Category Archives: Science and Men’s Issues

New Patreon Site! More Content

Many people have been asking me for some time to create more content. I have always said I don’t have time. Recently people started suggesting I start a Patreon site ask people to support my work. That is just what I have done. I hope you can come and visit here.   I could use your support!

 

Most of what I have been creating have been videos on men’s issues but I have also started a section focused on men and healing, a section on storytelling and also a section on “Things I wish my father had told me.”  I will be posting these on this site.  I have about a months content that has already been published on the patreon site.  I will be posting that here.  We will start with one.

Please come and join our small but growing community at Patreon!

Here’s a recent example:

 

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Helping Mothers be Closer to Their Sons

 

hmcb-3dcov2Helping Mothers Be Closer to Their Sons is a book that does just that, it helps moms be closer to their sons. It does this by first offering mothers new information on the uniqueness of their sons.

The first section of Helping Mothers Be Closer to Their Sons offers moms the important information the media and others have omitted. It examines the role of the testosterone flood in utero and how this changes boys even before they are born. It looks into the newest ideas drawn from improved methods in testosterone research. These new methods show that testosterone is not about aggression or violence, it is instead about striving for status. That is, pushing him to compete, to win, to be at the top. Testosterone pushes boys to win and this is just one of the many ways that a boy’s biology impacts his way of being.

The book shows how boys adjust their behaviors based on their differences and importantly how moms can use these differences to get closer. Sections on why boy’s emotions are invisible and how to see them, on how they play, how they compete, how they heal and more. Golden offers tips and suggestions about how to take advantage of the boys uniqueness and use it as a way to get close. There are bonus sections on discipline, adolescence, and teaching boys about emotions.

Concise and straight forward this book will put moms in a position to truly appreciate their boys for who they are and to get closer in the process.

Give it a try. You can’t go wrong.

Buy Here

Excerpts

 

About the Author

Tom Golden, LCSW has over 30 years experience working with men and boys. He has appeared on a wide variety of media including CNN, CBS Evening News and many others. Shown here on ESPN and the NFL Channel for a special through NFL Films bringing the message that men have unique healing paths that are too often unseen. Tom has given workshops in Australia, Europe, Canada, and the US.
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Precarious Manhood – the third piece

The following is an unedited excerpt from a new book I am hoping will be finished and published by this February, “Helping Moms Get Close to Their Sons.”  This is the concluding section about the unique factors that boys experience that their sisters don’t. TG  

We have seen how boys are impacted from within by their brain differences and organizational testosterone.  We have seen how the testosterone pushes them towards competition which then translates to impressing women with higher status and then to reproductive success.  But there is another factor that greatly impacts boys not from within but from outside.  Researchers are calling it “Precarious Manhood.”

When girls successfully go through puberty they are nearly always considered to be women.  They have no need to prove their “womanhood” to anyone.  It is simply accepted.  Not so with boys.  Boys may successfully navigate the physical side of puberty but this does not make them men.  Nope.  Manhood is something that he must prove. Repeatedly.  Scientists have dubbed this phenomena “Precarious Manhood” and state that manhood is not a condition that comes about through biological maturation, that it is a “Precarious or artificial state that boys must win against powerful odds.”  They have studied this around the world and say that this is nearly universal.  In a wide range of cultures boys often face a difficult task to prove their manhood and even when he succeeds he must continue to prove his manhood throughout his life. 

Manhood is constantly judged, womanhood is not.
Manhood is constantly judged, womanhood is not.

Generally at puberty and beyond boys are expected to prove their worth. According to a leading expert on this topic Joseph Vandello,  “manhood must be earned and maintained through publicly verifiable actions.”   This unwritten mandate leaves men and boys anxious about proving themselves.  Research has shown that men are indeed more anxious over this than are women and that in response to being challenged are likely to exhibit risky or maladaptive behaviors. 

Whether it is on the soccer field, at school, with girls, or schoolyard brawls boy’s manhood is being observed and graded. This, along with his biology creates a profound difference in boy’s lives.  His sister does not have the testosterone differences we have described, she is not pushed into a competitive mode, and is not graded at every step in a similar manner.

These three things, the testosterone flood, being the competing sex, and precarious manhood play are large role in how boys will act in the world, how they will behave towards themselves and others, and how others will perceive them. The testosterone pushes the boys to succeed from within as it pushes him to strive for status while the precarious manhood pushes him to succeed from outside as the culture demands he repeatedly prove his manhood.  All the while he lives in an invisible competing role that says he should win or at least look good in order to succeed reproductively.   He gets it from all ends. 

