Grown Men Stuck in An Extended Adolescence?

Posted By on Feb 24, 2011 in The Life I Live | 58 comments


This morning I received a package of miscellaneous things from my mom (oh, if only you could see the wonderfully random things she sends my way). And in the package with a torn out article from the Wall Street Journal with a sticky note attached “Interesting article, Mom.”

At first glance I thought it was an article on internet dating. And I was not happy. Not happy at all. (Moms, never send your grown daughters articles about internet dating, it’s just not cool.)

But I took another glance and it was actually a very interesting article (yes, Mom is always right)  based on a book by Kay Hymowitz Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men into Boys on how many men in their 20s are living an extended adolescence.

Not so long ago, the average American man in his 20s had achieved most of the milestones of adulthood: a high-school diploma, financial independence, marriage and children. Today, most men in their 20s hang out in a novel sort of limbo, a hybrid state of semi-hormonal adolescence and responsible self-reliance. This “pre-adulthood” has much to recommend it, especially for the college-educated. But it’s time to state what has become obvious to legions of frustrated young women: It doesn’t bring out the best in men.

Here’s a link to the whole article.

I’d love to hear what you think about it. How has your experience validated or refuted Hymowitz’s theory? Just please, be nice or your comment will vanish into the unknown. :)

 

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  • Jeff

    As a guy myself, but older and more successful than the demographic of the article, I see it myself. It disgusts me.

  • http://travisrobertson.com Travis Robertson

    Interesting article, Lindsey. We are definitely witnessing a delayed adolescence among young men (and even young women). While they are adults and responsible for their own choices, I do have to place some of the blame on parents who’ve sheltered their kids, coddled them, and tried to protect them from failure.

    Boomers became helicopter parents who hovered relentlessly around their children and tried to make sure that everything worked out well for them. The intent was noble. They wanted the best for their children. What parent doesn’t?

    However, as the old saying goes, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” I think this is one of those instances. Now, the same parents who couldn’t set healthy boundaries and empower their kids to grow up and live as mature, contributing adults are witnessing a generation that is taking longer and longer to mature. It frustrates Boomers and, yet, many of them are clueless as the cause-and-effect of their parenting decisions.

    At the end of the day, these “kids” are still adults and need to grow up. However, that will happen much faster if parents stop swooping in to save the day (i.e. it’s time for your 23 year old to get a job and move out). Some of the best times of growth in my life were also the darkest times. My parents loved me and supported me, but they never tried to fix something they couldn’t. It made me a better husband and man as a result.

    Here’s to praying that more young men (and young women for that matter) get to fail forward toward success.

    • http://lindseynobles.com Lindsey Nobles

      I think you are right. It is women too. Heck, I’m 34, have lived on my own and supported myself since I graduated from college, and still sometimes feel like (and probably act like) a little girl. I wonder what would have to happen for me to be my age. Once I marry ? Or become a mom? Or my parents pass away? What will propel me into owning my adultness?

      I recently attended a singles group in town and was struck by how much it felt like a youth group for adults. It made me realize that in some ways our generation is stuck wasting time and avoiding being an adult.

      • Lisa

        The longer I was single, the more tendency I had towards self-centered selfishness. I’d like to say I was really good at combating this. Hehhe. I wasn’t. I liked things a certain way…my way…and only when I came into relationship with another human being did I realize my own selfishness. Marriage has been a good teacher, too. Thankfully, I’ve also had good friends along the way to give me good doses of truth. Ditto on the singles group.

  • Rachel

    Honestly, I find the subtitle of her book “How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys” insulting. It promotes and condones the stereotype of women being beneath men and that when they “rise above,” this somehow threatens their manhood. Ridiculous. And why is she saying that men only have fallen into this extended adolescence or that they are the cause of it? I felt that this article (and most likely the entire book) uses stereotypes to push her opinion–e.g., men are deep down natural fighters, protectors, leaders, etc., and when not allowed to display these characteristics, they are lost and without a cause. Let’s not dumb down the genders to these ideas. I think this article is insulting to both men and women.

