Young men have a hard time: poor boys

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Today’s youth are almost drowning in the conflicting expectations society places on them.
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Silvia Tschuicommunity editor

My motivation for writing this article is quite personal: I am the mother of a teenage son who wants to be a grandmother in 15-20 years. And I’m realizing more and more that young men are having a hard time these days. Even if they are still privileged compared to women.

Heterosexual relationships have become more complex. As a Generation And so a worrying question arises for me: How can I prevent my son from one day becoming an invader – sorry – asshole? On the other hand: What kind of girlfriend will my son find one day? So how will I be a grandmother?

Men must have manners

Actually, this should have been a completely different article. Someone who asks what young women really want from men these days. An article that gives men, especially young men, a guide of sorts on how to deal with women.

Social pressures and excessive expectations harm not only women but also men.

But there will be no such article. The research shows: The issue is very complex. But what about: an overview of the current work situation, the current social situation, an expert opinion and a reading tip from the common sense of a woman (me) who is now almost 50 years old undesirable male behavior in her life – from thousands of sexist or stupid welcome queues to trams, parks and From the flashers on the train to the wandering professor (and subsequent failing grades if you ran away halfway through) to the situations, these are moderately dangerous.

And truth be told, there has been wonderful, wonderful, and heartwarming male behavior much more often in my life so far. Unbreakable friendship, uncomplicated help, romantic gestures, being present in difficult situations, being present in fun situations.

Relationship prolongs life for men, but not for women

But in fact, an inventory seems especially necessary for young men: Although long-term studies show that unmarried and childless women are healthier, happier and live longer than married women with children, this is also true for men, according to Paul Dolan. The famous Professor of Behavioral research at the London School of Economics shows the opposite: married men are happier, have fewer accidents, are less depressed and live longer.

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However, young men in particular appear to be more adept at commitment than ever: A widely cited German survey from spring 2023 says a whopping 35 percent of German men between the ages of 18 and 35 think it’s completely normal to use physical violence in a relationship. . Frightening influencers like Andrew Tate (36, ex-convict for rape and trafficking) find millions of followers with a crude misogyny: “women belong to men”. Internet forums for so-called incels (involuntary celibates, that is, young men who want sex but cannot get it and therefore fall into fanatical misogyny) are popular.

At the same time, the number of women freezing their eggs to extend their fertile period has been increasing for years. According to medical experts, this is not because women primarily want to have a career, but because they cannot find a suitable partner for family planning in time.

Be strong! Be thin! Don’t be macho! Don’t be a cry baby!

So what’s the problem with men? Markus Theunert (50), psychologist and expert on men’s issues, knows this: “Many men are completely insecure because society places more and more contradictory and unfulfillable expectations on them.” In psychology, such situations are called “double bind”. Meaning: Whatever you do, you’re doing it wrong.

Every social need you cannot meet hurts you.

As we all know, women can sing about it. However, Theunert says that men are not doing well in today’s society either. Your “double bind” means: “Be strong! You finally managed to show weakness!” When asked, Theunert can list a series of contradictory demands that young men are subjected to today: “Show strength, toughness, leadership, dominance, be in control, keep things under control, perform, have a career, achieve things, be a leader.” Be a Warrior, Winner, get what you need, don’t be a cry baby, have broad interests, get a good general education, always be strong with your steeled body!” On the other hand: “Be sensitive, considerate, empathetic, take care of yourself, just “Don’t take what you want, be independent from others, don’t be controlled by your sexual urges, be aware of your own emotions, your work-life balance is under control, don’t sit in the office all the time, be there as a father.”

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Social reality does not match expectations

In short: If you are “strong,” you are macho and a potential rapist. However, if they show weakness, they are considered feminine cry babies. Moreover, social realities do not match what is expected of men today: Outside of pictures on Instagram, for example, physical strength is less needed than before because there are fewer jobs that require it. The traditionally male focus on hierarchy, performance, competition and status is also less useful than it used to be: Nowadays, men also need to be able to work in a team, communicate and show empathy. But if you really try, for example, if you become a father, you will easily be labeled as unmanly. Or the economic reality is completely different: Various studies show that part-time work for men and typically male jobs is rare, and that men are discriminated against when they seek part-time work.

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The role relationships they grew up with no longer work, says Theunert: “Men traditionally expect women to take care of them physically and emotionally.” They grew up like this: “His mother was at home, his father was often absent and not responsible for family affairs.” However, this traditional division of roles no longer works in today’s economic world: real wages in Switzerland today are much lower than in the 1960s, and the purchasing power of the middle class is decreasing. The salary of a traditional “breadwinner” is often no longer enough to support a family. And many women are now giving up on taking on the role of housewife, having to take care of their husbands as well as their children, and prefer to earn their own money.

Theunert calls it by name: “What we are experiencing is an accumulation of demands on men and women, leading to both genders being overwhelmed and deeply unsettled. Incompatible things are demanded and at the same time treated as if it’s no problem.

More equal societies are richer

These social expectations are also reflected in measurable figures among men: Eating disorders such as anorexia are on the rise among young men. Men are three times more likely to die by suicide than women, but they are only half as likely to be treated for depression. For men, this excessive demand is also a central factor in their tendency towards radicalization, says Theunert. Men’s insecurities are especially exploited by far-right groups. For example, the far-right Proud Boys actively recruit members on incel forums. For example, if you look at the elections in Hesse and Bavaria, you will see that many young men voted for the AfD. SVP is popular in Switzerland.

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According to current surveys among young German men, a quarter of those aged 18 to 35 reject gender equality. Between 80 and 90 percent of all older generations agree on whether equality is “good” for society. It seems that a generation of young men is emerging who are less progressive in terms of gender politics than their grandfathers. And this trend is increasing. There is a social reaction against equality.

Theunert says this is simply because men cannot deal with male privilege and give up their superiority. In the end, even if the whole society, including the male part, loses. Because it just so happens: Countries with greater discrimination against women are poorer, often much poorer, than countries with greater equality (the only exceptions: Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, due to their oil industries).

The magic word: feel

So what should you do now, with the knowledge that society demands contradictory and unattainable things from both sexes, and as a result, everyone’s situation becomes worse? How specifically can you help young men in relationships with women? A study on Feministen.ch does not help much: Activist Timo Jost thinks that concrete clues are quite counterproductive and calls for men to access their emotions so that they can better communicate who feels what and how, in other words, to improve themselves. A talent that is trained by society in men’s childhood and youth, so to speak.

Again he refers to Markus Theunert – here is the reading tip mentioned above: In his book “Boys, we can” he offers concrete instructions on how men can regain access to what is really going on inside them. If you can recognize and name these feelings, they can serve as an inspiration to change things for the better in conversations in a relationship, rather than simply being at the mercy of your own emotions.

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Source : Blick

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Malan

Malan

I am Dawid Malan, a news reporter for 24 Instant News. I specialize in celebrity and entertainment news, writing stories that capture the attention of readers from all walks of life. My work has been featured in some of the world's leading publications and I am passionate about delivering quality content to my readers.

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