An Emasculating Truth

An Emasculating Truth

2010, Society  -   66 Comments
Ratings: 5.65/10 from 40 users.

An Emasculating TruthAccording to the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, testosterone is declining in American men at the alarming rate of one percent a year. But why? That's what Casey Neistat and Oscar Boyson sought to uncover in their film An Emasculating Truth.

Ultimately, the short film goes beyond this question to further the current dialogue about today's definition of masculinity in light of changing gender roles. Boyson, the film's producer and on camera emcee, came to some very personal conclusions about what it means to be a man today, turning the camera on himself and asking the question 'what does it mean to be a man?'

"Masculinity isn't something people think about often," said Boyson. "Our goal was to find a cross-section of people and ask them, what does being a man mean to you? This is an issue where there isn't much middle ground and we wanted to find out why."

The facts speak for themselves. Men suffered more than their fair share of lay-offs in the past year (80 percent to be exact), so much so that women now outnumber men in the work force for the first time in history. Women also outnumber men in higher education at the undergraduate and graduate levels, with nearly 60 percent of grad school enrollees being women.

Boys - our future men - are failing out of high school at alarming rates, 4.9 percent versus 3.8 percent of girls, and are being diagnosed with ADHD at rates three times higher than that of their female counterparts. In short, manhood is in peril … or at least going through a pretty significant transformation on its way to the new future state.

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Mintas Lanxor
5 years ago

Men are as diverse as it gets these days. However, it is true that certain age and socio-economic groups of men tend to stress machismo more than others as a male bonding device and tribe security device. They are reverting to the man's behavior of most of human history, when survival depended on one's strength and outward manly appearance. Machismo is also a lust for domination through brute strength, which is less and less a factor in civilized modern societies.

Dee dee
10 years ago

If you feel the need to question if your a man - then your not!

10 years ago

It is a fact that mens balls have been cut off in this politically correct world we live in.

10 years ago

The fall of men will be their insurmuntable insecurity. All this talk of "am I manly enough? Do I do manly things? Do I look manly?" is nothing other than insecurity. Women don't sit around asking each other if they look feminine enough. They take action and do jobs without worry of how masculine or feminine it makes them, because they are secure in their femininity.
For the longest time, the only way men have dealt with their insecurity has been by being bullies, arrogant, and violent to other human beings. It used to be slaves and women, and men'd feel good by oppressing them. Now that these things aren't acceptable, they have no outlet for their insecurities.
And still, look at the program and see that men still equate masculinity with arrogance and being bullies. If they don't learn fast to adapt to modern society, they'll become the weaker sex in a few decades. Evolution is all about flexibility and adaptation, and men aren't keeping up.

11 years ago

What the heck was the purpose of this video? It's supposed to denounce sad reality about testosterone decrease in men, yet it ends with "being a man is definitely not about a number from a lab" then what even talk about that problem if it isn't one at the end of the day? What a waste of time!!

Amber Cartwright
11 years ago

This is kinda silly. A 'real' man like a 'real' woman doesn't need to be affirmed of who they are. I think a man who wears skinny jeans and make-up can be more of a man than a cowboy. If he is true to who he is, then he is a man regardless of what he does or wear.

11 years ago

I wouldn't blame Feminism. At least not true original Feminism, the modern garbage that the media depicts isn't true feminism. The real feminism protects and fights for true equally for all. Even real feminists, those that advocate the original concept of it, are also baffle by this current phenomenon. They also fight for fathers who will be better guardians than the mothers (fight custody trails), fight for mens' rights to choose whatever profession without being scrutinized (there is still stigma for men to be nurses, and elementary teachers), etc. Those who are blaming feminism as a whole need to step away from the media version of feminism and actually study real feminism. You guys are asking to put back the burden and the ton of pressure back onto men. Think about it... men are freer now than before. They don't have to worry so much about doing everything for the family since those responsibilities are now shared with their partners. There is also more power given to women and their bodies, again those responsibilities have been lifted off of men due to true feminism (i.e. men don't make up the appointments for birth control, women can now take care of that on her own...feminism did that for you men), pressure to always be a bread winner (lets respect individuals, not all men want to work... my man envision himself being a house husband many times. Feminism is fighting for mens' rights to be whatever they want as much as they fight for womens' rights to do whatever they want to do with their lives)... there are many others but I'm not going to fill out a book for you, you need to do the research and it means digging into the story of men throughout History and I mean men from the lower classes...too many times people research history from the wealthy and nobility aspect of it. Feminism actually helped give power to the lower classes or at least encourages them to speak up against injustice of all forms. If you believe in birth control, power to the people, rights and liberties for all, fair treatment for all of life, justice, and the encouragement of making the most of gifts and talents of individuals... guess what you're a Feminist. Again, the media has demonized feminism and unfortunately that's the portrayal it receives the most which is why people are bashing it. It's not that these people are sexists, at least for the most part, they just don't know what that movement (from it's original origin) has done for them. People need to research it deeper before putting the blame on it.

