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The Demise of Guys: Why Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It [Kindle Edition]

Philip Zimbardo , Nikita Duncan
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Young men are struggling socially, sexually, and in school. Why?

In their provocative ebook 'The Demise of Guys: Why Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It,' celebrated psychologist Philip G. Zimbardo and Nikita Duncan say that an addiction to video games and online porn have created a generation of shy, socially awkward, emotionally removed, and risk-adverse young men who are unable (and unwilling) to navigate the complexities and risks inherent to real-life relationships, school, and employment. Taking a critical look at a problem which is tearing at families and societies everywhere, 'The Demise of Guys' suggests that our young men are suffering from a new form of “arousal addiction,” and introduce a bold new plan for getting them back on track. The book is based on a popular TED Talk which Zimbardo did in 2011, and includes extensive research as well as a TED-exclusive survey that drew responses from more than 20,000 men.


Product Details

  • File Size: 1142 KB
  • Print Length: 109 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00850HTHO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,630 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting thesis, if not entirely convincing June 25, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book is an entertaining enough read, but I am not entirely convinced as to the authors' characterization of the problem and their recommended solution. I do however think they are on to something with their idea that pornography and video games can be regarded by some as preferable to real experiences with real people. I think they have identified a real phenomena. I take issue though with the notion that it is pornography and video games, per se, that are the only things at issue. My own sense is that their gripe is similar to Nicholas Carr's observations in his book, The Shallows, in that people when presented with too much digital titillation and distraction are intellectually and emotionally blunted (a valid observation, I would say). My suspicion then is that video games and pornography are simply two examples of the titillation and distraction endemic to digital culture identified by Carr (i.e., others include social media, partisan news, cat falling off the table videos, etc). Zumbardo and Duncan's thesis, by focusing their criticism too narrowly miss an opportunity to slay a larger dragon.

One other criticism. The introductory pages with the data from the TED survey was less than useless. Beyond the fact that the selection bias when sampling from TED survey respondents would make the results almost idiosynchratic, the questions asked of the respondents were just silly. Why do I care what a TED user's beliefs are about why such and such phenomena is happening? Am I to assume the average TED user is a trained sociologist and her or his insights have some sort of added heft? If they were asked to what extent they themselves played games, viewed porn, etc., that would be different.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A man's review August 1, 2013
By CMC
Format:Kindle Edition
The authors of this book have well identified an undeniable issue that is more pervasive than many recognize or are willing to admit. This book does a direct service to any gaming and presumably `adult male' who reads it, by articulating the phenomenon encountered by young males growing up in the technology driven society of today.

It is not hard to find young males in my own life that experience the very problems that Dr. Zimbardo and Duncan illustrate. I think this book speaks to any male willing to accept that he is indeed facing this dilemma or someone in his life that can speak to him in honest dialogue about getting through this (potential) phase. The overuse (a key element that I see many commenter's overlook in their reviews of the book) of porn and video games is an easy answer to a question that looms larger and larger in a male's development: what am I going to do and how am I going to get there? The overwhelming component, for young males, to both questions is the social interactions required to answer both questions, personally and professionally. Thereby, returning themselves back to the dimly lit room, alone.

It seems from some of the reviewers that they did not read the book (some admittedly) and others that did not have a favorable review missed key details in their criticisms. A few have mentioned the flawed surveys and the sample bias from TED users. While the sample is biased to people on ted.com, the fact still remains (as cited in the book) that 75% of TED respondents where males and 50% of those males were aged 18-25. As such, I fail to see how being a TED user negates one's socio-sexual concepts of self and external relations of the core audience of this phenomenon.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you have boys you should read this one! June 7, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
My son is grown and we have some grandsons ... glad I am not raising them today. The Author of this book writes in easy to understand language just what is happening in the world of young men and the implications for the future. He covers a lot of ground but the basic premise is that our boys are growing up in a pretend world, some may call it virtual, but it is pretend. I actually heard this from some Marines who were complaining that many of their recruits today have never slept outside, never went camping or anything manly. In this book we can read it and weep. In one disturbing passage the Author recounts surveys and statistics on how young men 18-25 would rather masturbate to porn than actually develop a relationship with a girl. Lots of stats and gotta tell you ... between porn and video games we are neutering our young men. Sad
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Buy August 25, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As someone going into sexual addiction therapy, this book does an amazing job of addressing most of the issues facing those that are prone to become addicts. Highly recommend.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good points about the condition of men. October 30, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I will review this book as a simple reader, not a scientist.

First of all it is really well written. The message the authors are advocating flows smoothly. I don't find anything that contradicts its logic. I was expecting more rather opinion-based moralizing after reading all the 1-star reviews. However, I haven't found that in the book. I enjoyed reading it, although the authors' conclusions are not funny at all.

I don't run surveys or any other scientific research on the book's subject matter and I can't prove that the statistics are right or not. I can only say that the outcome of the surveys presented in the book confirms my observation. I mean I know a lot of women who can't find a normal guy (I don't mean "the right guy"). In most cases they meet the kind of guys who can't be bothered about maintaining a relationship.

I even know a guy who decided to leave his girlfriend for computer games (I don't know what other stuff he was enjoying in his room). At a point he had to borrow some money to live off and was unable to give it back. His lender organized a job for him. The guy paid the debt after two weeks, quit the job and immersed himself in the virtual world again.

I believe the problems depicted in "The Demise of Guys" are global. I have never been to the US, but I think the book is quite relevant in other countries I have been living in: Poland, the UK and lately Australia.

This book is important for me as a relatively new father. The content wasn't surprising for me at all. It just reminds me about the direction I'm trying to give to my son's upbringing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Zimbardo can greatly write about the Lucifer Effect, but not about...
Zimbardo doesn't understand, he's great at his Lucifer Effect concept, and I really like the man, I watched all his youtube speeches and I have several of his other, excellent,... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Skinchanger2
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
Eloquent and engaging conversation development of a unmet need. Substantial yet accessible language, makes it easy to comprehend multilayer thoughts.
Published 6 months ago by Malcolm Horner
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the read!
The issues addressed are relevant and urgent. I appreciated the amount of research cited, the accessible writing style, and that the book wasn't very long!
Published 7 months ago by Elizabeth C Welsh
5.0 out of 5 stars Every father, husband, brother, son and any male should read this now!
This book answers the question of why we are where we are today in our society. This book should be taught in school, preached in church and required reading for expecting... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Hoot
4.0 out of 5 stars This is an excellent book on how guys are becoming extinct.
This is an excellent book on the effects of video games, porn, relationships and how young men are turning away from conventional dating and engaging in risky behavior. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Gregg Hardin
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read For Parents Of Boys
While every generation thinks the generation that follows has gone to seed, washed out, etc, there are some factors today that make this objectively true. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Charles A Walters
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing insightful read.
A wonderful read, relevant on two levels for me: one as seeing where patterns in my life have come from and the other in preparation for my new role as a parent.
Published 12 months ago by aeonmouse
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Read
Zimbardo points out an interesting issue with young males today. I can see a lot of these issues in myself and my friends. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Jordan McBain
5.0 out of 5 stars great for men.
If your playing video games you really get nothing. Same with porn. Man up fellas, no one cares how many dragons you killed last weekend.
Published 12 months ago by Brandon
4.0 out of 5 stars Penetrating examination of a vexing problem
Fascination account of the where's and why-for's of the challenges facing maturing young men. The only drawback comes in some imbalance: the analysis of the problem is much more... Read more
Published 13 months ago by scherbs
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