Knowing these things makes it easier to get a sense of boys and to understand some of their ways.  Boys are thrust onto a stage that expects them to strive for status, to succeed, and to prove their worthiness at every step.  This is a profound difference from his sisters who do not face these three things. 

What does a boy need to do to win in this sort of scenario?  One ironic answer is that he needs to do the very things that his parents have been telling him for eons but therapists have been telling him he should ignore.  Things like be tough, be strong, big boys don’t cry, and so many others.  These messages begin to make more sense when you can see that the boy’s parents love him and want him to succeed.  They can intuitively understand that being tough and strong will place him higher on the hierarchy while crying will send him in a downward spiral.  My sense is that parents are aware on some level that their son is indeed in a race and needs to look good in order to succeed.

The mental health industry has missed these critical differences and continues to push boys to be more like girls.  One well known psychologist told me once that men simply need to developmentally “catch up” with women and that the world would be a better place if only men could be more like women!  I hope you can see now the danger in that sort of thinking.  All of the related urgings of the mental health professionals for boys like “You don’t need to be tough.” “Be sensitive” “talk about your feelings”  “Crying in public is a good thing.”  Knowing what we know now about boys and the world they face makes this like telling a long distance runner that he does not need to train for that upcoming marathon!  It would be like the mama big horn sheep telling her son to stop butting heads, he doesn’t have to do that! Telling him this sort of thing would complicqte his task rather than helping. Being sensitive and crying in public would drop him in the hierarchy and make his task all the more difficult. With our boys we need to be aware of the stressors they face and help them navigate those as best we can.

This reminds me of an experience I had the other day when talking with a group of male psychologists.  They were all impressed that the winner of the Heisman trophy had cried during his speech and heralded that event as a sign that things are changing and men and boys are becoming more sensitive.  I laughed.  What they didn’t understand was that when any man or boy is at the top of the hierarchy he can do whatever he wants.  If he wants to cry he can get a way with it since he is at the top. He is the proclaimed winner.  Just think of what reaction they might have had if one of runners up might have cried during his speech.  They might have liked it but the world would see him immediately as a whiner and a poor loser. 

We’ve gone over some of the basic male tendencies.  The impact of the testosterone flood, the hierarchical mindset, the push to strive for status and compete, some information on boys and girls different ways of communicating and of getting what they want and their differences at play.  With that under our belt we are in a good position to tackle something that has confounded women for some time: Why can’t you see boy’s and men’s emotions?

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Straus Exposes the Academic Veils Placed on Domestic Violence Research ( 2 – Bias Against Men and Boys in Psychological Research)

There are millions of compassionate and loving people in the United States who have been given erroneous information about domestic violence. Over the years the media and academia have offered a steady stream of information that indicates that women are the only victims of domestic violence and men the only perpetrators. We have all been deceived. What most don’t know is that a part of that deception has been intentional and has come from the scientific community. As hard as it is to believe it is indisputable. Most of us had no idea of this deception until recently. More and more is now coming out about the symmetry of victimization in domestic violence between men and women.

One of the breakthroughs that have helped us identify this deception was the journal response of Murray Straus Ph.D. Straus has been an acclaimed researcher of family and interpersonal violence for many years. In his article he unveils the ways that this misinformation has been intentionally spread via “research.” He shows the seven ways that the truth has been distorted. It is a fascinating yet sobering article that shows how, without actually lying, the researchers were able to distort things and make it appear that it was something that is was not. We all know that once a research study is published the media will latch on and print the results as gospel truth so the media became the megaphone to spread the misinformation once it was inked in the scientific journal. I would highly recommend your reading the full report by Straus which can be found here:
http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/V70-Gender-symmetry-PV-Chap-11-09.pdf

Let’s go through the seven ways one by one.

1. Suppress evidence.

The first type of deceit that Straus describes is suppressing evidence. The researchers would ask questions about both men and women but only report on the answers from women. The half-story would leave readers with the impression that it was only women who were victims even though the researcher had the surveys of male victims on hand they simply didn’t report it. The data on male victims was simply buried while the data on female victims was reported. Straus discusses the Status on Women report from Kentucky in the late 1970’s that was the first to use this strategy. They collected data on both male and female victims but only the female victims were discussed in the publications. Scientific method is dependent upon creating a hypothesis and testing it. If you get data from your test that is contrary to your original hypothesis this is just as important as getting data that affirms the hypothesis and can be used to adjust your original hypothesis. To ignore ones own data that contradicts the hypothesis is the epitome of disregard to the foundations of scientific inquiry. It leaves the realms of research and enters the realms of propaganda and shaping the outcome to mislead.

