Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Lost Men

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  • Kevin McCready,

    I know nothing about Bowers but presume he's also mentally ill; if that's the case calling him monster should be reconsidered.

    Auckland • Since Jun 2013 • 119 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Kevin McCready,

    I know nothing about Bowers but presume he’s also mentally ill; if that’s the case calling him monster should be reconsidered.

    I looked at his social media. He had become a monster.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Kevin McCready,

    So he's not a human now?

    Auckland • Since Jun 2013 • 119 posts Report Reply

  • Zach Bagnall,

    He can be both.

    Colorado • Since Nov 2006 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Deep Blue,

    Were Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin humans ?
    Humans can be monsters as well.

    Te Awamutu • Since Sep 2014 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • Neil,

    If there’s an argument about whether or not he’s mad or bad one question to ask is what difference that would make.

    I remember the arguments over Brevik, I don’t think it went much further than the left and right staking out ideologically convenient positions.

    Males do have a tendency to become obsessed, to hold grudges and to seek revenge. That’s genetics. Thankfully there’s various things that mitigate against that. Some of that male behaviour does veer into territory that could be seen as delusional.

    Since Nov 2016 • 382 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to ,

    You’re not actually a mental health professional, thankfully.

    That’s an odd response. I’m not sure what you’re taking issue with.

    Men are predisposed to vengeful obsessive behaviour. How this does or doesn’t blur into what could be defined as mental illness has been debated just about everytime something like this happens.

    How we stop this behaviour is also a pressing question given Trump et al.

    Since Nov 2016 • 382 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Neil,

    Men are predisposed to vengeful obsessive behaviour.

    Some links to back up that claim would be useful, thanks.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to Sacha,

    Some links to back up that claim would be useful, thanks.

    What do you make of the gender pattern of perpetrators of mass killings and hate crimes in the US?

    Since Nov 2016 • 382 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank,

    As far as relevant generalisations go, there's always `men are from Mars, women are from Venus'. When the book of that title became a best-seller in '92, I was amazed. It seemed that everyone had long known that already, so why spend money to learn what you already know? It revealed the contagious effect of trendy notions: "The book has sold more than 50 million copies, and according to a 1997 report by the book's publisher, HarperCollins, it is the all-time best-selling hardcover nonfiction book."
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men_Are_from_Mars,_Women_Are_from_Venus

    But stereotypes are just the superficial manifestation of archetypes. Since we inherited the notion that Mars is the warrior archetype and Venus is the beauty archetype from classical-era Rome, who inherited it from Greece & earlier Mesopotamian civilisations, we can see several millennia of cultural and political tradtion are informing us.

    Nowadays we also have evolutionary psychology informing us. Motivations prompting political violence derive from deep within. Explanations deriving from genetic research seem to provide helpful insights into deep human nature, although I still find historical continuity of the archetypes more persuasive. Then we must factor in how the warping effect of a toxic political culture gives males targets for their hostility.

    As regards this white male suicide trend, seems a consequence of capitalism turning them into losers, and exit becomes an admission of defeat. Or, if you believe in reincarnation, a transition into trying again in a different temporal and socio-political context.

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 292 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to ,

    One current argument for treating men who have transitioned to women as women is that their brains are more similar to those of women than to men.

    Since Nov 2016 • 382 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Neil,

    What do you make of the gender pattern of perpetrators of mass killings and hate crimes in the US?

    Social conditioning.

    There is no such thing as brain gender.

    Across the sample, between 0 and 8 per cent of people had “all-male” or “all-female” brains, depending on the definition. “Most people are in the middle,” says Joel.

    This means that, averaged across many people, sex differences in brain structure do exist, but an individual brain is likely to be just that: individual, with a mix of features. “There are not two types of brain,” says Joel.

    Brains, especially infant brains, are incredibly plastic. Your brain is shaped by the things that happen around you just as much as by your genes. So we teach boys that it's not okay for them to cry, but that it IS okay for them to be angry or 'play rough', because Boys Will Be Boys. And then we say it's not their fault, it's testosterone.

    My younger son is trans. For about six months now, he's been injecting testosterone. You know how his behaviour has changed with increasing levels of T? Not one bit.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Kevin McCready,

    Auckland • Since Jun 2013 • 119 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to Emma Hart,

    It’s a continuum, to quote from the article you linked to:

    Alexandra Kautzky-Willer, head of the Gender Medicine Unit at the Medical University of Vienna in Austria, agrees that things aren’t so simple. “There are differences between men and women when you look in large groups, and these are important for diagnosis and treatment,” she says. “But there are always more differences within genders. We always need to look at culture, environment, education and a person’s role in society,” she says.

