Saturday, January 18, 2020

Nixon’s Secret UFO Disclosure Message


Nixon biographer, Douglas Caddy wrote of President Nixon’s prediction that, “The year 2020 will be cataclysmic not only for America but the world.”

Nixon made this prediction to Robert Merritt, a Federal informant, who was also used to perform surveillance of Nixon’s enemies and to obtain lurid material that could be used to blackmail officials and congressmen.

Merritt made some shocking confessions to Liszt before his death a few months ago.

Merritt was introduced to Daniel Liszt by Douglas Caddy, best known as the Watergate attorney who represented Gordon Liddy, E Howard Hunt and the five burglars disguised as plumbers.

In previous episodes of Daniel Liszt’s Dark Journalist show, Merritt described a meeting with Richard Nixon in a bunker beneath the White House, during which the President read him a letter describing the covert government’s interaction over a period of two decades with an ET being.

Nixon told him that he’d hidden a time capsule somewhere on the premises of the White House, which would reveal the truth about Earth human-ET interactions and an ET energy formula that could change the world economy – and hopefully redeem Nixon’s tarnished legacy.

After Merritt’s 2018 interview with Liszt, he said the CIA and President Trump went on a frantic search for Nixon’s message. Merritt said the recent announcement of the Space Force and warnings by the Navy about the dangers of UFO disclosure indicated that Nixon’s UFO-related time capsule has been found.

Liszt recounts, “After the Watergate break-in, Nixon decided that Merritt was a man he could trust above anyone except his National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger. He sent for Merritt in the usual fashion: after midnight.

“With no warning, a shadowy figure would come to Merritt’s door and take him to meet with the President in a room deep underneath the White House.

“Nixon needed Merritt to be a courier of some special documents to a high official. The information was Above Top Secret and referred to the UFO file. Merritt sat shocked as the President read the letter aloud.

“Nixon was an experienced hand on managing the UFO file from his days as Vice President under President Eisenhower. The Government had a public program at that time called Project Blue Book but according to several whistleblowers, Vice President Nixon personally ran the so-called “CIA Blue Book” cases: the real crashes hidden from the public that involved retrievals of exotic UFO technology.”

Liszt plays parts of his final interview with Merritt and he interviews Caddy, who claims of Merritt that he “will turn out eventually to be a great figure in history.

“At some point, the historians will discover him, when in the period of 1972 to 1974, he did extraordinary things that changed the history of the world.”

Alexandra Bruce

Contributed by Alexandra Bruce



Friday, January 17, 2020

Why I Resigned from Tavistock: Trans-Identified Children Need Therapy, Not Just ‘Affirmation’ and Drugs


Over the past five years, there has been a 400 percent rise in referrals to the Tavistock Centre in north London, the only National Health Service (NHS) clinic in Britain that treats children with gender-identity developmental issues. During this period, there also has been an abrupt shift in the composition of the children seeking treatment. Formerly, a significant majority of patients had been young male-to-female children. Now, a significant majority are biological females who claim to have a male gender identity, often following the rapid onset of gender dysphoria in their teenage years.

We do not fully understand what is going on in this complex area, and it is essential to examine the phenomenon systematically and objectively. But this has become difficult in the current environment, as debate is continually being closed down amidst accusations of transphobia. As I argued in a May, 2019 presentation before the House of Lords, this de facto censorship regime is harming children.

Those who advocate an unquestioning “affirmation”-based approach to trans-identified children often will claim that any delay or hesitation in assisting a child’s desired gender transition may cause irreparable psychological harm, and possibly even lead to suicide. They also typically will cite research purporting to prove that a child who transitions can expect higher levels of psychological health and life satisfaction. None of these claims align substantially with any robust data or studies in this area. Nor do they align with the cases I have encountered over decades as a psychotherapist.

During the 1980s, I assessed adult parasuicides (apparent suicide attempts, or suicidal gestures). A number of my patients had gone through gender-reassignment surgery, and often were angry at the loss of their biological sexual functioning. They also were aggrieved with psychiatric professionals, who, they believed, had failed to adequately investigate the underlying psychological difficulties associated with gender dysphoria.

As a psychotherapist, I consulted with various mental health services that managed patients exhibiting challenging behaviours. In this capacity, I observed that patients who had a history of serious and enduring mental illness or personality disorder sometimes would also develop gender dysphoria. A common theme in their presentations was the belief that physical treatments would remove or resolve aspects of themselves that caused them psychic pain. When such medical interventions failed to remove their psychological problems, the disappointment could lead to an escalation of self-harm and suicidal ideation, as resentment and hatred toward themselves was acted out in relation to their bodies.

One young man, who had a diagnosis of schizophrenia, had a fear of his own aggression, as he had once threatened his mother (whom he relied upon to care for him) with a weapon. After I treated him for several months, during which time he explored his fear of his own explosive temper, he suddenly announced that he wanted to change sex. There had been no previous evidence of gender dysphoria mentioned either in his notes or in his consultations with me.

At that time, schizophrenia was a negative indication for sexual-reassignment surgery. However, the patient was quickly assessed and taken on by Charing Cross Gender Identity Clinic. In my opinion, switching gender likely was a strategy for immobilizing his frightening temper and fear of psychotic outbursts (as women are stereotypically less violent and threatening). I wrote to Charing Cross recommending that the psychotherapy should be allowed to continue, and that the gender-reassignment treatments be put on hold, so that these deeper issues could be addressed. The team treating the patient indicated their disagreement and continued with the referral.

* * *

My concerns in this field became more acute in Spring, 2018, after I retired from active work as a therapist and joined the Board of Governors of The Tavistock and Portman NHS, which hosts the National Health Service’s Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) at the aforementioned Tavistock Clinic—a public facility available to everyone in the UK. Almost as soon as I’d joined, I was made of aware of the growing controversy over GIDS. A letter had come in from a group of parents complaining that their children had been fast-tracked through GIDS without any serious psychological evaluation. The author of the letter, a mother representing a group of parents, wrote to me in my role as governor, and I replied, circulating copies of that reply to other governors.

