Guys degenerate how technology has changed the concept of the male




In March 2011, a professor of psychology and author of the famous Stanford Experiment Philip Zimbardo spoke at the TED conference with a speech about the difficulties with learning, communication and self-identification, experiencing modern young men. The continuation of the research topic was the book "Men degenerate» ( «The Demise of Guys»), Zimbardo written in collaboration with his assistant Nikita Coulomb in 2012.


We publish translation of the passage of a new job «Man (Dis) connected», which is not yet published in Russian, about the consequences of the growth of levels of shyness men and their dependence on the male community.




Philip Zimbardo

We are living in an unfamiliar world where shifting economic, social and technological layers. Men's worse to cope with these changes. The women's movement there, and no man, even though it could adjust the role of men in today's society.

This topical and urgent task, which no one wants to do. As a result, our society already exists a record number of young people who do not seek to learn something new, do not know how to communicate with the opposite sex and fail in sex.

You can ask them what happened to them is wrong and why they are not interested in anything, because the youth of previous generations were much more motivated. This question - the first mistake, because in fact, today's young people have the motivation, but it is not what

expect from them. Western society wants a man to stand firmly on his feet, he was an active citizen, able to take responsibility; to working shoulder to shoulder with the other, it improves the lives of its staff and the whole country. But the irony is that society itself does not offer any support or guidance, nor the material means any place where these young people can meet and deal with their motivations.

The degeneration of the men involved a whole chain of institutions, starting with the state, with its related policies and the media and ending with schools and family. The young people initially killed any intellectual, creative or social impulse.

This is all the more ironic that the key role played in society it is men, adults whose representatives are actively displace younger, without giving them a chance to develop.

Shyness and rules of communication

Shyness is playing a key role in the complex causal behavioral cycle, when young people turn in on themselves, constantly playing computer games or hanging on porn sites. Usually, the shyness understood the fear of being rejected by certain social groups or individuals - the fear to make a bad impression on the officer or the subject of sympathy

. In the 1970s and 1980s, I began to study the phenomenon of shyness among adolescents and adults. It turned out that about 40% of Americans consider themselves to be shy or at least prone to this character trait. Approximately the same number of respondents admitted that they went through such an experience, but to overcome its negative consequences. 15% said they are shy only in certain cases, for example in front of a blind date, or public speaking. And only 5% turned out to be quite familiar with this feeling.

Over the past 30 years, these numbers have changed for the worse. In 2007, the Institute for the Study of shyness at the Southeast department at Indiana University conducted a survey of pupils and students. It turned out that 84% of respondents were shy at least once in their lives, 43% of the self-conscious, by definition, and only 1% had no systems in this regard.

Largely self-consciousness associated with the development of digital technologies, which minimize direct human contact, when, for example, you just want someone to talk, do you find the information, go to the shop, bank, library, take a good book and so on. Internet is doing for the people: quickly, without errors and the need for socialization. We have to admit that the online communication in some way helps the most shy to make contact in our bustling muddled world. But we, the authors of this book believe that then these people will be even more difficult to socialize. As noted by Bernardo Carducci, one of the researchers of this topic:

... Constantly evolving digital technologies affect the scope of human communication, making it more structured and mechanistic. The death of spontaneity and warmth, allowing to develop and practice the skills of ordinary communication, such as the ability to negotiate, to maintain a conversation, to read body language and facial expressions interlocutor. But it is very important. That's how we find new friends and it is from this arises a real closeness.

Thus, we are dealing with the birth of an entirely different type of shyness. Not the one that occurs when a person needs a man, but it prevents the fear of failure or fear to make a bad impression. No, this is - other - shyness implies reluctance to make contact as the withering away of social skills. The more a person moves away from the outside world, the less chances he has to acquire these skills.

And now, the new-found shyness starts to grow thick armor, we increasingly to withdraw into themselves. And, worst of all, we refuse to understand why we have almost no one to communicate. Outcome sad: in an unfamiliar situation, shy person, when confronted with the boss or even your peers tushuetsya and is unable to adequately answer

. The worst thing - the fact that we refuse to understand why we have almost no one to communicate

. Apart from the fact that shyness in the modern world is growing and multiplying, today we are witnessing another pattern. Shy young men are simply afraid to fail - their problem is already the most that neither is fundamental. These people have no idea where, when and under what circumstances need to perform certain actions.

Before the guys even know how to dance, which helped to make the acquaintance of a woman, and now they are with someone they can not find a common language, lonely staggering social landscape like foreign tourists, trapped in a foreign country where everyone speaks a foreign language. In doing so they not only can not, but do not wish even on your toes to ask a passer-by as a "go there-and there and then»

. Most of these people, being alone with someone, are not able to pull itself out of nothing. They do not know the rules of verbal and nonverbal communication, ability to listen and respond. This awkwardness is especially noticeable when trying to please a girl.

