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

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

Philip Zimbardo , Nikita Duncan
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product 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

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1142 KB
  • Print Length: 109 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00850HTHO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #80,900 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh so relevant 20 July 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Properly enlightening, whether for a parent or someone who's just trying to get an answer to the debate of what moderate (or higher) amounts of video gaming, prolonged internet surfing and porn do to the mind (it's not just about time wasting - although that's mentioned). This book has some pretty big guns levelled at each of these and presents facts that are well worth absorbing. It's not a depressing read, it's realistic, and the tone becomes one of galvanisation towards the end where a mass of suggestions are thrown out about all of the great and fun things that boys/men can do instead of repeatedly returning to their digital worlds.

This isn't a quite full on crusade (moderation and quality being important - quality meaning that the material isn't feeding the reader/viewer/player an unrealistic view of the world) and the author recognises that the activities that are causing the 'demise' are fundamentally fun. The end result leaving the reader that much more informed on any decisions to make. Well worth a read.

For anyone who wants to see the sub five minute TED talk on the subject, go to and search for 'demise', it should be the first result
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By emski
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an interesting and persuasive argument looking at the negative impact of technology on this generation of boys and men socially and academically which Zimbardo believes is tangible and measurable. This is not an academic book (and some might criticize it thus, Zimbardo is quite capable of writing in an academic and research orientated manner with ?500 papers to his name), and I think it is meant to be accessible for everybody and highlights really important issues, not threatening to impact society, but already impacting society. Zimbardo argues that the readily available hardcore pornography and exciting gaming realities provide an alter reality less challenging and more exciting than sex, sports and social interaction in the real world to boys. He says immersion in these worlds is playing havoc with their cognitive development, impacts attentional skills and social development, allowing girls to run away with the academic prizes and excel in the world increasingly ahead of males where real world interactions and social nuances are the sources of success. Important reading for parents of boys.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Its a wake up call for guys 11 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is touching important topic. It identifies obstacles towards maturity as a man. Recommending it for guys who are stuck in a childhood ways.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Overblown but Interesting 27 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found much of the research and arguments to be poorly justified or superficial. Additionally, the book relies upon a very out-dated and heavily gendered viewpoint. Nonetheless, the book makes a number of very interesting points and provides a particularly sound and positive conclusion.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.7 out of 5 stars  66 reviews
36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting thesis, if not entirely convincing 26 Jun 2012
By David Whittinghill - Published on
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. But their opinion on the causes of these things provides so little to the substantive arguments presented later in the book, I'm baffled at their inclusion at all, let alone their being chosen to lead the book. Honestly, it was enough that if there were even a single page more of it, I would have been too annoyed to have bothered reading the rest of the book.

Nonetheless, I found their book an interesting and speedy read. Critics who disparage it because it "doesn't get" games or gamers clearly didn't read the book. It is obvious the authors understand that not all game experiences are created equal and that games are a perfectly valid form of entertainment and artistic expression. They simply point out how games and pornography, when overused, can keep us in the shallows of not only our intellects but of human experience. That's not such a bad message.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A man's review 1 Aug 2013
By CMC - Published on
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, 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. Another criticized element of the book is their solutions; while the list is not exhaustive, the suggestions cover the major tenants would provide the most significant overall improvements for young males on an individual and social level.

In all, this book is a great reference for any male seeking self-improvement, especially those trying to lift themselves from the distress of their current social disconnection in life. It will identify many of the stressors you may be facing and discuss and means of working toward a more desirable situation. It is also a great orientation for parents or concerned mentors that have a struggling boy in their life. It provides context and can help you better frame a straightforward and informed conversation with the young male. Lastly, and possibly most importantly, this book is one that young women would be wise to have whether to be on the lookout to avoid boys struggling with these afflictions or to better inform themselves and gain perspective on the matter so that they might help their boyfriend, friend, or brother through this phase.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good points about the condition of men. 31 Oct 2012
By Rafal Kozlowski - Published on
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.
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you have boys you should read this one! 7 Jun 2012
By Kug - Published on
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
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read For Parents Of Boys 8 Oct 2013
By Charles A Walters - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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. This book has the statistics to prove that we have a problem, the particulars to let you know if your son has a problem, and the solution. And it's all pretty short. This is a must read for parents of boys.
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