Around the same time, Dr. David Bell, a senior consultant at the Tavistock & Portman NHS Trust and a Tavistock governor, was approached by ten GIDS staff members (amounting to about one fifth of the London-based service) who had grave ethical concerns similar to those expressed in the parents’ letter—including inadequate clinical assessments, patients being pushed through for early medical interventions, and GIDS’ failure to stand up to pressure from trans activists. As I discovered, this was not the first time such concerns had been raised. Thirteen years previously, psychotherapist Susan Evans (who, full disclosure, is my wife) had raised her own concerns about the thoroughness of the assessment process by some staff.

As a governor of the Tavistock Trust, I personally witnessed attempts by the Trust’s management to dismiss or undermine both Dr. Bell’s report, which he submitted in late 2018, and the letter from parents. This included accusing Dr. Bell of fictionalizing the case studies he described, questioning his credentials, withholding his report from certain governors, and preventing him from attending a meeting to discuss the Medical Director’s response to his report.

I have learned, through long experience with managing clinical areas in the National Health Service, that such efforts to dismiss or discredit serious concerns about a service or clinical approach typically are driven by those seeking to evade accountability and shield their methods from criticism. Such a defensive, self-serving approach would be dangerous and objectionable in any NHS context. It was particularly worrying in the context of a service that treats vulnerable young people in the midst of life-changing, often irreversible decisions that have unknown medical consequences. And so in 2019, I resigned from the Tavistock board of governors, in protest over the Trust’s failure to address the serious concerns that Dr. Bell and parents had raised.

Many mental-health professionals share these concerns. But saying so publicly is difficult. Journalists who have researched this area report that while interviewees are willing to speak in confidence about their concerns, they shy away from being named, for fear of being accused of bigotry or taken up on human-rights claims. In an excellent 2019 book, Inventing Transgender Children and Young People, authors Heath Brunskell-Evans and Michelle Moore brought together a mix of experienced clinicians and academics to critique certain approaches to gender dysphoria. In an extraordinary step, GIDS threatened legal action against the publisher, and demanded to see the book before publication. 

What’s worse, the effort to suppress unfashionable views has been joined by some leading organizations, including the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP), whose policy statement on the issue, Ensuring comprehensive care and support for transgender and gender-diverse children and adolescents, was scathingly debunked in a recently published peer-reviewed journal article by James Cantor. “Although almost all clinics and professional associations in the world use what’s called the watchful waiting approach to helping gender-diverse (GD) children, the AAP statement instead rejected that consensus, endorsing gender affirmation as the only acceptable approach,” Cantor writes. The AAP’s approach, like that implemented by many clinicians at GIDS, appears to be driven more by political ideology than the clinical needs of presenting children.

In part, this trend is rooted in the faddish idea that everyone—including children—has an innate gender identity, akin to a religious soul, that one discovers and nurtures. But as authors William J. Malone, Colin M. Wright and Julia D. Robertson recently wrote in Quillette, the concept of gender identity is dubious:

This term commonly is defined to mean the “internal, deeply held” sense of whether one is a man or a woman (or, in the case of children, a boy or a girl), both, or neither. It also has become common to claim that this sense of identity may be reliably articulated by children as young as three years old. While these claims about gender identity did not attract systematic scrutiny at first, they now have become the subject of criticism from a growing number of scientists, philosophers and health workers. Developmental studies show that young children have only a superficial understanding of sex and gender (at best). For instance, up until age seven, many children often believe that if a boy puts on a dress, he becomes a girl. This gives us reason to doubt whether a coherent concept of gender identity exists at all in young children. To such extent as any such identity may exist, the concept relies on stereotypes that encourage the conflation of gender with sex.

It is certainly true that therapists shouldn’t seek to impose their idea of what is “normal” on a patient who believes he or she is trans. Nor should they engage in an attempt to convert the individual to their way of thinking. However, as in all contexts, the therapist must resist the temptation to suspend curiosity, uncritically accept the patient’s presentation at face value, and then act as an “affirming” cheerleader for life-changing acts of transition. Rather, the goal of exploratory therapy should be to understand the meaning behind a patient’s presentation in order to help them develop an understanding of themselves, including the desires and conflicts that drive their identity and choices.

To some extent, the extreme deference now being shown to trans-presenting children may be linked to the more general change in the way doctors and other authority figures are perceived in the internet era. While such authority figures once had broad licence to evaluate their patients according to their expertise, such “gatekeeping” is now seen as controlling and even repressive. Many patients now see a doctor’s visit through the lens of consumer culture—whereby the customer is always right.

When doctors always give patients what they want (or think they want), the fallout can be disastrous, as we have seen with the opioid crisis. And there is every possibility that the inappropriate medical treatment of children with gender dysphoria may follow a similar path. Practitioners understandably want to protect their patients from psychic pain. But quick fixes based only on self-reporting can have tragic long-term consequences. And already, a growing number of trans “desistors” (also known as detransitioners) are seeking accountability from the medical professionals who’d rubber-stamped their trans claims. And in 2019, when a formerly trans-identified British woman named Charlie Evans went public with her desistance, she was contacted by “hundreds” of other desistors, and formed a group called The Detransition Advocacy Network to give them a voice and support in a contentious environment that has been dominated by dogmatic trans ideology .

In the NHS, clinicians typically are legally required to discuss the serious negative effects of any offered treatment. As in so many other ways, however, the issue of gender dysphoria seems to lie outside the usual rules that govern medical practice. Many involved in this field have commented on the peculiar fact that, despite the extraordinary preoccupation with the abstraction of gender that suffuses this area, there is little discussion about the flesh-and-blood reality of sex and reproduction.