The lack of social skills, especially necessary for orientation in thin emotional situations, makes a man retire and continue to live on the reliability of the circuit. Women become for him the personification of failure, he feels safe only in a fantasy world, in the world of the Internet. The longer he hangs online, getting user skills, the dearer and more predictable becomes the world that can be controlled (especially when it comes to games).

Shyness is perverted and goes into the virtual space, people can not navigate in real life. The ego becomes a player, the hero - the observer and the reality shrinks to the size of the room in which he lives

. And then with all certainty it can be argued that shyness and become the cause of addiction to games and porn, and also its consequence. One of the participants in our survey admitted:

I constantly play video games and watch porn. I've never been a handsome man, I killed all the fuss with hilling girls, just to please them. You spend a lot of money on them, sweating, blushing, but it usually does not end good. All my novels have been wasted - it's better to hang out with friends. And if I want something such, for this is porn.

Machismo, or syndrome of social tension

In the famous movie-musical "My Fair Lady", filmed on the play by Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion", Professor Higgins has finally completed his experiment to re-flower street Elise: rather uncouth simpleton before us is a dazzling lady with impeccable manners
<. br> But Eliza is very upset by the fact that the professor does not have her any favors. She even sends Higgins romantic hints.

Discouraged by the professor goes to his friend Pickering and sings a plaintive song «Why Can not a Woman Be More Like a Man?» ( «Why can not a woman be like a man?»).

Actually, these words professor expressed the view, common among many men: such as Higgins, primarily appreciate not married or tender affection for the woman and the male fraternity

. A modern variation on the same theme can be called the film "She's All That» (She's All That). Girl Zack goes to the star reality show. Zach tries to convince himself that the school of girls like her, a dime a dozen. But his classmate Dean strongly doubt it. And then friends make a bet: a half months Zak should do from a typical botanki Lainie real queen prom. Zack goes with that, and on that side, trying to convince Lane, that he is not some kind of volunteer society "Help orphaned and the poor", and really cares for her. As a result, Lainie give up, and they embark on an affair. Makeup makes Laney in a beauty. Only as a result of external transformation Zach really falls in love with her.




By joining our colleagues Branskill Sarah and Anthony Ferreras, we also call this phenomenon a syndrome of social tensions (Social Intensity Syndrome) - this is about the same as machismo. Machismo inherent pronounced commitment to a purely male company. The united such a company, the more people depend on it and the intolerant, he refers to "outsiders" or those who have not yet demonstrated that he was "a».

An example of this - the military environment, especially the training camps, places of fighting, as well as all kinds of gangs, contact sports (football and rugby), "rocker" and other male fraternity

. Caught in an all-male environment, and feel part of a whole, a person experiences excitement: increased levels of cortisol and testosterone in the blood, adrenergic system runs on takeoff. Gradually man's body adapts to this increased level of social tension, and only those social contacts are preferred for him.

There are such companies and a plus: a man learns to work side by side with other men, which is important for the existence of society as a whole. But over time, the increased level of social tension becomes an end in itself: the desire that he never ended up, goes to the subconscious level. Tearing himself away from intense male social environment, people feel lonely, bored to participate in mixed teams, which have both men and women; his family burden. Taken out of the usual context, such a man begins to suffer withdrawal symptoms, the severity and the duration of which is directly proportional to how long a person was in an all-male community.

This phenomenon is particularly noticeable during the decisive matches of the Football World Cup or the Super Bowl. Crowds of men gather in bars, ready to sit in an embrace with other fans, watching the equipped to the teeth with quarterback Tom Brady of the "New England Patriots". Even if the house is waiting for them in bed naked Jennifer Lopez, they do not care.




Recently, our observation has been confirmed by popular porn site PornHub: while playing the Super Bowl XLVIII number of visits fell sharply, especially in Denver and Seattle (the team struggled in these cities). At the end of the game in the schedule came a surge of activity in the US and Canada.

Man emotionally charged of communicating with counterparts, but can not say out loud that he is well with these people.

In this cherished dream to become a real alpha male, the male part of the world, there is a downside. Young boys shun traditional orientation in such a way organized world of excessive confidence, not wishing to pass for gay or "broads", because it goes against the morality of the male fraternity. Therefore, communication rules require a certain affectedness and compliance physical distance. Men greet each other with a blow on the palm of a hand or moving the fists. You can even push a friendly fellow arm or slap on the back, but no more. That's what told us one infantryman:

Emotional distance in the men's fellowship is inherent in the nature of a warrior. Men express their affection to each other on their particular language, there is always a red line for the expression of emotions through which you can not cross.

The concept of male friendship is based on a number of specific principles. You are close to other same as you, while remaining autonomous entity, which no one can influence and which is guided by only their own idea of ​​how to proceed in a given situation.

A man does not go to war with a stick - he just knows what it should be. Men's friendships in the atmosphere of competition suggests that you joined the group, having certain skills, and you know perfectly well that in war your life is devalued, it needs only your fighting skills.