    • http://lindseynobles.com Lindsey Nobles

      I do think the article was rather sensationalized, but I am sure that is why it got the front page of a section in the Wall Street Journal. :) I also think there is an interesting conversation here about what manhood and womenhood do, can and should look like today…

  • Liz

    Mental health professionals in the last 10 yrs have extended adolescence into the 40′s.

  • Liz

    Mental health professionals in the last 10 yrs have extended adolescence into the 40′s.

  • Sarah Markley

    that’s a fascinating article lindsey. seriously fascinating. i don’t have an intelligent comment right this minute, but all i can think of is how much my own (business owning, family providing) husband loves those “pre-adulthood” guy movies. ;)

    • http://lindseynobles.com Lindsey Nobles

      I love that about your husband. And I think he certainly knows when and how to be a man.

  • Sarah Markley

    that’s a fascinating article lindsey. seriously fascinating. i don’t have an intelligent comment right this minute, but all i can think of is how much my own (business owning, family providing) husband loves those “pre-adulthood” guy movies. ;)

  • Tiffany

    I’m taking a class right now where we’re talking about the emergence of “Emerging Adulthood” – a new lifestage that extends from about 18 to 30. Because of a lot of different situations coming together, for good or for bad, men AND women are using their twenties to explore a lot more than they used to. Instead of getting married right away and finding a good steady job, people are taking a lot longer to figure out what they want to do. After they find out what they want to do, they may get married. This IS incredibly frustrating because women don’t have that luxury because of the biological clock! If you want more information and cultural commentary that may not be as accusatory as Hymowitz uses, try the book Emerging Adulthood by Jeffrey Arnett. He’s done a TON of research in this area and his findings are perhaps less emotional, which helps in sifting through the information.

    Anyway, good stuff to think about and discuss. Thanks for sharing.

  • Tiffany

    I’m taking a class right now where we’re talking about the emergence of “Emerging Adulthood” – a new lifestage that extends from about 18 to 30. Because of a lot of different situations coming together, for good or for bad, men AND women are using their twenties to explore a lot more than they used to. Instead of getting married right away and finding a good steady job, people are taking a lot longer to figure out what they want to do. After they find out what they want to do, they may get married. This IS incredibly frustrating because women don’t have that luxury because of the biological clock! If you want more information and cultural commentary that may not be as accusatory as Hymowitz uses, try the book Emerging Adulthood by Jeffrey Arnett. He’s done a TON of research in this area and his findings are perhaps less emotional, which helps in sifting through the information.

    Anyway, good stuff to think about and discuss. Thanks for sharing.

    • http://lindseynobles.com Lindsey Nobles

      That book sounds really interesting.

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  • http://twitter.com/davepettengill Dave Pettengill

    I work with youth and young adults and I have come across a wonderful book called “Do Hard Things” by Alex and Brett Harris. The underlying theme is a teenage rebellion against low expectations. This is where it has to start very early on we can’t keep having the low expectations for teens that we do. The book refers to people who are are older but act like kids as Kidults and I think that is a pretty good description. I don’t think the Kidult problem has so much to do with the rise of women in our society I think that is great I think it is more the expectations we have for teens when they are growing up. I notice this in huge ways where you will have moms and dads reminding Juniors and Seniors to do their homework, wake them up for school, do their laundry for them, keep track of all their appointments and practices for them, etc…These are 16-18 year olds and it is time for them to take personal responsibility. People will say all the time, “Well thats just teenagers.” I am sorry I know they need guidance and support but we can give them that guidance and support in a way that helps them mature not enables laziness and slacking. We can’t be packing our 18 year olds lunch, doing their laundry for them, waking them up for school, and then be surprised when they aren’t prepared for college. Teens will rise to the expectations we have for them so it is time to start raising the bar.

  • Anonymous

    I attribute much of this to the confusion of what a “man” is in our society. John Eldredge and others have written about it – how does one define manhood? If we are looking to the world and our culture for that definition, we’ll probably get something very close to Seth Rogan’s character in Knocked Up. If we’re looking to the Gospel – Jesus would be the definition. Kay even speaks to this very point in her article. Sure, Boomer parents are in the mix too. Bottom line – Men need encouragement from other men, and women – to find examples of authentic manhood. Jesus is a good start. Michael Hyatt is a good example. While they seem to be a rarity, these men are out there – in our community, teaching, leading families – fathering. I’m 35 and struggled for many years with what manhood meant – large part of that struggle was because I was looking in the wrong places, to the wrong people.

