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Today's Psychology Can't Help American Men

Psychology, in general, is failing men.

New Joe Caslin mural in Dublin
A new mural by Irish artist Joe Caslin in Dublin encouraging men to attend therapy when experiencing mental health issues. The mural was created as part of the ÒLook After YourselfÓ campaign by the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. (Photo by Brian Lawless/PA Images via Getty Images)

The men of America are struggling. As Daniel de Visé, a writer for The Hill, recently noted, more than 60 percent of the country’s young men are single, “nearly twice the rate of unattached young women.” He warned that we are now witnessing a complete “breakdown in the social, romantic, and sexual life of the American male.” 

Only an idiot would disagree with this point. In the U.S., males are responsible for 80% of suicides, according to the CDC. Every 13.7 minutes, somewhere in America, a man takes his own life. Millions of men are desperate, loveless, aimless souls. Which raises the question: What can be done? Maybe more desperate men should seek psychological assistance? On second thoughts, maybe they shouldn't.

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That’s because, like the country’s men, psychology is also struggling. In its current state, it is ill-equipped to help the men of America—or anyone for that matter. Over the last few years, it has become fashionable for more and more people in the psychology community to reject evolutionary psychology, a direct descendent of psychology and biology. As Satoshi Kanazawa, an expert in evolutionary psychology at London School of Economics, told me, “evolutionary psychology is based on evolutionary biology, dealing with genes and cells, which are smaller than humans and other animals.” 

“Evolutionary psychology and its causal mechanisms,” he said, “are more fundamental than other branches of psychology and their causal explanations, which mostly deal with whole human beings.” To reject evolutionary psychology is to reject broader reality; an outright rejection of biological and evolved realities is occurring. 

Doubters should check out some of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) more recent statements, like this one claiming that there are no major differences between men and women—in other words, they are claiming that men and women are basically the same, and clinical practice need not reflect any inherent differences between them. The APA, for the uninitiated, is the primary programmatic accreditor for professional education and training in psychology. When it comes to training psychologists and treating Americans, the APA calls all the shots.  

The problem: Men and women are not the same. Sex differences in brain anatomy most definitely exist. The male brain is 10 percent larger than the female brain. Anatomical differences are largely explained by effects of sex hormones on brain development. Males and females experience various emotions—like happiness and sadness, for example—very differently. The APA, which now considers traditionally masculine qualities such as stoicism and competitiveness to be “psychologically harmful,” is failing men.

Psychology, in general, is failing men. 

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Psychology Today, the largest media enterprise dedicated to all things psychology, regularly pushes the idea of “positive masculinity.” For “positive masculinity” to exist, some form of “negative” (or “toxic”) masculinity must also exist. This, of course, is a load of nonsense. There are toxic people, for sure. But masculinity - the qualities associated with being a man - is not in itself “toxic.” The articles claiming otherwise, however, most definitely are.

Rollo Tomassi, a podcaster and writer who has been discussing the crisis of masculinity for years, told me that psychology is failing men because “modern psychology is by women for women.” 

“Across all fields,” he noted, “female doctoral students in psychology outnumber males by approximately three to one and have done so for over a decade.” He’s right.

To compound matters, Tomassi added, “the few notable men remaining in the field have pivoted away from the work that made them reputable. They now embrace a female-friendly bastardization of their prior works to avoid cancellation and losing tenure or struggle for relevance in an age where online self-help influencers replace them daily.”

Tomassi, who recently appeared on Dr. Phil to discuss the state of masculinity in America, said, “Since the start of the Sexual Revolution, we’ve told men to ‘man down’; yet modern psychology’s prescription for men is to ‘man up,’ but only insofar as it benefits women’s interests.” All proposed male solutions are, in fact, “gender-swapped female solutions.” 

“There cannot be a uniquely male solution, " he concluded, “largely because to do so would mean acknowledging fundamental differences in men’s evolved psychologies.” And we can’t have that, can we?

To make matters worse, even if a man in need is to go looking for psychological assistance, he'll likely find himself struggling to find an appropriate therapist. Men prefer to be counseled by other men, but the field of psychology, as Tomassi pointed out,  is currently dominated by females. Receiving therapy from a professional who matches one’s sex is a significant predictor of satisfaction and therapeutic success. Sadly, the U.S. has a severe shortage of suitably qualified male therapists; and the current batch of male therapists being trained, the supposed healers of tomorrow, are busy gulping down APA-approved narratives. 

The future for American men looks bleak, and it will remain bleak until the APA acknowledges the fact that fundamental differences between men and women exist. Don’t hold your breath.