Now as for the culprit... I say it's the individuals fault. Are they that naive and weak willed to allow society dictate who they are or should be? Do these men really need government, women, other men, and other aspects within modern society for them to function and find their true self? I say that this isn't what makes up a real man. A real man is confident enough not needing to conform some ideology or need of reassurance from society to function within it... this is why I respect and view nerds as real men. They don't need society to reassure them that they're men. They take care of their business. They use their resources and status to help others as much as they could to guide themselves, their families and thus the whole society into a better future... to evolve into better beings of this planet... THAT is what it is to be a true man... not asserting power and abusing ones position in society (thinking that might is right and abusing ones psychical strength to bully others... that's the way of a coward to be honest).

Again, men who need to feel that they're on top by positioning or viewing others in lower form isn't what a real man is. Fighting for equality and justice, cooperation and commitment, respect of individuality and encouraging individual innovation/talents that's a man.... not this idea of constricting people into assigned occupation from birth (as the old system was). Real men don't need such constricted, compartmentalized social structure (that limits growth really) to live their lives. If they do... boy we're in deep *beep* of trouble... we're seeing a future of government and corporate run communities and lives... we'll be back to the stone age where whatever occupation your parents are that's your future too and there is no way to improve your life or that of your kids... just because a hand full of men can't run their own lives. It's rather pathetic that they need someone else to tell them that they're men and that they are acceptable. I don't know... maybe because I was exposed to men who don't need others to assure them that they are men and that they took of business (regardless of what it is)that I feel that men are smart enough to give society and it's ideas of what it is manly the finger. I give many men too much credit as individuals to decide for themselves and not needing excuses for their short comings. I give too much credit that men are more than capable, given their status and position (it's still a patriarchal world), that they don't need to be masters of everything to feel masculine and worthy to those who are most important. That they can view themselves as more than just walking talking muscular wallets (which is what many men prefer to view themselves they provide and women stay at home bs). Sorry that I put you men to at a higher esteem and being... sorry that I encourage you to be more than just a 9 to 5 worker who just is there to put food on the table and nothing else... sorry that I see you all be more than just what society tells me you ought to be. Most of all... I'm so sorry that I encourage men to be caring, innovating, talented, creative, intelligent beings in our society.

11 years ago

so his name is Boyson? Son of boy like, Boyson? really thats amazing it's like having mister Cashmore talking about the economy crisis :{D

P.S.: after 8 minute watching: i stop here because it's uninteresting

11 years ago


11 years ago

as soon as i seen its 30mins, i knew its going to be a light watch. you guys expected something scientific in 30mins? give me a break!

11 years ago

I blame feminism. When men are not allowed to use their Testicles and Testosterone what do you expect but evolution to take them away.

Lary Nine
12 years ago

Regardless of what declining levels of testosterone has to do with cultural standards of masculinity, I have a different take on what is and isn't masculine. About 30 years ago, I was "sharing" at an AA meeting (I attended AA for 10 years and, along with sobriety, found the "sacrament" of sharing useful to personal growth). I decided that since I was a man... and since I was secure in my identity as such, then my masculinity was unassailable. Therefore, anything I do, whether it be watching Monday Night Football or knitting, is by definition, a masculine activity. So I simply gave up worrying about my manliness being defined by what I did, but rather, relaxed into the idea of imbuing the term "masculinity" with its meaning. Isn't that the proper vector for this standard?

12 years ago

number of active sperm in men is decreasing due to food and air pollution, and that's a fact!!!

12 years ago

This whole documentary was feminine in itself.
A man would have like to know why the testosterone level had dropped in a scientific way.
Not some soap like docu about people talking about what he or she thinks is manly.

12 years ago

Waste of my useless time.

I hoped it was a docu that gave a reason for the decrease of tetosteron level.

That would have been more interesting.

12 years ago

Cowboys are only manly if they buttless leather chaps..ha.

12 years ago

f!@#$ yeah I wear 2 different socks!

Mikey P
12 years ago

What Mutt said... can we vote this doco off..

13 years ago

Horrible documentary. Comes off like a high school video project filmed with a nice camera and edited in a documentary fashion.

13 years ago

Testosterone is dropping because of drugs in the water and plastics that act as estrogen stimulants. Men are no longer acting like men because they're being chemically altered.

I don't see the high-rate of dropping out of school as a bad thing at all. I think more people are waking up to the fact that public school is more about social programming and brainwashing than it is about learning. The smartest people I know never finished school.

As for more women in the workplace, there are many reasons.