    • http://lindseynobles.com Lindsey Nobles

      I agree!

    • http://www.nateonamission.com Nathan

      Right there with you! I think there is a growing trend of men going back to taking their rightful place in the culture and economy. =)

  • http://www.jrforasteros.com jr. forasteros

    This is such a tough conversation. The root of the problem is that our society is shifting away from the “norm” that defined the post-industrial West. The “traditions” that the article (and many like it) speak of don’t really date back to the dawn of human history; as the article itself confesses, this is a ‘problem’ created by the Industrial Revolution.

    So rather than tear our clothes and lament at the sorry state of gender roles (so confused!) and feminism (had the audacity to treat women the same as men!) and ‘guys’ (no longer boys, not yet a man!), could we ask this question:

    What qualities should a good, godly man have? NOT what script should he be following? NOT has he checked all the boxes off on the ‘Be a Man’ form?

    Does he have integrity?
    Does he know what his gifts, talents and strengths are?
    Does he value embodied relationships over tasks and technology?
    Is his life characterized by self-sacrifice?
    Is he hopeful? Does he choose to believe the best in people and situations?
    Is he a peacemaker?

    These are just off the top of my head. But if we were to pursue something like this approach to manhood (and womanhood, for that matter), we could get past this need to retrench and reclaim outdated and irrelevant cultural tropes that just won’t cut it in today’s world.

    (I say all this as a guy who is married, has a full-time job, loves my calling and LOVES comic books. And movies. And my guy friends.)

    Lindsey, honest question:
    What do you want in a man? (not just romantically, but as a participant in culture) Do you think that the ‘old ways’ brought out the best in a man?

    • http://lindseynobles.com Lindsey Nobles

      Honest answer: I want someone who is ready to give up a selfish lifestyle and sacrifice some comforts in order to build a marriage, a family, and a better community. Someone who champions me when I am right, and challenges me when I am wrong. Someone who is honest, kind and humble. Someone whose actions match his words.

      JR, I think you are asking all the right questions.

    • Tiffany

      ah, mr. forasteros– well said, as always :).

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylereed

      I love these questions. They definitely challenge me

  • Loswhit

    I think the article is bunk. It’s a lie. It actually extends into the 30′s. I can name 10 guys I know right now who are stuck in Extended adolescence and are 31-37. :)

    • http://twitter.com/BiancaJuarez Bianca Juarez

      I call that adultescence.

    • http://lindseynobles.com Lindsey Nobles

      Yeah, I wonder what would make them un-stuck…

  • http://www.walterwillis.net Walter

    I wasn’t married till I was 50. I didn’t date till near that age.

    I stayed at home, worked full time and took care of two very ill parents because I couldn’t bear to put them in a “home”. Many, even other Christians, thought I was gay. Others understood.

    I don’t see a lot of men around me living they way this author states, but I won’t say that it isn’t happening at all – just not in my circle. Many of my 20-30 year old single male friends are heavily involved in ministry, some over seas. Others are in school earning graduate degrees while working full time.

    I also know two guys who are trying to pursue women who won’t have them. These guys are hard working, employed in good jobs or aspiring to such but can’t get a date. Maybe they are setting their sights too high – I don’t know. They refuse to go to bars to pick up women.

    I know in my own experience, once my parents were gone, I had a very hard time getting women to pay attention to me. I had to go to another church to get the stigma of “stay at home Walter” off me.

    This was a very interesting article though – thanks for posting this. I’m going to pass along the link to others.

  • http://www.movingthroughlife.wordpress.com Jcdulaney

    Interesting and I have not really thought much about it.

    I think there is some truth to it for sure but I am wondering if it was created by a society who now places less focus on marriage and family and highlights more of the “good” life of partying and avoiding these things. Not that someone cannot be single and successful, but young and married is almost now taboo.