A clinician interviewed by the Times of London reported being discouraged from even asking patients about these issues: “I would ask who they wanted to have relationships with, but I was told by senior management that gender is completely separate to sex.” Yet part of the developmental struggle in adolescence requires us to come to terms with the reality of who we are, including our natal sexuality and the different roles demanded of us in reproduction. There are all sorts of anxieties attached to these activities and the functioning of the body—anxieties that may be so severe as to distort our sense of self. As Dr. Cantor has noted, the available studies show that most pre-adolescent children who present as trans eventually revert to an identity that accords with their biological sex. Yet many of these children (and their parents) seem to receive little information about how their lives will be affected if they proceed with transition. In the words of one young woman who went through this: “Lots of talk about gender politics and none about the physical realities involved in transitioning.”

With minors, informed consent for medical treatment generally may be expressed by parents. But these decisions usually are taken when a child has a life-threatening physical illness or requires surgery. Relying on informed consent in regard to gender-based medical interventions with life-long consequences, when no one can be certain what the child will think in ten years’ time, is more questionable. The whole idea of treating gender dysphoria medically is to shift the focus of the problem from the mind into the body. But while beliefs may change, the effects of such medical interventions may be irreversible.

It is striking to observe how certain members of the pro-affirmation lobby seem to be about their approach, despite a lack of high-quality data. And much of the data that does exist fails to support their claims. A 2011 study, for instance, found that “persons with transsexualism, after sex reassignment, have considerably higher risks for mortality, suicidal behaviour, and psychiatric morbidity than the general population.” And while a 2018 paper studying the impact of hormone blockers concluded that “low-quality evidence suggests that hormonal treatments for transgender adolescents can achieve their intended physical effects,” the authors also found that “evidence regarding their psychosocial and cognitive impact are generally lacking.”

In 2016, the U.S. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services reviewed the long-term outcome studies of sex-reassignment surgery. Of the 33 studies reviewed, most were found to have methodological problems that rendered their conclusions unreliable. And the studies deemed reliable failed to show substantial improvements in psychological functioning after gender reassignment surgery—despite the fact that anecdotal evidence suggests a strong bias toward the funding and publication of studies that align with affirmation-based approaches (and a countervailing effort to bury data that fails to support such methods).

In fact, several studies have been closed down prematurely following expressed opposition from pro-trans lobby groups and their media allies. In 2017, Spa University denied the extension of research being performed by psychotherapist James Caspian into patients seeking to reverse the effects of gender-reassignment surgery. “The fundamental reason given,” he said, “was that it might cause criticism of the research on social media, and criticism of the research would be criticism of the university, and they also added it was better not to offend people.”

Kenneth Zucker, a well-known researcher and clinical lead at the Child Youth and Family Gender Identity Clinic in Toronto, was sacked outright in 2015 after being accused of conducting “conversion therapy” by trans activists. The claims proved baseless, and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, his employer, agreed to pay Dr. Zucker $586,000 as part of a legal settlement (and apologized “without reservation” for the treatment he’d received). A subsequent investigation completely exonerated Prof. Zucker, and it became clear that the activists demanding his removal were simply angry that he helped children come to terms with their biology before proceeding to transition (this is the so-called “watchful waiting” process, which most responsible clinicians use around the world).

* * *

In his report to the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust Board, Dr. Bell cited the high percentage of patients suffering from gender dysphoria who also suffer other complex problems, such as trauma, autism, a history of sexual abuse and attention deficit disorder. This finding is consistent with a growing body of knowledge that connects the development of gender dysphoria with psychological factors. Since resigning my position at Tavistock, I’ve been contacted by many parents asking advice about trans-identifying children who often tend to exhibit one or more of these factors. Typically, the parents were concerned that services such as Tavistock encouraged the idea that their child’s problems could be comprehensively addressed merely by changing gender.

They also would express concern that their child was being groomed by a thicket of online video resources that instruct children on how to get past whatever nominal clinical gatekeeping they may encounter. An increasingly common characteristic of children presenting with gender dysphoria is a deep involvement within online chat groups that support their sense of dislocation, encourage them to view voices of moderation (including parents) as enemies, and which echo the cultish language of pro-anorexia and pro-suicide websites. As in actual cults, followers are encouraged to believe that their entire gamut of personal problems can be solved so long as they embrace one overarching dogma. “Feel dislocated from your sex, feel like you do not fit in?” asks the Transgender Heaven web site. “Here is a group that understands your feelings of dislocation and confusion and can offer you an identity that can provide certainty and a feeling that you belong.” Or as one pro-trans said it on YouTube, “trans is a solution to feeling shit.”

“My online experience, having been affected by that level of groupthink, that level of moral policing, and the constant implicit threats of social exposure and [ostracism] made me an intensely internal and anxious person,” reported one detransitioned woman about her online experience in this world. “It made me paranoid about the motives of people around me—I saw my parents as bigots because tumblr told me to; because they held out for so long to prevent me from starting hormones. Anyone that slipped up and misgendered me was, according to tumblr, an enemy. One incident—one ‘she’—had the ability to make me absolutely hate someone. Tumblr’s version of morality and justice made me—an impressionable, insecure teenager—feel like my only safe place was in my head, where I would never be misgendered.”

* * *

Influential British psychoanalyst Roger Earlie Money-Kyrle once described the difficulty we all have in coming to terms with three distinct realities traditionally associated with the facts of life: (1) our dependence on our mothers in infancy, (2) the difference between the sexes, and (3) the difference between the generations. Taken together, these realities present us with painful truths about our dependence on others, our own personal limitations, and our mortality. Even those of us who believe we are well-adjusted and happy often find ourselves unconsciously defending against the full implications of these realties.