-Affirmative action type programs spend public money to give women jobs, not to men.
-The United States is de-industrializing at an alarming rate. Male dominated construction jobs are the ones that are disappearing in our recession. Industry is being dominated China.
-Women less likely to 'rock the boat', when it comes to wages. It is often cheaper to hire women then men.
-There are more men incarcerated than women, incarcerated men don't work.
-There are more women then men.

13 years ago

My comment is totally subjetive to my personal experiences so please people who are blessed to be able to make different observations I dont claim my opinions are absolute.

My father never took an active interst in me after remarrying and leaving my mother.

My stepfather was unfortunately a child molester.

My brother is a mess I cant begin to expound on.

My exhusband became my ex because he never kept a job (once had 32 w2 in one year) after loosing place to live after place to live I left with my infant son and daughter to do it on my own.

I have had a series of boyfriends who dont want to work or they say they do as they attempt to explain their inability to stay employed but as I see it if you truly understood the value of work you'd tolerate your bosses shit a little better or what ever the excuse may be. Because the bottom line is it always leaves me the one suporting them putting up with my bosses bullshit because you had the choise not to put up with yours. Well I didnt leave my husband to raise my kids to tolerate that so thats why I say a series of boyfriends but the patter just keeps repeating.

My love a having a home and food for my children eliminates those luxuries. I more often than not swollow my pride, bite my tongue and control my temper because my employment is the only way I can support my family which is ALL important. But so often I have been fed excuses as to how their manly pride got in the way of the bottomline...feeding your kids and suporting your family.

So I have a clear picture of what I think a man is and its based on what I inherently need from a man. Womens lib be damned and I am not materialistic. I believe a home is what you make it and a little elbow grease and imagination and any home can be a castle. Fancy cars are over rated and I dont belive in credit cards. (I am as appolled as the earlier commenter about women who seek splendor at mens expence without any valid emotional commtment) But I always thought a man should be first of all HARD WORKING, reliable, knowledgeable and trust worthy. the only male I have ever met that falls into my definition of a grandfather.

So I often wonder as to why, to my way of thinking, they havent quite made a man since my grandparents generation.

Why if men have all this pride and dignity are they bliged to let a woman support their kids alone as I have done for now 12 years without child support and finding no man who will step up to the plate.

What truley scares me is having found no decent role model for my son in men am I only perpetuating the cycle. I have proven I have what it takes to be a man (based on my difinition and accomplished out of necessity) support my children but as a woman can I convey that to my son. Will he be willing to set aside foolish male pride and take me as his role model in being a man. True, I cant teach him how to throw a football or beat his high score or scratch his balls, but can he, will he set that aside and see that being The Man is better then being A Man. Or will he start to think supporting his family is womens work?

To all you good husbands and fathers God Bless you!!! And I hope your wife and children value their good fortune!

13 years ago

No mention of BPA? I think thats the first place I'd be looking to figure out why testosterone levels in Males are dropping. Watch CBC's "The Disappearing Male".

The elite are attacking us on purpose through BPA in the plastics. End of the discussion why Men aren't men anymore.

13 years ago

Its the fluoride in our water! Do your research!

13 years ago

I think you've got it. I am a man. I can be a really insensitive arsehole sometimes, other times I'm a nice guy, sometimes I'm unsure of myself and become like a 'boy' and sometimes I'm maybe even a bit 'girly' in the way I come across. My ex-girlfriend who I was with for 13 years would sometimes say to me that she loved me most when I was 'being myself'. And I noticed it (apart from the times I was being an arsehole) was when I was freely expressing myself including one time when I was being a bit girly. This surprised me. A lot. I mean I didn't realise i was being effiminate until she spontaneously said it. When she did I stopped and thought 'what did i just do.' Well I can't pinpoint it now but it was boy/girlish glee (in front of others) that I was expressing and instead of being turned off she loved it! She just wanted me to be me. I am a man.

13 years ago

@Mo. Apologies in advance for the mish-mash of thoughts and ideas that follow.

The girls tend to have more extrovert personalities and of course in social situations they recieve more 'love' from strangers than boys over a certain age; this i think is what gives them the social advantage. They are more used to being agreed with and reacted to in a non-hostile, friendly or 'loved' way and this has the effect of making them more socially extrovert.

The social fear of failure for the girls is much less than the boys although the same scenario can apply to the boys! Its just harder to have instant positive reactions to a big hairy guy with a with beady eyes and an ever growing bald patch! This effect comes at a cost as you say because, 'in certain negative situations women sit on their feelings or become backhanded about how they deal with it.' They are just not so used to hostile reactions and don't deal with these well!

The boys have a lot more practice at this!

13 years ago

Although is video was a formated as a rather cheap dairy journal entry it raises an interesting question(which he ultimately fails to answer):what is the mordern man?
It is quite hard to define what a man is socially nowadays. I like what the last guy said about taking responsibility but then that would either imply that women can't take responsibility or it just wouldn't be a good comparative definition.

