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The Decline of Males: The First Look at an…

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

by Lionel Tiger

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312263112, Paperback)

Biological anthropologist Lionel Tiger, best known for developing the concept of male bonding in Men in Groups, offers what he calls "a chronicle of the decline of men and the ascendancy of women." If there were a male counterpart to feminism--masculinism?--this is where it would be found. Profound social changes over the last several decades are rooted in reproductive technology, which "has given enormous general power to women that has been translated beyond the family sphere," says Tiger. This is not an unequivocally positive development, he believes, and it has led to a slew of problems that include general family breakdown. The book is occasionally alarmist, yet there is also a freshness to its argument.

The Decline of Males is a nonsexist brief on behalf of men, and it includes a number of interesting observations. As women play a larger role in public life, men are looking for new ways to be male. "Perhaps the apparent explosion of interest in sports and pornography means that men are trying to find new outlets to express their inherent maleness, which they may feel otherwise obligated to repress," writes Tiger. Several of his proposals are politically naive, but intriguing in how they blend conservative and liberal ideas. Tiger, for example, thinks men should earn higher pay for the children they have during a first marriage, and that unmarried women with children should receive welfare without having to work. The Decline of Males will fascinate some readers and exasperate others, yet all will agree it makes a unique intellectual contribution to the ongoing sex wars. --John J. Miller

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:35 -0400)

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