    What is really interesting I think is how “young successfuls” are viewed. They are now placed on this enormous pedestal as unique and ultra talented when in actuality it is where most of us were just several years ago.

    Once again, commenting based on what sounds great in my head but not sure it is translating into text.

  • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylereed

    Totally agree with a lot of this. But I do not think it is the fault of females, its more of a fault with males.
    The lack of mentoring and “calling up” amongst young men and older men I find is the main reason for this. Guys in their 20′s have not been expected to achieve much, except for being able to be good at Call of Duty. Girls on the other hand are looked down on (most of them it seems) and so they have to prove themselves. They do not have time to stay in their adolescents.
    I could be way wrong on that, but that is what I have seen in conversations and life.

    In all reality guys are not expected to do much until they get older and mature. This seems to be played out not only by the way 20 somethings act but also how they are treated. Drives me insane.

  • Margaret

    I can’t wait to dig into this article!

  • Anonymous

    I’m not sure I’m ready to pin delayed adolescence on “the rise of women.” It feels like that explanation lets men off the hook and shifts the blame on women. And our history has characters like Daniel Boone, whose adult irresponsibility was celebrated. (Boone often abandoned his family for two- three months at a time and left all the child-rearing/home-making burden on his wife. His “long hunt” was two years long.) So modern media definitely magnifies and idolizes delayed adulthood in men, but it seems to be an older virus in our culture.

  • http://www.accidentallygreen.org Hilary

    I agree with the article and most of the comments posted. I do think this trend extends well into the 30s – I know many men, both single and married, where this is the case. And I particularly agree with the comments that men are confused about what manhood truly is. (Dr. Dobson’s “Bringing Up Boys” sheds a lot of light on this issue.) I wonder if these “adultescents” and “kidults” long to become men. Are they content to let women excel in school and work? Are they comfortable living with their parents? Do they really want to change – and will they ever grow up in a traditional sense – or will they happily move their Star Wars toys and video games to nursing homes when they’re senior citizens? I was single for years before meeting my husband, and I often was frustrated by guys who wanted to hang out all the time as friends, but never were ready to show any signs of commitment. Time spent together (just the two of us) was even defined as hanging out vs. dating. I guess I really wonder if these men – and women making the same lifestyle choices – will ever choose to move on to traditional adulthood. Will we, as a society, get used to older people who never truly mature? If this is the case, what will the ramifications be for the next generation of men?

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  • http://www.pinkhairedgirl.net Crystal Renaud

    This is very interesting…. and as a mid-twenty-something woman, I can see what she’s talking about. I’ve often said, “yeah, I don’t want to date a guy in his twenties—they’re just not established or settled down enough yet.” And of course that’s a blanket generalization. I also know many, many men who are married and have kids at 25, 26, 27. But I think what I am seeing is the leftover men. The twenty-something men who didn’t get married and have the kids… by choice. I have a guy friend who lives his life with the motto, “bachelor to the rapture.” I am not sure it’s woman’s fault that men are this way… I think it has a lot to do with what another article (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/22/magazine/22Adulthood-t.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=twenty%20somethings&st=cse) I’ve read recently that said, “The traditional cycle seems to have gone off course, as young people remain un­tethered to romantic partners or to permanent homes, going back to school for lack of better options, traveling, avoiding commitments, competing ferociously for unpaid internships or temporary (and often grueling) Teach for America jobs, forestalling the beginning of adult life.”

    I am not sure what’s happening…. but I am not sure it’s good and makes me a little fearful about the future. But then again…. at the same time….. I also see a lot of twenty-something people be incredibly ambitious and instead of sitting behind a desk in a job they hate—they are creating their own jobs or really going after their dreams and finding really great success. Which can speak loudly about the baby-boomer age instilling in their children to do what they love and to never settle—giving them what they didn’t have.

    • http://lindseynobles.com Lindsey Nobles

      Yes, there are certainly people who fit in both camps — ones who won’t grow up and ones who are mature beyond their age.

  • http://bondchristian.com/ bondChristian

    Maybe there needs to be a better way to define adulthood for men, apart from marriage.