In some cases, these defence mechanisms can cause us to radically change the way we present to the world. But maturity and psychological growth require us to face, rather than avoid or misrepresent, the reality of who we are and who we are not. Mechanisms designed to deny or distort reality can harm us by preventing emotional development. And so it makes sense to understand our relationship to sex and it’s expression in the context of our struggle with these realities, rather than treating gender as a completely separate issue detached from biological reality.

Infants typically rely on an attentive maternal figure in order to bring them into the world and care for them. This (hopefully) loving and caring relationship provides a bedrock for an infant’s developing mind and sense of him/herself. Influential paediatrician and psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott described the mother’s relationship with the infant at this stage as primary maternal preoccupation. The spell of the maternal preoccupation is broken when reality impinges in the form of weaning, and the mother goes back to work or has another baby.

Separation from the mother is an important part of the infant’s psychological development. However, the psychological and physical separation can be experienced as trauma. This in turn can lead to either a wish to possess the mother in some way, or a grievance toward the mother, as the infant finds it hard to give up the ideal relationship represented by the primary maternal preoccupation. In a recent paper entitled Time and the Garden of Eden Illusion, psychoanalyst John Steiner describes the common fantasy of returning to an imaginary, idealized relationship with one’s mother. This fantasy often is connected, more generally, with an idealized time, place or relationship in the patient’s life before that life became more complicated or upsetting.

Basic biological realities and differences between sexes can provoke intense feelings of exclusion in some members of the trans community. Every person is different, but some individuals seem to believe that they have been traumatically excluded from their rightful female gender, and so any attempt by natal women to exclude them is experienced as a psychological attack (as evidenced by their sometimes shockingly intense expressions of anger at biological women).

I believe that this sensitivity to exclusion from female spaces is sometimes related to unconscious anxieties and grievances associated with traumatic separation from the primary carer. This helps explain why some members of the trans community act as if their psychological wellbeing hinges on their right to enter any female space whatsoever, even though biological women can feel this to be intrusive and threatening.

American-Canadian sexologist Ray Blanchard coined the term autogynephilia to describe a male’s propensity to be sexually aroused by the thought of himself as a female. But even in cases where such sexualized impulses are absent, a trans woman may be impelled by a desire to establish a self-embodied replacement for a mother (or mother figure). In my clinical experience, such forceful psychological defences dominate the mind, and thereby make it difficult for the person to consider alternative views or underlying psychological structures.

In parallel with these attachment issues, children also are presented with the reality associated with their biological limitations as boys or girls. This can provoke fixations or rivalrous feelings in regard to the other sex. As part of normal development, the child experiments with different ways of expressing their sexuality and relating to the opposite sex. A boy has to come to terms with the fact that he has a penis and that he eventually will have to penetrate a woman to create a baby. A girl has to allow herself to be penetrated if she wants a child. The anxiety caused by these different sexual roles and their different requirements may cause extreme distress or anxiety, which then leads to a denial of sexuality. (When one child I know was told how babies were made, he replied that I was disgusting and that people could get hurt.) The physical difference between the sexes may be experienced as so traumatic that it leads to an attempt to deny sexual differences altogether, as men may envy women their reproductive capacities while women may envy a man’s potency and perceived power in the world. It’s a universal human phenomenon that we all have to wrestle with and resolve.

This may help explain the curious insistence by some trans women that their biologically male bodies offer them no competitive advantage in sports; or that their male bodies and sexual anatomy should not be seen as threatening to women in vulnerable spaces such as locker rooms and rape-crisis centers. Such delusions, in turn, have encouraged a sprawling academic ecosystem of self-described gender specialists who insist that the very idea of separating humanity into male and female—the basis of sexual reproduction, and therefore the survival of our species—somehow relies on an artificial construct.

* * *

To repeat: Every case is different, and people may come to their trans self-identity in all sorts of ways. The extraordinarily complex nature of their condition means that gender dysphoric young people, in particular, need access to independent clinicians who protect the long-term interests of their patients, rather than use their patients to advance an ideological agenda.

This requires clinicians to maintain an arm’s-length distance from activists, in order that they may perform truly independent assessments. Unfortunately, Dr. Bell’s report quoted several staff to the effect that management at Tavistock’s GIDS service seemed to have succumbed to activist pressure. And an article in the Times described five former Tavistock staff members who believed that “transgender charities such as Mermaids were having a ‘harmful’ effect by allegedly promoting transition as a cure-all solution for confused adolescents.” This is obviously problematic.

A proper assessment process involves two parts. Firstly, an extended psychotherapeutic approach should be used to assess and attempt to understand the meaning of the patient’s presentation. Importantly, this includes an understanding of the family and social context in which any disorder emerged. Further, it involves an appreciation of the less conscious factors that underlie gender identity. This difficult psychological work can feel threatening, as it often challenges an individual’s often strongly held conviction that only a change in sexual identity can bring relief to their problems.

Secondly, the assessment should examine the issue of informed consent, and include a full discussion about the losses and risks involved in any active intervention that could compromise biological functioning. The question of how informed the individual is regarding the implications of the medical intervention should be seen as a crucial indicator. For example, if the individual has no concern at all about the prospect and outcomes, this lack of concern should be classified of as a symptom that needs to be investigated, rather than simply a positive indication of the patient’s motivation.

We also should remember that patients presenting with symptoms of gender dysphoria often are dissociated from their natal body, which they feel contains unwanted or unacceptable parts of the self. The fantasy that the individual can sculpt the body according to his/her wishes adds (temporarily) to the sense of power and control over the body and everything contained within it. This has similarities with body dysmorphia, a condition whereby the individual becomes obsessed with a physical flaw. Such individuals often seek cosmetic surgery with the belief that their problems will be solved if the flaw is removed. But in the case of gender dysphoria, medical intervention cannot completely eradicate the reality of a patient’s natal gender. This can lead to a sense of persecution, as the body offers a reminder of the continued existence of an unwanted aspect of the self.