    If a neuroscientist was given someone’s brain without their body or any additional information, they would still probably be able to guess if it had belonged to a man or a woman. Men’s brains are larger, for example, and are likely to have a larger number of “male” features overall. But the new findings suggest that it is impossible to predict what mix of brain features a person is likely to have based on their sex alone.

    On a population basis there is a significant difference but any particular individual will have some degree of mixing. However, a small percentage will show significantly less mix which in terms of male violence might be significant.

    Social conditioning

    The Dunedin Longitudinal Study has shown clear evidence for the interaction of genes and environment.

    Since Nov 2016 • 382 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Some people have testified (there are some fascinating examples in This American Life episode 220) to experiencing striking changes in mood and behaviour associated with changes in their baseline testosterone level. But individuals vary in their sensitivity to testosterone, so not everyone on hormone treatment will experience these effects as strongly; and, more generally, measured testosterone level is not a good predictor of individual behaviour (as seen in the third story).

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1942 posts Report Reply

  • Neil,

    Testosterone is interesting as the evidence points to it producing either pro-social or anti-social behaviour depending how the male sees themselves within a social hierarchy.

    Since Nov 2016 • 382 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to ,

    I see myself using such information to help understand and deal with unwell males whose social dominance behaviour can lead to aggression.

    Side stepping direct confrontation could be one strategy.

    Since Nov 2016 • 382 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to ,

    I’m just interested in how the mind works, with a particular focus on categories (and the role of story), and think that understanding male power dynamics is critical to dealing with the resurgent threats to liberal democracy.

    And I think what we are is in large part the product of our evolutionary heritage which modern science such as brain scans continues to shed light on.

    Since Nov 2016 • 382 posts Report Reply

  • Neil,

    As an aside, the Nouméa Accord plays out in New Caledonia this week with the referendum on independence. Sadly there’s a very real chance that the result may not be respected by the losing side. That could lead to the sort political violence seen in the 80s.

    The Accord was supposed to allow time for the development of inter community rapprochement but it seems to have been too difficult.

    A prominent Kanak woman politician appears to be not able to take part in the process which is a real tragedy.

    Since Nov 2016 • 382 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Neil,

    Men are predisposed to vengeful obsessive behaviour.

    We have all encountered research about the gendered distribution of violence. 'Vengeful' or 'obsessive' behaviour I would like to see some evidence for.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • mpledger,

    I'm a little skeptical* about the decreased survival rates of white men in the USA. All other ethnic groups in the US are showing increased survival rates, as well as white people in all other places in the Western World. My suspicion is that when people die without relatives to inform the authorities about the person's ethnicity then it defaults to white unless there is clear evidence otherwise.

    There is also a huge benefit in the USA in passing as white - even more so now with Trump ramping up the rhetoric against Central/South Americans and other foreigners - so people living away from family may tell others they are white who in turn report that when the person dies.

    *although I don't doubt that there is an opioid epidemic.

    Since Oct 2012 • 97 posts Report Reply

  • SHG, in reply to Emma Hart,

    If I recall correctly, a biologically female person receiving testosterone will begin navigating his way through the world differently. That’s not a metaphor, I mean literally relying less on points of reference and more on “dead reckoning”. Insert joke about men asking for directions here.

    nup • Since Oct 2010 • 77 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Attachment

    Mappist Trunks
    Boxing on … speaking of map reading and men taking orders…

    and then there’s sticks and stones that will take you home!

    also see: the art of Polynesian wayfinding.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Neil,

    Imagine my surprise reading down the thread on these otherwise safe boards only to encounter first one blatantly transphobic dogwhistle: "One current argument for treating men who have transitioned to women as women is that “ unmoderated, transphobia unchallenged, and then look there’s another “ a biologically female person receiving testosterone”. Must be 2018.

    Perhaps if the Labour led Government stopped ignoring UN recommendations and proactively increased awareness in these areas of sex and gender then we mightent end up with these ignorance led and potentially harmful conversations. It's unusual in that in some areas of discussion this site is highly progressive.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Walter Nicholls, in reply to mark taslov,

    treating ... as women

    Given this is entirely the point, it doesn't seem to need arguing.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 42 posts Report Reply

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