The Demise of Guys: Why Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It
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The Demise of Guys: Why Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  193 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Is the rampant overuse of video games and online porn causing the demise of guys?

In their new TED Book, Dr. Philip G. Zimbardo— leader of the famous 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment—and co-author Nikita Duncan suggest that just might be the case. Based on survey responses from 20,000 men, numerous individual interviews and dozens of studies, Zimbardo and Duncan propose
that...more
Kindle Edition, 80 pages
Published 2012 by Amazon
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George
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.

"To a young man, the thrill-packed worlds of online porn and video games are far more exciting than real life. And these sources of stimulation are now totally pervasive"

The sky is falling. The sky is falling. Again. If it's not a pool table in River City, then it's video games in Visalia or porn in Poughkeepsie. At one time or another it's been movies, pool halls, gambling, comic books, alcohol, drugs, Al Capone, television, jazz, pinball machines, rock 'n roll, homosexua...more
Ivan
Time to run around screaming murder?
I don't think so.
We'll go downsides first.
As many other popular psychology books, this book conflates many contradictory notions, pulls on wrong social stereotypes, therefore propagating them and jumps to conclusions, whenever an inattentive modern reader would distract him(sic!)self.
While pornography can certainly be a problem in many cases it is an outlet for those who are unable to form normal social connections, here the author engages in slut-shaming, ver...more
Libby Broadbent
So... disturbing! I teach high school, and I can see so many of these quirks being manifested in our young people, and not only the boys. There is a general apathy and lack of social conscience that is disturbing. Is it the fault of social networking? We no longer need the direct physical contact between people to teach us the social mores that led to work ethic and manners and conscience in the past, and young people now feel they are entitled to a social voice that isn't tempered with wisdom,...more
Daniel Namie
"The good things in life usually take a commitment to success, to delaying gratification, to putting work before play and to understanding the importance and vitality of the Social Contract—giving to others with the assumption of reciprocal giving back."

-- Phillip Zimbardo and Nikta Duncan

The "Demise of Guys: Why boys are Struggling and What They Can Do About It” By Phillip Zimbardo and Nikta Duncan. The undercurrent argument that arises in Zimbardo and Duncan book is how to define a man. In on...more
Mike Miller
This book had a lot of potential, but I think it only skimmed the surface of the problems facing young males.

Given Dr. Zimbardo's credentials, I was expecting more facts and less broad generalizations. The book hits on way too many topics. We've known for a long time that fatherless homes and poor role models create bad kids, no need to devote the first 1/3rd of the book to it. Instead lets see some hard data on newer activities like porn and video games. The book just states convincing hypothe...more
Ryan Mcreynolds
I was very disappointed with this book. It pretends to blame video games and porn equally for the demise of guys, but actually blames lack of father involvement in the lives of young men. This results in a false equality between the damage of porn (which is enormous) and the useful technology of video games.

It also does not emphasize the best solution from the data presented which is to encourage and support marriage and fatherhood.

There isn't even a clear definition of what a video game is. It...more
David
A brief ebook that attempts to diagnose the issues with boys in America. After presenting numerous facts that demonstrate "the demise of boys", Zimbardo focuses on online porn and video games as drivers of the demise. While Zimbardo may be overplaying this thesis, there is no doubt that porn and video games are contributors. The ebook ends with a set of actionable ideas that may help out. Key among the ideas: boys need positive role models in their lives - dads, uncles, brothers, grandfathers, o...more
Maria
Refreshing and wonderful insight.

As a feminist, I appreciated this book. It showed that while girls are struggling, so are our boys. Our boys feel emasculated, due to the belief that they must be masculine to be considered of worth. Both our girls and boys are hindered to enhance their full potential as individual people because of gender roles and ideals that later lead to insecurity. Other than that, gender equality is often associated with being genderless. We, as a society, can enhance indiv...more
Alejandro
Definitely a great book. It may be seen as too short to deal with such an important topic, but that is because it's a TED book. It certainly sheds light on some of blurry problems people may assume exist but never really define. Each resource quoted in the book is a whole realm to be explored. I think this can be helpful not only for parents, but also for young men and teenagers as well.
Ryan Adair
This was an interesting book, to say the least. Though I don't agree with their worldview, and I think there are many more factors going on behind the scenes than merely psychological and physiological (think spiritual), it was still insightful to hear their thoughts on this generation of young men who are growing up addicted to video games and porn. Not only do they treat those subjects very thoroughly, including many relevant and also astonishing statistics, but they also deal with the subject...more
Armin
"What guys can do? Turn off your digital identity and turn on yourself. Learn how to dance, rediscover nature... learn to tell jokes and practice conversation openers... Find living role models or mentors, and find something in the real world that motivates you." - The Demise of Guys, Phillip Zimbardo & Nikita Duncan