This sense of persecution sometimes leads to self-hatred, which can turn into suicidal ideation. At other times, the hatred is externalized, and the individual begins to feel they are surrounded by people who question the validity of their claim to be their chosen gender. It is evident that aggressive elements of the pro trans group are embarking on a campaign designed to threaten all those who withhold such affirmation. It is as if they believe that can cure their own internal doubts about the validity of their gender claims if they can control the views of others, which helps explain the extreme feelings of trauma they experience when they believe they have been misgendered.

This battle over perception has started to influence the legal system in the UK and other countries that use self-identification as a legal basis for classification. And referring to biological sex rather than gender now can be categorised as a hate crime rather than an expression that is factually correct.

I am asked for advice by some parents whose children suddenly announce they are gender dysphoric. Some tell me that they do not trust the gender care offered by their local health provider. I tell them that any hint that clinicians are pushing the child down a narrow, one-size-fits-all diagnostic and treatment program should be seen as a red flag. But this is difficult, because affirmation-based approaches are being adopted by children’s mental health services.

* * *

“First do no harm,” should be the least we expect from those who treat our children. Yet in 2019, it was revealed that the GIDS program at Tavistock clinic had lowered the age at which it offers children puberty blockers on the basis of a study that—it later was revealed—concluded that “after a year of treatment, ‘a significant increase’ was found in patients who had been born female self-reporting to staff that they ‘deliberately try to hurt or kill myself.’” The fact that Tavistock officials ignored such evidence suggests they have bought into the idea that transition is a goal unto itself, separate from the well-being of individual children, who now are being used as pawns in an ideological campaign.

This is the opposite of responsible and caring therapeutic work, which is based on the need to re-establish respectful but loving bonds between mind and body. Such are the norms in every other area of therapeutic practice. And it is high time that the ideologues who have hijacked therapy’s gender subculture be held to account.


Marcus Evans Tweets at @marcusevanspsyc. He is a Psychoanalyst in private practice and formerly served as Consultant Psychotherapist and Associate Clinical Director of Adult and Adolescent Service at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust. He is the author of Making Room for Madness in Mental Health: The Psychoanalytic Understanding of Psychotic Communication.

The post Why I Resigned from Tavistock: Trans-Identified Children Need Therapy, Not Just ‘Affirmation’ and Drugs appeared first on Quillette.


Thursday, January 16, 2020

Capitalism In America: How A Dismal Decimal Is Robbing Americans Blind

Capitalism In America: How A Dismal Decimal Is Robbing Americans Blind

Authored by Jon Hellevig via The Saker Blog,

There is no hiding anymore, the United States has become an oligarch owned banana republic with nukes, and with a monopoly currency which has allowed it to rig the markets for half a century. But now we are only a couple of hours from curtain – Midnight in America.

With the stock market at all-time highs, virtually no unemployment (or so they say), and brisk GDP growth (supposedly) in the last decade, economic analysts would declare that the US economy is in excellent shape. But, it isn’t. The stock market is a central bank inflated asset bubble, and what GDP growth there has been, is an illusion brought about by the very same financial bubble and by pumping the economy up with record federal borrowings to finance the deficits that America cannot afford. Rigged statistics showing artificially low inflation serve to hold together the Trumped-up American economic narrative. (About the rigged inflation statistics, see this report). And the low unemployment figure is nothing but a chimera based on misleading statistics.

In reality, the US economy is failing – and the country with it. At least two-thirds of the population has seen dramatic declines in living standards and half are back to levels of developing nations – without the development.

The big story covered up by all the happy macroeconomic figures repeated by rote by the US establishment – everybody from the president to cable television pundits and Trump fanboys – is the gradual impoverishment of the American worker. That’s an inconvenient truth increasingly difficult to hide as the American dream has turned into a nightmare for huge swathes of the population. As the figures we present below show, the rich are really getting richer, the middle class has been decimated, and half of Americans are poor and destitute of any financial wealth. The super-rich are gobbling up an ever-increasing slice of the American pie at the cost of all the rest who get nothing but table scraps on one side and leftover crumbs on the other, if anything. The resulting stratification of society has brought back a medieval servant economy, where the have-nots are doing odd jobs, cleaning houses, fetching groceries, running errands and deliveries for the feudal rich and the remaining shrinking middle class.

Thanks to the Fed (the American oligarch owned central bank) pushing easy money into the hands of the privileged elite, the super-rich Dismal Decimal – the top 0.1% – have by now amassed as much wealth as they had just before the Great Depression that started with the stock market crash in 1929. A lesson not learned. Back to square one. How will it end this time?

This article is based on an Awara Accounting study titled Widening Income and Wealth Gap and Stagnating Wages in America.”  Links and source references to all the facts presented here can be found in said study.

BTW all the data in this report is derived from official US government sources and American experts analyzing them.

During the last decades, the financial rewards from the rigged markets first flew exclusively into the pockets of Top 10%, but later it was increasingly Top 1%, which pocketed most, perfectly illustrated by below charts.

1. The income of Top 1% has grown five times as fast as that of Bottom 90% income since 1970, who now earn double the amount of income than 160 million poor of the lower 50% stratum.

The fortunes of Top 1% and Bottom 50% are now reversed.

2. Top 1% now holds as much wealth as Bottom 50% combined.

Income inequality obviously leads to wealth inequality, but here the figures are yet more striking in showing the magnitudes of the grab at the top. Since 1989, Top 1% captured $21 trillion in wealth, while Bottom 50% lost $900 billion, actually pushing them down to negative wealth, meaning they have more debt than they have assets. On a net analysis, half of Americans own nothing of real value.

