering on the future of human sexuality and social structure. Highly recommended.--H. James Birx, Canisius Coll., Buffalo, NY Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
John O. McGinnis
Lionel Tiger provides a rich description of our current politics and culture. In his view, they are both fashioned, one way or another, by the natural differences between men and women. Those differences are easily stated.
#&151; The Wall Street Journal
Kirkus Reviews
The Author's Reply

The reviewer for Kirkus - the most consistently negative and usually first review medium which is unfairly featured in internet services such as this one - responds to my book with allergies not argument. The reviewer begins with the revealingly ideological and pointlessly charmless assertion that I am a 'mad social scientist' because I introduced the term 'male bonding' which has in fact proved to be a durable part of the language because it describes a real phenomenon about real people. The review ignores the central concern of my book: why was the availability of good female controlled contraception in the 60's counterintuitively followed from the 70's onward by:

  • a surge in legal and illegal abortion
  • an unprecedented spike in births to single mothers - now about a third in industrial societies. The reviewer does not consider the impact of a number of significant facts such as the political gender gap, that female income overall is growing and male [income] declining male income declining, and rather spectacularly that women are now 55% of all college and university students in America.

    This of course

    portends very significant future changes in the hierarchies of work,

    government, public service and the like. For the past 40 years or so

    a kind of male original sin as I describe it in The Decline Of

    Males has turned many descriptions of men into harsh criticism. I

    cite a New York Times interview with novelist Marilyn French who says

    Men would have much better lives in they were more like women.

    Imagine if she said catholics would have more fun were they more like

    muslims or something similar.

    Public disapproval of males and maleness has confused and troubled

    men but they have neither wholly understood the situation nor been

    able to create organizations to deal with their concerns. Unlike the

    National Organization for Women, the Promise Keepers (for one

    example) closed down last year for lack of finances.

    In any event, there are major social and sexual changes underway

    which will inevitably affect people today and parents of both girls

    and boys who puzzle about the world in which their children will have

    to fit. My book is an effort to capture these changes and understand

    them with the depth and compassion they deserve.

    I hope this suits your format. Use your judgement about whether or

    not you want to add the comment about the anonymous nature of the

    Kirkus review as a kind of separate comment.

    Why does B&N insist on misleading potential readers by printing a bitterly unfair ANONYMOUS review from the unreliable Kirkus service...

    Also recommended: Richard Posner, Sex and Reason; Edward O Wilson, Consilience; Kristen Luker, Taking Chances;David Popenoe, Life Without Father; C. Sommers, Who Stole Feminism?

    —Lionel Tiger

    The mad social scientist of biological reductionism is up to his old tricks again. Tiger, the anthropologist who 30 years ago brought us the notion of "male bonding'' (in Men in Groups, 1969) returns once again to a biological argument to explain the "declining'' influence of men in modern society. Tiger's theoretical premise is egregiously essentialist to those with a background in cultural theory (he likens these social scientists to Christian Scientists in relation to medicine)-we must "understand basic human nature'' before we can talk about economic, political, psychiatric, or feminist theories. In this particular instance, he wishes to relate the declining role of men in society to the advent of birth control, which puts reproductive power in the hands of women. His argument is stringently antifeminist-he calls feminism "female-ism'' and implies that we are caught up in the midst of a shift from male production to female reproduction. The basic implication is that if women stayed home and had babies, they would maintain the support and comfort of their husbands, they would continue to vote in the same manner as their husbands, and men and women would be less at polar extremes in the productive marketplace. Men are seen as cut out of the reproductive agreement due to the rise of hidden contraception, and thus they are rendered redundant and out of control. Tiger actually praises "welfare queens,'' whom he sees as rising up and revolting by staying home and out of the economy-to raise their children (conveniently ignoring the messy social, historical, and economic ramifications involved). One of the more annoying aspects of Tiger's style is that he constantly employs cultural examples in an attempt to support his biological arguments-he goes as far as employing the religious story of Jesus' birth to explain the biological "foundations of human emotionality.'' If you didn't buy the notion that male patterns of behavior are imprinted on a genetic level, then you probably won't buy this one either. .

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    Product Details

    ISBN-13:
    9780312263119
    Publisher:
    St. Martin's Press
    Publication date:
    10/01/2000
    Pages:
    336
    Sales rank:
    1,456,907
    Product dimensions:
    5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.75(d)

    What People are saying about this

    From the Publisher
    "This provocative book raises questions about the awesome influences of nanotechnology and genetic engineering on the future of human sexuality and social structure. Highly recommended." —Library Journal

    "Lionel Tiger, a pioneer of biological anthropology and developer of the concept of male bonding, here delivers a very well-researched and well-written brief for masculinism, which if successful, may gain parity with feminism and eventually transform women's studies within academia into what they should have always been, namely, gender studies."

    —Edward O. Wilson, author of Consilience and Pellegrino University Research Professor, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University

    "This book, written without the ideological blinkers that obscure most contemporary discussions of gender, is full of incredible nuance and insight that will reward careful reading." —Francis Fukuyama, author of Trust and The End of History and the Last Man, and Hirst Professor of Public Policy, George Mason University

    "In an utterly persuasive book that must change the discourse on sexual politics, Lionel Tiger offers his startling perspective on humanity's future. By giving women unprecedented control of human reproduction, the new technologies of conception and contraception have already put men well on the way to becoming tomorrow's 'second sex'-with no reversal in sight." —Christina Hoff Sommers, author of Who Stole Feminism? and W.H. Brady Fellow, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research

    "The Decline of Males is an extremely well and clearly written and powerfully argued account of the changing relations between men and women. The distinguished anthropologist, claims that the male faces obsolescence... I hope that the book is unduly alarmist, but I fear that it may not be." —Richard A. Posner, author of Sex and Reason and chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

    "The Decline of Males will perhaps be tarred with the brush of 'backlash,' but it is no such thing. Lionel Tiger's vivid, readable account will help us all move forward to a time when equality between the sexes does not have to be achieved at the expense of men, children, and families." —Melvin Konner, author of Becoming a Doctor and The Tangled Wing: Biological Constraints on the Human Spirit, and professor of anthropology, Emory University

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