There are some interesting takes on the problems guys are facing in the hyper-digitized world in which we are living. Though the authors make some broad sweeping statements. All...more
David Alexander
This book is energetic and musters up to date sociological findings regarding the plight of boys in our current ecosystem. The authors sound the alarm bell about addiction to online gaming and porn. Some have criticized the conflation of these two, arguing that porn is bad but gaming is not. If the reader is looking for Christian guidance on these subjects he will not find them in this book because the authors are not against porn but only against what they see as causing risk averse and social...more
Cristiano Sequeira
Society is changing and so is manhood, and not to the best, it has to be said. The author makes the sad fact simple and provides tools for the struggling guy to find his male identity, away from addictions and away from social norms that debase him in his manhood.
Shannon
Dec 27, 2012 Shannon rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Crystal Buck
I wanted to read this book to shed light on some of the reasons young men under 30 in my life seem generally to lack ambition and maturity. Also, I have been troubled to observe how many men I know in this age group are still living at home with their parents. While the book generally kept my interest and did raise some points I had not considered, I was disappointed in the depth topics like pornography and excessive playing of video games were explored. I believe there are more influential envi...more
Aaron
This was a great overview of a lot of issues men and boys are facing at the moment. While there are more pieces to consider as well, this piece does a good job of identifying some problems and offering some solutions. Solutions are going to need to much broader to curb. I work in the violence against women field specifically with family violence offenders who face similar challenges connected to being anti-social, objectifying women and high use of pornography. Men have have always struggled wit...more
Mdashoff
Maybe oversimplifies, but raises points that need to be addressed.
Ezra
I was very disappointed with the parental prescriptive section as ALL the items were things my parents did in my childhood. The section on what I should do was even worse as I have practiced them for years before even being aware of this book. My hope was the book would give me ideas about a better direction. Instead I got what I had guessed myself and ultimately unhelpful.
William
This goes into why so many boys/men today feel incredibly anxious, bored, shy, etc. What about our culture promotes this and what can be done to stop it. The book is VERY flawed. There's a good amount of sensationalism, un-backed contentious claims, and bizarre promotion of Jane McGonigal. A lot of the stuff about video games is groan-worthy. It does bring up some interesting points though.
Jennifer
Fascinating and worrying, this book builds on the famous TED talk http://www.ted.com/talks/zimchallenge... by the same name. As a follow up, look for the Cindy Crawford TEDtalk Make Love, Not Porn which is equally interesting, and which is referred to in this book.
Veronica
The authors made some very good points regarding the deterioration of male role models in the world. Some of the statistics regarding this topic are mind blowing. Some very good advice on how educators and parents can help reverse this trend.
Colly
Given who the author is...I expected something more compelling and/or controversial. Instead, what I found was a desire to read Robert Jensen's "Getting Off" Pornography and the End of Masculinity"; a book that's now five years old.

Ah, well.
Matthew
Insightful and thought-provoking but inadequate. Some of my questions went unanswered, and I believe that's because there are larger issues at work on boys and men today than the ones mentioned in this book. I have yet to identify those issues.
Lauren Morris
Gave some insight into why boys act the way they do in terms of being lethargic but I felt the book could have gone into more tips for teachers to work with these types of students.
Josh Bancroft
Subject matter is interesting and important, but this is less of a book and more a collection of articles and blog posts, in no certain order. Could have used more editing.
Steve
The evidence and facts brought up in this book are very hard-hitting. Glad to see someone outside of Christian authors admit the facts about pornography.
Patrick
This is an important topic and though the book occasionally gets shallow pop-sci-TED-talk-y it conveys a good message and information.
Laura
So glad someone thought to compile this information and spark these discussions.
What should we do next?
John Stein


A must read for fathers of boys. Not sure of the solution. But it highlights a real issue
Bob
Far too fluffy. More of a rant than a summary of empirical research.
April
Oct 07, 2012 April added it
A good insight into teen boys. A must read if you work with them.
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Dr. Philip George Zimbardo is an American psychologist and a professor emeritus at Stanford University. He is president of the Heroic Imagination Project. He is known for his Stanford prison study, and authorship of various introductory psychology books and textbooks for college students, including The Lucifer Effect and The Time Paradox.
More about Philip G. Zimbardo...
The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil The Time Paradox: The New Psychology of Time That Will Change Your Life Shyness: What It Is, What To Do About It Psychology: Core Concepts (6th Edition) The Psychology of Attitude Change and Social Influence (McGraw-Hill Series in Social Psychology)

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