3. Until the creeping coup under Reagan, income equality was improving

It was bad enough in 1995 when Top 1% earned as much as Bottom 50%, but today the richest 1% already take 20% of all income leaving the bottom half with only 12%. As the chart shows, back in 1978 – before the neoliberal creeping coup really got going – the trends were reversed. Below chart compares income growth since 1920 of Top 1% to Bottom 90% (that is, all the rest except Top 10%). We see that right after Ronald Reagan entered the presidency with his Chicago School snake oil influenced backers, the income growth of the 1% started its dizzying growth, which is continuing to this date.

4. Back in 1962, the share of Top 1% of America’s wealth at 33% was equal to that of Bottom 90%, but in the early 1980s the share of Bottom 90% started a steep descent and by 2016 their share had dwindled down to 21%. Especially after the Federal Reserve shifted its market rigging low-interest-rate money-pumping policy into high gear from the beginning of 2000s, the superrich have experienced a massive rise in their fortunes, as illustrated by below chart.

But by today Top 1% are losers compared with Top 0.1% – the Dismal Decimal – who are where the music plays.

5. Top 0.1% now holds as much wealth as Bottom 90% combined.

A recent study revealed that the concentration on the top is yet much more pernicious. It’s not any more a question of Top 10%, and not even Top 1%, as it is the Top 0.1% – the Dismal Decimal – that has now concentrated the wealth of the nation (and half the world) in their greedy hands. Top 0.1% now holds as much wealth as Bottom 90% combined. As the below chart shows, we are essentially back to the Roaring Twenties…a lesson not learned. Actually, in the aftermath of the Great Depression, America entered an unprecedented era of four decades of prosperity with a more equal distribution of wealth as Bottom 90% recovered strongly in distribution of wealth at the expense of Top 0.1% parasites.

6. Top 0.1% earnings grew 347% between 1979 and 2017, while Top 1% “only” gained 157% – the rest gained nothing

7. The next chart takes a longer perspective – while widening the sample to Top 10% – and shows their share of the total income since 1910 to 2010. The Roaring Twenties – the period before the 1929 stock market crash and the ensuing Great Depression – experienced the same level of glaring inequality as today’s America. With Franklin D. Roosevelt’s reforms the egregious average income inequality was tamed and stayed relatively low until Reagan’s fatal presidency. And it’s been downhill ever since – or uphill, if we look at it from the perspective of the rich.

8. The only economic figure that has managed to look good is the GDP, but that is so only until you bother to find out where it comes from – from the Federal Reserved fueled asset bubble and massive federal budget deficits financed by record national debts. For an excellent exposé of how rigged and debt-ridden the US economy is, I refer to my earlier report published on the Saker blog: The Oligarch Takeover of US Pharma and Healthcare – And the Resulting Human Crisis. Shortly: The US economy must be seen as a giant Ponzi scheme, which will implode sooner or later. And we are getting to that sooner part now.

Trump habitually and regularly brags about the stock market reaching another all-time high. But that’s really being out of touch with the electorate. Stock market gains exclusively flow to the rich increasing inequality and the cost of living for the rest. Thing is that, beyond the richest 10% very few Americans have a stake in the stock market. In 2016, the richest one percent held more than half of all outstanding stock, financial securities, and all other sorts of equity. The remainder of those asset categories were held by the rest of Top 10%, who owned over 93% of all stock and mutual fund ownership. What wealth the remaining 90% may own is largely residential housing, the homes where they live. According to Jonathan Tepper, the wealthiest 1% own nearly 50% of stock and the top 10% more than 81%. The so-called middle class owns only 8% of all stock.

This also kills the myth that record highs on the stock market would be good for American retirement savings – with the richest few holding all the shares there’s nothing in it for the overwhelming majority.

A recent report also showed that only 10% of Americans are invested in pension plans. That is down from 60% in 1980. And those who are, are traditionally more weighted towards bonds and money-market instruments, which suffer from the rigged markets with the artificially low interest rates. The pension savers are hence literally paying for the super gains flowing into the pockets of Top 1%. On the other hand the super low interest rates are out of grasp for the all but Top 1% who gobble up the wealth of the nation with that largesse delivered to them by their Federal Reserve. At the same time the common household is paying double-digit rates on their credit card debt traps.

9. Below Top 10% wages and total household income have been stagnant, at best.

10. Average income of the bottom 50% has stagnated at around $16,000 since 1980, while the income of the top 1% has skyrocketed by 300% to approximately $1,340,000 in 2014

11. 45% of Americans earn annually only 18,000 or less. A recent study found that 53 million Americans or 44% of the working age population earn a median average annual salary of only $18,000. Basically then, at least half of the Americans are working-poor.

12. Middle-class households had in 2015 basically the same income as they had in 1979

13. In the two decades from 1997 to 2017, only Top 5% of households saw their income increase

14. For most American workers, real wages have barely budged in decades. By end of 2018, the real inflation-adjusted average wage had about the same purchasing power it did 40 years ago.

15. As the below chart illustrates, the real average hourly wage which was $20.27 in 1964 had only inched up to $22.27. David Stockman calculated that the real hourly worker’s wage was in 2019 still at 1972 levels.

16. For full-time employed men real wages have fallen 4.4% since 1973, according to economist Paul Craig Roberts.
The total average income of men at $51,212 in 2015, was lower in real terms than it had been in 1974.

17. As of 2014, the average hours worked per week had fallen from around 39 hours in 1970s to under 34 hours. Economist Mike Shedlock calculated that the actual hours worked and the average hourly earnings would deliver a weekly income of $690, well below its $825 peak back in the early 1970s. If we multiply the hypothetical weekly earnings by 50, we get an annual figure of $35,497. That would in 2014 have translated to a 16.4% decline from its peak in October 1972.

18. All labor productivity growth since the 1970s have gone to the robber capitalists. From 1973 to 2013, hourly compensation of a typical (production/nonsupervisory) worker rose just 9% percent while productivity increased 74%.

