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The Decline of Males: The First Look at an Unexpected New World for Men and Women Paperback – September 2, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Golden Guides from St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (September 2, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312263112
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312263119
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #927,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Males have declined into bewildered, lonely creatures since "new and effective contraceptive technology, controlled by women" and the "anti-male" discourse of feminism have led to a pervasive social shift away from "male-centered production to female-centered reproduction." With the advent of the Pill, men have become from the "means of reproduction" and the demand for abortion has risen. The ancient mammalian unit of mother and child has morphed into a "bureaugamy," as single mothers find government assistance a more satisfying partner than a confused male. Or so says anthropologist Tiger (Men in Groups, etc.), who claims that only Darwinian biology can satisfactorily explain these changes and pities anyone foolish enough to believe the "Christian Science about human behavior" known as gender studies and sociology. This "psychosexual weather report" will delight those who find sociobiology convincing, but may vex readers who want more than newspaper articles offered as science (118 references to the New York Times alone). It may also be news to many women that they are "on the way to winning" the war between the sexes and will soon dominate the world economic system. Somewhat paradoxically, Tiger celebrates single mothers as the heroic vanguard of a new social order in the "human zoo," yet proclaims that it is men who have been "liberated" by the women's movement. Although provocative, his arguments won't withstand much serious scrutiny from points of view outside biology that may not see humans as analogous to bats and tadpoles. Agent, Amanda Urban of ICM.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Because the fact is that Tiger is not an anti-feminist.
Jack Maybrick
Lionel Tiger has written a book about our decline that is sometimes wishy-washy, but with plenty of interesting factoids thrown in.
southpaw68
Nice line, that, though it doesn't seem to take us anywhere.
J. Steven Svoboda

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

133 of 156 people found the following review helpful By Michael Mills on August 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Over the past century, and especially in the past three decades, the feminist movement has intensively lobbied to secure women's reproductive rights. That battle has been won, but not simply due to political changes. Lionel Tiger argues in "The Decline of Males" that the key reasons were technological: medically safe abortion and contraception (primarily the pill). These technologies allowed women exclusively, and independently of their husbands, to control their reproduction. Contraception controlled pregnancy, and, should it not, women could solely chose whether or not to bring the pregnancy to term.
Although most would agree that these technologies have empowered women by offering them more life options, the larger social and personal effects on men, and on the relations between the sexes, have been largely ill-considered. These reproductive technologies, Tiger argues, have set the sexes on an uncharted, and perhaps dangerous, course. Reproductive power is no longer shared, albeit unconsciously, via the evolved desires and aversions of each sex. Today reproduction is controlled consciously and almost exclusively by women.
So while women were gaining their own reproductive control, men were losing theirs. What reproductive rights do men have left today? Virtually none. Consider the following scenarios. If a man's partner becomes pregnant, and he wishes to have the child, but she doesn't, he has no legal recourse to prevent an abortion. If, on the other hand, he wants her to terminate the pregnancy, he cannot compel her to have an abortion. Further, he will be legally responsible for child support for a child he would not have chosen to have.
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51 of 61 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 26, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Ok, so us guys are doomed to fail to reproduce, die early, and perhaps take down many others with us. Others here have said most of what needs to be said about this book, so I'll address what other reviewers have written, in an attempt to clarify.
What the reader from North Carolina misses is that the decline of males *is* the decline of civilized society, since matriarchies are from the era *before* civilization. Civilization was only made possible after patriarchy had been invented, since fatherhood is a social (rather than biological) construct; it's the weak link in the family. Before, during the eons when women were in control, it was called the Stone Age, and life was barbaric, brutish, and short; women were callous creatures rather than ladies (which only became possible w/patriarchy), no matter how much feminism wants to propagandize us about the inherently loving and nurturing nature of females. A return to the biological mother-child "family" is now viewed by the basically braindead as "progessive".
The comment about how men should keep their pants on is so reminiscent of what society told girls and young women 40 or 50 years ago that one almost couldn't come up with a better illustration of the current second class status of males. The problem is not lack of commitment, but a lack of anything for men to commit to which has their interests in mind: marriage no longer confers any rights on men whatsoever, thus depriving even men who really want families of them; at her whim, the woman can split with the kids, the minivan, and the home -- and make him continue to foot the bill for this deprivation, while she's no longer obligated to cook his meals or do his laundry.
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31 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 7, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Lionel Tiger's insightful new book focuses on changes that are influencing virtually every facet of American society. It is no secret that, since the introduction of birth control, elemental patterns of dating, mating and sexuality have undergone a revolution. Gender barriers that seemed insurmountable two generations ago have greatly diminished if not vanished completely (in 1920, who would have thought that roughly half of Ivy League undergraduates would be women?) Not all the consequences of these changes have been expected or understood. Tiger forces us to confront many of them that have escaped previous analysis.
Some people, of course, would rather not think about the facts and issues that now confront us. To see how explosive Tiger's work can be, you need only read the outraged reaction of the Kirkus reviewer. It's not hard to see why highly ideological feminists, with a vested interest in ideas not facts, might be outraged by the book. But for the rest of us, The Decline of Males is must reading.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Francis Fukuyama on July 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Lionel Tiger has written an excellent and provocative book--indeed, one that provoked the Kirkus reviewer into a fit of rage. Don't be deterred--he has identified the central social issues of our time and makes you see everyday life in a very different perspective.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 7, 1999
Format: Hardcover
No one need read "The Decline of Males" for instruction in "1,00l Ways To Be Male in the Coming Millennium." Dr. Tiger states flatly, "The new outcome for men is not yet clear." It is, rather, a deeply disturbing book, and means to be. It raises important questions at both the intimate and cultural levels. He proposes I think a thorough reshuffling of the gender deck--using both hands. At the same time hope it lays a foundation for fresh dialogue between the sexes and a lessening of ideologue diatribes.
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