2. Avoid Obtaining Data Inconsistent With the Patriarchal Dominance Theory.

The second method described by Straus was that of simply not asking the questions when you didn’t want to hear the answers. The surveys would ask the women about their victimhood and ask men about their perpetration but failed to inquire about women’s violence or men’s victimhood. If you ask questions that address only half the problem you are certain to conclude with only half the answers. Straus highlights a talk he gave in Canada where he evaluated 12 studies on domestic violence. Ten out of the twelve only asked questions about female victims and male perpetrators. If you don’t ask the questions you will never get the answers. Publishing half the truth is intentionally misleading.

3. Cite Only Studies That Show Male Perpetration

Straus reveals a number of situations where studies or official documents would cite only other studies that showed female victims and male perpetrators. He uses the Department of Justice press release as just one example where they only cite the “lifetime prevalence” data because it showed primarily male perpetration. They omitted referencing the “past-year” data even though it was more accurate since it showed females perpetrated 40% of the partner assaults. Straus shows journal articles and names organizations such as the United Nations, World Health Organization, the US Department of Justice and others who used this tactic to make it appear that women were the primary victims of domestic violence and men the primary perpetrators.

4. Conclude That Results Support Feminist Beliefs When They Do Not

Straus showed an example of a study by Kernsmith (2005) where the author claimed that women’s violence was more likely to be in self defense but data to support the claim didn’t exist. Apparently he had made the claim even without any supporting evidence. Straus shows that the self defense category was primarily about anger and
coercion and not about self-defense at all but this didn’t stop the researcher from claiming the erroneous results which of course could be quoted by later studies as proof that such data does indeed exist.

5. Create “Evidence” By Citation

The “woozle” effect is described by Straus as when “frequent citation of previous publications that lack evidence mislead us into thinking there is evidence.” He lists the Kernsmaith study and a report from the World Health Organization as examples. Both made claims (without evidence to back it up) that women’s violence was largely in self-defense. The claims were quoted repeatedly and people eventually started to believe that the claims were correct.

6. Obstruct Publication of Articles and Obstruct Funding Research that Might Contradict the Idea that Male Dominance is the Cause of Personal Violence

Straus mentions two incidents that illustrate this claim. One was a call for papers on the topic of partner violence in December of 2005 from the National Institute of Justice where it was stated that “proposals to investigate male victimization would not be eligible.” Another was an objection raised by a reviewer of one of his proposals due to its having said that “violence in relationships was a human problem.” He also stated that the “more frequent pattern is self-censorship by authors fearing that it will happen or that publication of such a study will undermine their reputation, and, in the case of graduate students, the ability to obtain a job.”

7. Harrass, Threaten, and Penalize Researchers who Produce Evidence That Contradicts Feminist Beliefs

Straus provides details of a number of incidents where researchers who found evidence of gender symmetry in domestic violence were harassed or threatened. He described a number of instances such as bomb scares at personal events, being denied tenure and promotions, or “shouts and stomping” meant to drown out an oral presentation. He relates being called a “wife-beater” as a means to denigrate both himself and his previous research findings.

Straus concludes that a “climate of fear has inhibited research and publication on gender symmetry in personal violence.” His words help us to understand the reasons that our public is so convinced that women are the sole victims of domestic violence and men the only perpetrators. It has been years and years of researchers telling only half the story and when we get only half the story and consider it the whole truth we are likely to defend our limited version of the truth and ostracize those who may offer differing explanations. The matter is further complicated due to the media having acted as a megaphone for the half story that has emerged so the “common knowledge” that has emerged from the media for many years has been half the story and due to its not telling both sides of the story, it is basically misinformation.What this tells us is that we need to stay on our toes when it comes to social science research. Straus’s paper has helped us immensely in seeing how research can be set up to appear to tell the truth but fail miserably in doing so. While the researchers are not technically lying, the end product is similar since it produces only a partial image of the reality of domestic violence and leaves people without the details to fill in the reality of the situation. It is likely a good idea to have a look at the way each study gets its data, the exact nature of the people being used as subjects, and the conclusion drawn and if they are congruous with the data that was gathered. Next we will look at a study that uses Straus’s first example, ignoring ones own data.

 

 

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five

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Original Men’s Issues Video w/ audio

 

Here is the original Men’s Issues Video with the audio:

 

After being on youtube for nearly 8 years Youtube decided that the background music in this video was a copyright infringement and without any warning simply muted the audio.  This was the first video I had done and at the time I simply didn’t think that using background music in a free, non-commercial, educational video was going to cause a fuss.  I guess I was wrong.

 

Lesson learned.

 

 

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