19. Nowhere is income inequality and the egregious worsening trend as manifest as in the case of CEO pay. In the 1970s, CEOs made 30 times what typical workers made, but by 2017 the CEOs made 361 times the workers’ pay. According to the Economic Policy Institute CEO compensation has grown 940% since 1978, while typical worker compensation has risen only 12% during that time.

The Fed fueled financial market orgy is the main cause for the windfall riches of CEOs as stock options and the accompanying share buybacks make up a huge part of CEO pay packages. This rising pay of executives was the main factor in Top 0.1%’s super grab of household income

20. A 2017 study found that 40% of US adults struggle to pay for basic necessities like food, healthcare, housing, and utilities.

21. Most Americans have depleted all their spare resources as a staggering 78% of full-time workers are reported to live from paycheck to paycheck.

22. Nearly 70% of Americans have virtually no savings. Bottom 55% have zero savings, while the following 24% – the core of the former middle class – have only $1,000 stashed away.

23. Correspondingly Bottom 70% of Americans don’t own any real wealth (beyond rapidly depreciating durables).

24. The other side of the (non-existent) coin is that the same 50% of Americans would obviously struggle to come up with $400 for an unexpected expense. By extension, the former middle class – those with the miserly savings of $1,000 – would also have real troubles in coping with any kind of bill for medical treatment without dipping into more debt. Considering the above reported findings (see the chart) only the Top 10% would be financially secure in a medical emergency.

25. According to shocking findings by the American Cancer Society, 137.1 million US residents suffered medical financial hardship in 2018. Americans had to resort to borrow a total of $88 billion in 2018 only to cover for essential medical treatment.

26. A third of young adults, or 24 million of those aged 18 to 34, lived with in their parents’ home because they cannot afford a home of their own.

27. The income and wealth gap pictures get worse yet when we look at the age distribution of wealth. Younger generations are earning less and own next to nothing (that is, if you are not the golden youth of the 10%). Baby Boomers born between the end of the Second World War and 1964 currently hold wealth that is 11 times higher than that of millennials.

Median Income for Younger and Older Families in Inflation-Adjusted Dollars

28. The number of full-time jobs with life-sustaining wages – what economist David Stockman calls breadwinner jobs – have not been growing since 2000, by 2014 their number was still 3.5 million or 5% lower than it was at the peak in early 2001. In the same period 4 million part-time and gig jobs were created.

While the official unemployment figure is presently near historical lows – and at levels what some economists would like to call full employment – there are some big problems with it.

1. Problems with the official unemployment statistics. The officially touted unemployment figure (so-called U3 unemployment) record only those who have been looking for a job during the last 4 weeks, while discouraged long-term unemployed are cleansed from the statistics and left unrecorded as if they would not be in the workforce at all – makes stats look beautiful for the powers that shouldn’t be.

2. The labor participation rate has been falling.

3. New job creation has amounted to only a third of the annual increase in working age population.

4. Part-time and gig jobs count as full-time employment. Any person who takes a part-time or gig job for just a few hours a month is recorded among the employed, although they would rightly be considered unemployed merely clutching at straws.

5. Connected with the previous point, there is also a more general problem with the quality of jobs created. Most jobs created in the last two decades are low-paid low-skill jobs that do not provide a life-sustaining income considering the cost of living in the United States.

More than one third (36%) of U.S. workers are in the gig economy, doing part-time work or side hustles for companies like Uber, Lyft, Etsy, Amazon Mechanical Turk,, Ebay or just any odd job they can get from time to time.

29. To make up for the shrinking earnings, the regime is pushing the American population into 21st century debt peonage. Ensnared in the debt trap, US households had nearly $14 trillion in outstanding debt at the end of the third quarter 2019. That debt load now equals 73% of GDP. By end of 2019, consumption debt alone (not including asset acquiring mortgages) was up by $2 trillion since 2014.

Since 2004, the weight of the student loan millstone has gone up fivefold from only $250 billion to today’s $1.5 trillion.

That’s due to the huge price inflation in higher education. The cost of both public and private college escalated by 40% over the general consumer price inflation between 2005 and 2015.

30. Because of the huge rise in the last few decades in cost of living in the US, in Russia, you get the same standard of living for a fraction of the American cost. A Moscow average monthly salary equal to $1,600 (annual $19,200) gives the same purchasing power as a monthly salary of $6,000 in Chicago (annual $72,000). Meaning, you live in Moscow (at least as well for a monthly paycheck of $1,600 as you live in Chicago for a paycheck of $6,000. For details, see this report

31. The present oligarch controlled rigged crony capitalist system has killed the American dream, the belief that anyone, regardless of parents’ social status and incomes can attain success and wealth by hard work and ingenuity. The gates for upward mobility have been shut for the overwhelming majority. The monopolization of practically all sectors of the economy, the ever increasing bureaucratic restrictions on doing business, the extreme concentration of ownership, and the rigged financial markets have made it increasingly hard for people outside the top echelon of penetrating the financial membrane protecting the elites. A 2017 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland found that the probability that a household outside the top 10% made it into the highest tier within 10 years was twice as high during 1984-1994 as it was during 2003-2013.

The United States is an oligarchy

This concentration of the income and wealth on the top, proves that the United States is an oligarchy. A 2014, study by Princeton University  demonstrated how the US is a political oligarchy. With this report showing the insanely widening income and wealth inequality, my aim is to show, that the country is an economic oligarchy, too. In fact, economic super riches are the precondition for their political power, too. In America, as always, the oligarchy has achieved their uncontested power in a hermeneutical feedback loop, where the initial wealth of the superrich has bought them increased political power, which has given them increased riches, which has bought them more political power, and so on, until today, when they own practically the whole economy and the entire government. Clearly the source of higher inequality has been Fed policies, which has pushed cheap money into the pockets of the already rich, who have exclusively then benefited from soaring stock and real estate prices.