Also I find it sad that some need to kill stuff to feel manly.

13 years ago

Almost all of you are missing the point. the definition of a man has constantly been evolving throughout history. the more a society grows the needs of that society change and thus the meaning of what makes a man or a woman must change with that societal norm or need. sure we look to our fathers and fore fathers for help with that definition but their time needed different men and women than our time. a majority of the people in any society have always followed the leader so to speak and that will never change. to go against the grain the grain has to be established. so stop bitching about the MEDIA and THE MAN or THE BIG PHARMA companies. just think for yourself.

13 years ago

This was a really weird doc, didn't really seem to have a message or support the title. It seemed a little sexist as well, with all of its generalizing. CONFUSED.

13 years ago

@Epicurean_Logic I agree with a lot that you have to say but I think that you're wrong about women outperforming in social situations. Men tend to deal with all their problems out in the open with much less of an ego after. Sure, men get into fights but after the fight usually there's a mutual respect. I think in certain negative situations women sit on their feelings or become backhanded about how they deal with it.

13 years ago

this must be one of the worst doc's i seen thus far! Not informative.

13 years ago

Declining testosterone levels have nothing to do with our "culture". What about all the female hormones feminizing everything in the water? Big pharma is to blame. they are changing our body chemistry with pills and by polluting our water. keep taking birth control and pissing it into our water we dont like fish anyways. its not just us its all of life.

13 years ago

I can't imagine a gayer documentary. how does this guy have the audacity to call himself a "man" after basicaly emasculating himself. that is what is wrong with men today, they are perfectly happy with leaving the decisions that matter to the weaker argument for the sake of "getting along" even though they know what is really right...

13 years ago

Blah, couldnt get this to play at all, very choppy.

@izzi thanks for your really beautiful and positive comments i wasn't going to watch this until i read them (and unfortunately couldn't in the end!).

@all i think that we boys have to really applaud, observe and learn from the female methodology, as a Brit i have consistently seen the girls outperform the boys in academic, work and social situations over the past decades.

I cannot seem to put my finger on exactly why this is and welcome any ideas on why this is so, but from my viewpoint the girls posses far greater organisational skills and they actually listen and follow the rules better.

Its not all bad for us boys, as IMHO the boys have greater creative skills, maybe because they dont follow the rules so well and like to make their own interpretation of any given situation.

These are obviously quite general statements and i eagerly await anyones elses observations and thought on the matter.

13 years ago

I mean you rode him real good!!!!!!!!! LOL.

13 years ago

Men are just getting the shaft because woman get what ever the they want, when ever they want... like more educated woman? well yeah, they never have to worry about getting a relationship or being sexually frustrated. Then they prance around wondering how much money you have, do you own a car so you can drive their ass places, and how much ass kissing you can give her. In my opinion men are losing their ego and libido because there's a lack of love and more of a desire for lust and materialism. Still just an opinion, I don't entirely blame woman, modern media is ass fu**ing our world "monkey see monkey do".

13 years ago

I really hope men are not going through this confusion worldwide...I hope it's just this kid...

Men are beautiful when they are themselves...whether it's bull-riding or ballet dancing. One who has the courage to authentically express himself in every moment of his life free from what anybody else thinks of him, is a beautiful man indeed...regardless of how he dresses, what he does for a living, or who he sleeps with. So be yourselves boys!

13 years ago

it is just a SYMPTOM , topic after topic , drugs , work , food , climate change , symptoms all . Symptoms of building society of a social animal ( us ) based upon the guidance of an UN-social leadership or Pyschopath , dating backwards to the Sumerians and Pharohs . instinctualism dot org is about exploring what is male and female before and after 5000 years of selective breeding ( we have been subtley selectively bred follow the rules of the rulers live on and so will your DNA , other wise die in prison or on frontline battle feilds or the slave choosen for dangerous duty ) .

13 years ago

I don't think the documentary ever says that's why "manhood is in peril". I think it states more that the identity of being a man is being eroded by the vanity of modern times ie plastic surgery to defeat age. The documentary mostly deals with a man's relationship with himself (except for the chapter on women of course).

13 years ago

Women are just now on par (perhaps slightly above) men in work and school and therefore manhood is in peril?


Look, sharing privilege is not the same as loosing privilege. I wish more people understood that.

13 years ago

I liked it! I think you guys are taking it more like a fact based documentary, whereas the guy was really just taking the viewer along on his journey to find manliness. Seriously though getting anything waxed is definitely not manly.

13 years ago

i only wear different socks hahaha

13 years ago

That was a terrible doc...

13 years ago

Only if they have leather chaps. Duh!

13 years ago

lol, the guy who made this is soooooooo gay... cowboys are manly? lol