The Role of Young Men in the Post-Sexual Revolution

“Nice guys finish last”: A saying foreign to almost no one at this point, but one that has been twisted and the true meaning lost.

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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez/Unsplash

The current social situation appears frustrating, confusing, and disheartening for young men. Relationships are fragmenting and increasingly more difficult to maintain in a healthy manner. As humans, we are social creatures and require intimate interactions with other people for a healthy lifestyle. Whether the relationship is with a friend, family member, or romantic partner, young men are missing critical knowledge of interpersonal relationships. The sexual revolution can be identified as a key turning point toward this decline of healthy relationships in society, in part because it convinced both men and women to abandon seeking interpersonal relationships amongst members of the same and opposite sex. 

“While for a young man, the sexual revolution seems like it comes with all the benefits and none of the costs, that is simply not the case.”

Young women are encouraged to act like men and become more sexually promiscuous, as if such decisions are empowering, but this could not be further from the truth. The response from young men today sheds an important light on this subject. While for a young man, the sexual revolution seems like it comes with all the benefits and none of the costs, that is simply not the case. Men do not respond to sex in the same way that women do. Men are extremely visual in nature when it comes to the opposite sex. Women, on the other hand, are much more emotional when it comes to intimacy, and young men are not being told this important difference between the sexes. In spite of these differences in the post-sexual revolution, women still desire more masculine men, and men desire more feminine women as a general rule. So why should men pay any attention to this seemingly minor detail? 

If young women today are increasingly looking for a man that is emotionally available, that doesn’t mean they want a man that succumbs to his emotional impulses whenever they arise. Rather they seek a man that is able to communicate effectively whilst maintaining emotional control.

“Nice guys finish last”: A saying foreign to almost no one at this point, and one that has been twisted and its true meaning lost. Young men today are told that it’s totally fine to express their emotions, and while that is true, the part that they are not told is how a man should properly express his emotions. The feeling of sadness when a breakup happens or when some form of tragedy happens is part of the human condition. However, men have not been taught the importance of practicing stoicism. This does not mean you don’t discuss what happened, but rather you control your immediate emotional response regarding the situation and maintain a level head. As previously stated, women desire masculine men, but unfortunately, men that can control their emotions are becoming a rarity. 

Communication is key in any relationship because we as humans are not mind readers. Part of effective communication is the ability to reflect on one’s own desires. What do you want to say? What is the outcome you wish to achieve? If you disagree with something, how should you verbalize that disagreement? Without the ability to properly communicate, you’re not going very far, nor are you going to achieve the outcomes you desire.

Think of this scenario as a young man: you’re doing some work on campus or in a coffee shop and you see a beautiful woman that catches your eye. How should you approach the situation? For some, this would seem like a no-brainer – you should simply go start a conversation, right? Unfortunately, young men today have more challenges in this scenario than in previous generations, as there is more risk involved in taking the direct approach. Whether the encounter is posted online out of context or the woman decides to accuse you of being a “creep” for simply talking to her, “the worst she can do is say no” ending is no longer true. However, these potential outcomes should not discourage young men from taking the risk. The important part is to properly communicate your intentions, and this requires you to think for a minute before you act.

What is the end goal of this interaction? Regardless of whether it’s to simply start a conversation or to ask her for her number, the main idea in every interaction should be that “if she declines, then it’s no big deal,” and you be polite and carry on with your day. Taking risks helps shape young men into confident and fearless individuals. Whether you get rejected by women or even job applications, building resilience is something that young men aren’t doing enough of. Being willing and able to tackle the challenges of the modern dating scene, school, and work requires an ability to verbalize what you want and figure out a plan to go after it. Confidence is key – and the only way to build confidence is to endure hardships.

What does all this have to do with the sexual revolution’s impact on young men, you might ask? Simple, the sexual revolution was about more than men being able to become sexually intimate with more women than in previous generations. The very concept of manhood was altered and has resulted in young men lacking clear guidelines on how men should orient themselves in society. With this came the rise in masculine uncertainty and a loss of traditional principles. I do not believe that bringing things “back to the way they were” is the answer, but I believe that only once young men are encouraged to start acting more as men can we as a society start to move in the right direction.

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