    Most assume they’ll “grow up” when they get married. So if they don’t get married when they’re 21, they don’t grow up. I think there needs to be a clearer standard, for lack of a better word, for what it means to be an adult, something young men can shoot for that’s not associated with marriage.

    Unless “adulthood” really is synonymous with “married.”

    -Marshall Jones Jr.

    • http://lindseynobles.com Lindsey Nobles

      I agree that this is confusing. I think I define adulthood is embracing responsibility…not just in a household, but at work, at church, and within a community. Obviously there is more to it. But that is a key part of it.

    • Anonymous

      Inteteresting point.

      If genders roles are created out of an ongoing cultural conversation between both sexes, then changes in womens’ behavior would force men to define themselves. So if women are deferring marriage for more education and the work force then men would need to adjust their definitions.

  • http://twitter.com/ThatGuyKC K.C. Pro

    As a man in my 20s who is not exemplary of Hymowitz’s “most men” this article kind of bugs me. I’m going to post more about this next week on my own blog, but will say that I think feminism (not women’s rights like voting and stuff, but the demonization of men and demoralization of dads in the media and entertainment) plays a role.

  • Joshua B Young

    Thanks for the link. The article is fascinating, but I believe it was more than a but hyperbolic.

    I think the core of this issue is not social or psychological, but theological. God designed most men and women to LEAVE their father and mother, CLEAVE to each other, and WEAVE a life together that oftentimes includes raising children and always is meant to reflect Jesus.

    I think a man’s role in that process is to love, lead, serve, and disciple his family well. And he does this by giving up his own wants and personal preferences, sacrificing them for the needs of his wife first, then his children.

    Unfortunately the problem extends back to the garden, where Adam was right beside Eve the entire time she was tempted. His passivity is now every man’s natural tendency.

    Long Solution.

    The solution is then to reverse the curse. More men who claim to be Christians need to actually become Christians, falling in love with Jesus and loving His bride (the Church). Then they will want to reflect that love by searching for their bride and building a family in which he will be an example for his little boys of a earthly father that reflects his Heavenly Father.

    Short Solution.

    Be like Jesus, not Adam.

    Thanks.

    jb

    p.s.- I’m 22, graduating with a masters degree in May, have had a full-time job for three years, and stopped playing video games when I was 12! Primary influence? My father, who broke a 3 generation curse of alcoholism, stayed faithful to Mom, worked hard with only a HS diploma to provide for his family, and taught me to love Jesus and work hard.

    • http://www.nateonamission.com Nathan

      That is freaking awesome! I’m right in the middle of breaking that curse! Thank you so much for your encouragement!

    • http://lindseynobles.com Lindsey Nobles

      Love your thoughts. Thanks for sharing them.

  • http://www.confessionsofalegalist.com Jeremy @ Confessions

    Mark Driscoll talks about adolescent mean. He calls them boys who shave. His point is that age and physical maturity do not necessarily equate to real maturity. I don’t know if we should blame “the rise of women” or blame absent fathers. Many young men are being taught to just check out based on the lack of a father.

  • Anonymous

    Sounds about right in my experience. Very interesting article.

    So many thoughts that are hard to capture in a mere comment box without the opportunity to discuss, but my biggest question is:

    Is it possible for women to keep the levels of advancement that we have attained and still have godly, manly men that will step up and lead us?

    I think only if these men have others modeling it for them, and those models seem to be in short supply. I wonder…

  • Wes

    This is my first time on your blog, and this article is pretty much spot on. I wouldn’t put it solely on the rise of women though.

    Inflation, hyper-consumerism, and mounting personal debt has led to greater financial pressures on men over the last 60 years which has turned men to working more. So in the last 20-30 years we’ve had a generation of “men” raised mostly or solely by women. In my opinion, women are great at raising nice boys, but it takes a man to raise a man.

    That said, we need men to man up, put family first and raise the next generation of men.

  • http://twitter.com/joesheehan Joe Sheehan

    While I think Kay is on to something, I think she extrapolates a little too much from her insights. There are plenty of great guys out there… it seems a bit like she’d rather just blame society rather than do a hard self-evaluation. I don’t know her personally, so I can’t say for sure. But

    True self-evaluation is at the heart of the Christian experience. If you’re not being honest with yourself, how can you talk with God honestly?

