Psychologist Philip Zimbardo asks, “Why are boys struggling?” He shares some stats (lower graduation rates, greater worries about intimacy and relationships) and suggests a few reasons — and challenges the TED community to think about solutions.

Why you should listen:

Philip Zimbardo starts his talk by saying, So today, I want us to reflect on the demise of guys. Guys are flaming out academically; they’re wiping out socially with girls and sexually with women. Other than that, there’s not much of a problem. So what’s the data? So the data on dropping out is amazing. Boys are 30 percent more likely than girls to drop out of school. In Canada, five boys drop out for every three girls. Girls outperform boys now at every level, from elementary school to graduate school. There’s a 10 percent differential between getting BA’s and all graduate programs, with guys falling behind girls. Two-thirds of all students in special ed. remedial programs are guys. And as you all know, boys are five times more likely than girls to be labeled as having attention deficit disorder — and therefore we drug them with Ritalin”.
If that is not reason enough to listen, I don’t know what is!

Who is he:

A past president of the American Psychological Association and a professor emeritus at Stanford, Zimbardo retired in 2008 from lecturing, after 50 years of teaching his legendary introductory course in psychology. In addition to his work on evil and heroism, Zimbardo recently published The Time Paradox, exploring different cultural and personal perspectives on time.


  1. What is the social intensity syndrome? How does it relate to Zimbardo’s observation that guys are wiping out in achievement, intimacy, and sexuality.
  1. What behaviors are boys engaged in that produce arousal addiction? Based on your experience list a few more.
  1. What is the effect of constant change and search for novelty?
  1. Zimbardo does not offer a solution; he says that it is our job to solve the problem. Take up the challenge and propose solutions that could be aimed at boys during their early development during their teen years.

The demise of guys? with Philip Zimbardo



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  • Natali

    Something I’ve never understood is: what is the meitalnty behind making us watch ads here on Youtube? Financially I can understand it perfectly, but do they seriously think that interrupting a playlist, for example, will make us want to buy their product? Ads are annoying enough as is, and Youtube is the last place you want to find un-skipable ones.I’m sorry, but Youtube isn’t the new TV, it’s not going to replace TV, and if you think it will then well there’s just no hope for you.

  • Ted Talks Psychology

    The ads just seem to come with the territory; if you know a way to eliminate them please let us know. If there is a financial advantage, it is going to You Tube and not us.
    Jim and Ralph

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