Ian spoke with psychologist Dr. Leonard Sax, who discussed the various factors contributing to the steady decline of performance, ambition, and fertility in America's boys and young men.
Sperm counts and testosterone levels of young men in the United States have declined substantially over the past 50 years, Sax reported. Environmental estrogens from clear plastic-bottled drinks may be partially to blame. According to Sax, consuming only two bottles of water provides about the same amount of estrogen as found in a birth control pill. The elevated estrogen intake may be lowering testosterone levels in men, causing them to lose motivation to do anything, Sax added.
To make matters worse, boys are no longer allowed to be boys at school, he said. 'Violent' masculine activities such as dodge ball and snowball fights are prohibited at many schools, Sax pointed out, noting that boys are encouraged to "be more like girls." Typical male conduct at school is often altered with behavior medication, Sax said, which can also damage the motivational centers in boys' brains.
Sax also thinks that accelerated early education programs/curriculum ignore important gender differences and end up creating academic environments that do not appeal to boys. Unmotivated to pursue academic excellence and other real-world goals, these boys find contentment in video games and online pornography. For them, what happens in the "virtual world is more important than the real world," Sax said.
Bumper music from Saturday February 16, 2008