    Its also clear that “manhood” is a bit ill-defined in our American culture, but that’s another debate entirely.

  • Laine

    I first read this article when it first came out and have not read it since, so I cannot offer much commentary on its validity. A better book on the subject is a book called “Boys Adrift” by a psychologist with the last name Sax. I cannot recall his first name for the life of me. This is a real cultural trend.

    I witness, however, a role reversal when I look in Christian circles. When I look at church attendance, what shows up is men out number women 4 to 1. I am talking about single (never married) adults.

    Lindsey is right, most church singles groups and Bible studies are nothing more than youth group with older attendees.

  • http://twitter.com/BrettTrapp Brett Trapp

    Read this article a few days ago. It’s very good. As a single 29-year old guy, I could identify heavily here. Personally, I see my own extended adolescence and in dozens of friends.

    I think the first commenter is dead on in that we have to be careful with issues like this. Rhetoric can blur the line between biblical mandates and cultural norms. I have tons of respect for leaders like Albert Mohler and have heard him on several occasions bemoaning the rising marriage age in America. He’s firmly believes this a crisis indicative of the declining state of the family in America, and thus, America itself. While I agree with this on many fronts, it’s impossible to say there is some biblical mandate or guideline here. There just isn’t. Of course you can point to the fact that people married earlier in biblical times; even in the history of our own country we see that. So any focus on a numeric age is culturally driven, not biblical.

    And that’s fine. It just changes the debate in my opinion.

    I think a rising marriage age probably is corrosive in some way, culturally. A biblical argument doesn’t seem to fit here though.

    With that out of the way, I think the causes are diverse. It’d be impossible to single out just one as the culprit. I think it’s a blend of several things. I think society has glamorized single life while typecasting married life as uncool. Sometimes married couples even echo this. How many times have I heard a newlywed couple say, “Oh, we’ll NEVER get a mini-van!”? When I ask why they usually say because it isn’t cool. Our society is obsessed with the concept of “cool,” and it’s leaked into everything.

    I also think technology plays a part. In the past, men were driven to leave home, go to college, graduate, marry, and begin the adventure of life. Moving from one stage to the next was an adventure. But now there are adventures to be lived right here and now–on our computer, inside an Xbox, on our phone, or on facebook even. Why venture into the challenging, murky, fearful waters of relationship and family when you can play Call of Duty til 2am with your buddies every night? It’s sad, but it’s reality. Life in the treehouse with your friends is pretty fun, and a lot of guys just don’t want to climb down.

    • http://lindseynobles.com Lindsey Nobles

      Our society is obsessed with cool. And with youthfulness. We don’t want to act old so we don’t act our age, hence the discrepency.

  • http://www.swordinfire.blogspot.com Theron Mathis

    If you get a chance Jewish writer, Elliot Katz, writes much the same ideas with practical advice in his excellent, short, and easy to read book : Being the Strong Man a Woman Wants

  • Gnobles

    Glad you are finally giving me credit for some depth, Lulu!!! And I think the things I sent are way cool!!
    Your Mom

    • http://wendyb-thenest.blogspot.com WendyB

      Dear Lindsey’s Mom,
      I’m the mom of a college-almost-on-her-own girl as well and am running out of care package ideas. Care to share what you sent?

  • http://twitter.com/ChrisVonada chris vonada

    Ha! I must admit this one caught my attention. I liked the jist of the theory and am writing about a related topic, being spiritually mature while maintaining the childlike virtues that Jesus says we need in order to enter heaven. Mature, now THERE’S a yucky word. FYI, this issue could last well past a guy’s “old age” of being in the 20′s!!I haven’t the time for the whole article since I simply must continue goofing off more now, boys will be boys :)

  • http://marykathryntyson.wordpress.com/ mktys0n

    did i ever tell you about the time my mom gave me ‘how to be a lady’ and ‘he’s just not that into you’ in one fell swoop?

    no?

    oh.