Pity someone means to question fellow skills and unravel the dynamics of the battle group. And if you are afraid of someone, you can assume that you are the man trampled into the mud. In the army, there is no room for sentimentality Babskii.

Based on the foregoing, we can give some interesting predictions about the specifics of behavior of men with the syndrome of social tension:

1. In case of a break with a group of their own kind will be followed by a backlash, which will be expressed in the activities aimed at emotional arousal: dangerous hobby, a tendency to quarrels and fights, excessive consumption of alcohol, the development of specific and sustainable gastronomic habits, gambling, addiction to fast driving .

2. A comparison of men and women in the representation of such a person would not always in favor of the latter.

3. Once such a person will try to adhere to at least some male company: starts to attend a football bar, try to play sports games on the computer

. 4. Women among his friends, most likely, will not.

The only means of communication for people, as a rule, is the exchange of text messages. They think it is convenient, does not require much effort, and can be overwritten by their own rules. There are more and more new applications - for example, BroApp, - enabling template to send a message to a friend or girlfriend. And it's even worse than SMS.

Here's how to explain their innovation creators applications:

«BroApp - a tool to help our brothers. We know that you are often busy so forget provide favors to your favorite. That's why we came up with BroApp. Choose an option, and we will do everything for you. We will make sure that the flame of your love is not extinguished. We will deal with your outsourcing relationship. »

It would be better if they named their app Easy Cheese - just about free cheese, which is only in a mousetrap. Maybe then people come up, something's wrong here. What exactly? Yes, everything. Who needs such a relationship, if you lazy to dial most simple words: "I love. Missing You »?

In some men, separated from the male fraternity memory aberration occurs: they are more likely to remember the good and not the bad

. Gone to the reserve military sometimes suffer a deficit of emotional arousal: someone is trying to get back to the office, and someone to feel the same again, loitering near a military hospital

. If syndrome cancel social tensions suffers a civilian, he became an avid fan of any sports team.

Syndrome weakens the attachment to the family. Such people are prone to violence against wives, especially in the state of drunk, and often break up with that first caused nothing but positive emotions. As a rule, for the parting be a total disappointment in women in general. Women become "chuzhachkami" that their men do not understand. It is better to watch porn, sex with a prostitute or twist love with a special nibudnetrebovatelnoy.

Paradoxically, the fact is that a man emotionally charged of communicating with counterparts, but can not say out loud that he is well with these people. When a woman appears on the horizon, there is a backlash: a person does not experience sexual arousal or feels anxious

. Синдром социальной напряженности наблюдается по всему миру. Например, у молодых японцев растет апатия к сексу. Даже супружеские пары все реже занимаются любовью. Согласно данным японской Федерации планирования семьи, каждый третий юноша в возрасте от 16 до 19 лет не интересуется сексом (с 2008 года эта цифра выросла в два раза) и на каждые десять супружеских пар приходятся четыре пары, которые не занимались сексом месяц или более. В Японии это уже настолько распространенный феномен, что таких асексуальных мужчин называют «сошоку данши» — то есть «травоядные», в отличие от «плотоядных», которым секс все еще интересен.

Мы получили одно интересное письмо от студента Бард-колледжа, штат Нью-Йорк:

Хочу признаться, что у меня ни разу не было ни с кем близости. Я абсолютный экстраверт, и у нас крепкая компания парней плюс еще куча других друзей, включая девушек. Но в отношении женского пола я всегда испытывал неуверенность. Такое чувство, что я просто не умею с ними общаться и начинаю воспринимать их как «своих парней». Да, мы можем подружиться, но нет такой девушки, к которой я бы воспылал романтическими чувствами. Так что я уж точно предпочитаю зависать с друзьями, с нашим костяком, и нам хорошо вместе.

После прочтения книги «Парни вырождаются» один молодой человек написал на нашем форуме:

Прямо про меня книга, потому что я вырос без отца, в подростковом возрасте стал геймером и подсел на порно. Когда мне исполнилось 18, я пошел служить в армию, в пехоту. Это настоящее мужское братство. Я участвовал в боевых действиях в Афганистане в 2009–2010 годах. Теперь я в запасе и очень скучаю по пацанам. Хоть бы еще какая-нибудь войнушка случилась — тогда я сразу вернусь в армию. Сейчас я учусь, но со скрипом, мне трудно концентрироваться. В социальном плане я неуклюжий, стеснительный и не пользуюсь особым успехом у женщин. Правда, я съехал от родителей и снимаю квартиру на пару с двумя девушками, но все равно чувствую себя отстраненным, одиноким. Иногда такая депрессия накатывает. Мне 22, и я пытаюсь поменять свою жизнь. Я чувствую на себе последствия прошлого. При этом я вижу, как меняется наша мужская порода и весь мир вокруг. Мы проходим через какой-то переходный период, но правила остаются старыми. Поэтому те, кто не справился, чувствуют себя паршиво.

Автор: Филип Зимбардо, из книги «Man (Dis) connected»

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