    ONE TIME MY MOM GAVE ME ‘HOW TO BE A LADY’ AND ‘HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU’ IN ONE FELL SWOOP.

    xo

  • http://allyspotts.com Ally Spotts

    First, I’ll say that I don’t usually read the entire comments section, but I’ve really enjoyed reading the comments here. You have some thoughtful, articulate readers and I love that they are engaging in the conversation. As I was reading I found myself pausing often, nodding, wrinkling my brow, and just generally considering and re-considering my perspective.

    Second, I agree that this is an epidemic with both men and women in my generation – not just men.
    And I think something really dangerous happens when (as a woman) I read an article like this and think to myself: Yeah, guys, this is a huge problem. You better take care of this…

    So what am I supposed to do? I’m not totally sure, but I wrote a post the other day about Generosity in Dating… and I can’t help but think that generosity (or selflessness) might have something to do with it. There is more to say… but I’m still mulling…

    Meanwhile, I love the list of questions posted by JR (above?) I think that these are good questions to be asking not only of the men around us, but also of ourselves… am I a person of integrity? Do I live a life embodied by self-sacrifice? Am I peacemaker? Etc. Etc. The more I embody these characteristics, the more likely I am to inspire others toward them too…

    Thanks for starting a dialogue, Lindsey.

  • http://goinswriter.com Jeff Goins

    This is a big deal and is affecting our culture in more ways than we may realize.

  • Lisa

    Some of what the author says in that article is correct, but I don’t agree with the conclusion she eventually comes to. Demographics have changed. Roles of men and women have changed. But the truth is that we are all still fallen creatures. The pre-adolescent stage she describes is caused by many varying factors but the base is that men aren’t taking independent responsibility. It’s okay to like video games. It’s great to like sports. But the responsibility of taking on vows, making promises…well, that seems like a little much. And, to be fair, this isn’t only a problem among men.

    Personally, I had lived overseas for several years. When I was 28, I had to go back to the states.But I’d never really lived out of my parents’ home in the states. They took me in. In retrospect, I would have been done a big favor if at 18 my parents told me they loved me, I could come back to visit, but I wouldn’t be able to stay with them again. Yes, life would have been difficult. Yes, I’d have learned to pay bills and be an adult earlier. The reality of ‘real life’ has a way of growing people up. I met my husband at 29–when I was on a quest for independence. And at 30 I was married.

    He’s responsible. He’s a man of his word. He makes sacrifices for us everyday. And he’s put away ‘childish’ things. We are still learning to live out love. Sure, there are things we both wish sometimes we didn’t have to deal with. But we live in an adult world. And that is better than a hut of extended adolescence.

  • Werkinstf

    Lindsey, I just became aware of this term but think it may have another definition. What about Premature Midlife Crisis? You yourself are a 30ish unmarried professional. When did you feel the need to marry? Have you yet? Do you need a man for protection? As a provider? The male animal in his purist form needs to be needed, needs to provide and needs to protect. These are paths for his natural aggression. Without having these needs filled, maybe he becomes lost. As women have shifted their independence from the time in life after the children grow up to the time before they are born. The male midlife crisis has also shifted. Now the Corvette comes at age 25 not 45. Before women began burning bras they began feeling the need to start families before graduating high school. Men were needed and they answered the call. They stepped up to the plate. Are there any studies out there with regards to the male midlife crisis? Is it shrinking? This is just a theory of mine right now.

  • http://bit.ly/hWr7Cw Rob T

    love this topic.  I wrote about it in regards to marriage here: http://goo.gl/cW9K8 

  • danny

    Reading this article has actually got me thinking; I grew up in a single mother family as my father passed away whilst we were young. I’ve effectively had a full time job since high school (30 to 40 hours a week) and kept going at that pace through university. I’ve already purchased a property and started my own business on the side of a full time job… And I don’t even graduate until next July! But, I think that the fact that I had pressure on me from a young age is what causes me to uptake manhood so young; and that missing pressure is what most probably causes people to extend their adolescence for so long, in effect, its the prosperity of our western societies that causes this laziness. Why would a man feel the urge to push himself if he doesn’t really have to?

    just a quick background, my names Danny, from Sydney Australia and I know this article is 3 years old but I hope you get to read this comment