Fittingly, we got end of 2019 a report revealing that the world’s richest people increased their wealth in the year by $1.2 trillion, a staggering 25%, most of which belong to the oligarchs of the United States.

The question – which I have set to explore in my series of Capitalism in America – is whether there has been a game plan, a long-term strategy or whether intermittent achievements have just spurred the oligarchs on to new economic and political power grabs in the course of establishing their totalitarian rule. I tend to think, there has been a long-term plan ever since the establishment of the Federal Reserve. The economic and political history of the United States provide so much circumstantial evidence, which supports the view that there has been a conspiracy of the Wall Street elite. I shall return to this hypothesis in further installments to this series of Capitalism in America. It is however clear – whether through a long-term plan or by a series of ad hoc interventions – the US financial elite has by now completed a creeping coup, which have delivered them absolute economic and political power.

*  *  *

In my investigation of the oligarchization of America – the creeping neoliberal oligarch coop, which set in full force since Reagan – I have so far completed these instalments:

  • The first installment was a study showing how all corporate ownership has been concentrated in the hands of the oligarchy, titled Extreme concentration of ownership in the United States 

  • The second part was a study revealing how the oligarchy has totally taken over US media, titled The Oligarch Takeover of US Media 

  • The third installment was a report published on the Saker blog titled New World Order in Meltdown, But Russia Stronger Than Ever 

  • The fourth installment, The Oligarch Takeover of US Pharma and Healthcare  was also on the Saker blog.

  • Next due is a report showing how from point of view of political science the oligarchy has destroyed the social fabric of the US economy and deliberately enacted laws that favor the few over the people. Of particular interest here is how the oligarchy has rigged the political system by institutionally solidifying the mendacious Janus- faced two-party system in order to remove any potential challenge to their rule.

Tyler Durden Thu, 01/16/2020 - 21:25


All the Single Ladies


“Oh, he’s kind of cute.” My friend at Yale, swiping through Tinder, leaned over and showed me his profile.
“Wait, no.” She moved her finger leftward.
“Why not? He seems alright,” I reply.
He goes to a local, less highly-regarded university, she explained. In other words, not Yale.

Swipe Right for a Master’s Degree

The dating market for women is getting tougher. In part, this is because fewer men are attending universities. Why would male enrollment in higher education matter for women? Because women, on average, prefer educated men. One source of evidence comes from women’s personal responses to dating profiles posted by men. Researchers analyzed 120 personal dating ads posted by men on the West Coast and Midwest. They found that two of the strongest variables that predicted how many responses a man received from women were years of education and income. Similar results have been found in Poland. Researchers analyzed how many women responded to dating ads posted by 551 men. They found that men with higher levels of education and higher income received more responses. A more recent study in Australia of more than 40,000 online daters found that women were more likely to initiate contact with a man if he had more education than themselves.

Still, young people today are more likely to use Tinder or other dating apps than Internet dating websites. Are things different on the apps? A study led by economics researcher Brecht Neyt of Ghent University found that, on Tinder, women were 91 percent more likely to “like” a man with a master’s degree compared with a bachelor’s degree. The researchers used the same male profiles, the only difference was level of education. They also tested how men would react to women with different levels of education, finding that men were only 8 percent more likely to “like” a woman with a master’s degree compared with a bachelor’s degree. Both men and women preferred more educated partners, but women had a much stronger preference.

In other words, all other things equal, a man with a master’s degree is about twice as likely to get a match than a man with a bachelor’s degree. Perhaps something to keep in mind, if you are interested in obtaining a graduate degree and are active on Tinder.

Some women do marry men with less education, though. These women tend to marry men who earn more than them. A study by Yue Qian, a sociologist at the University of British Columbia, found that in marriages where women had more education than their spouses, they were 93 percent more likely to be married to men with higher incomes than themselves. In other words, if you are a less educated man, it is helpful to earn more than your educated male peers if you want to marry an educated woman. Better-educated women have a stronger preference for partners who earn more, especially if their partners are less educated than themselves.

This finding fits the overall pattern revealing that women who are more educated and professionally successful have an even stronger preference for successful male partners, relative to less successful women. The evolutionary psychologist David Buss, discussing his research on how professionally successful women select partners, found that “Successful women turned out to place an even greater value than less professionally successful women on mates who have professional degrees, high social status, and greater intelligence and who are tall, independent, and self-confident.” The more professionally successful a woman is, the stronger her preference for successful men.

Getting Ratioed

Sex ratios matter for dating strategies for both men and women. Even seemingly small differences in sex ratios can be misleading. For example, in The Evolution of Desire, David Buss discusses the student body of the University of Texas at Austin where he teaches. In 2016, the student body consisted of 46 percent men and 54 percent women. That doesn’t seem like a big difference, but it is. It translates to 17 percent more women than men on campus. The UT Austin campus has about 52,000 students in total. This means that if every student pairs up with someone of the opposite sex, about 4,000 women will be without a partner.

More to the point, the age range for the Tinder study cited above was 23 to 27. This is the age range in which women are far more educated than men, and where more women tend to be looking for male partners. In his book Date-onomics, Jon Birger revealed that according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, there are 5.5 million college-educated women between the ages of 22 and 29, versus only 4.1 million college-educated men in the same age bracket. In other words, the dating pool for college graduates has 33 percent more women than men—or 4 women for every 3 men. Broken down by degree type across all ages in the U.S., for every 100 men with bachelor’s degrees, there are 130 women. For those with master’s degrees, for every 100 men there are 134 women. The situation for educated women seeking educated male partners isn’t looking so good. Furthermore, more men identify as exclusively homosexual relative to women. Which suggests the dating pool for heterosexual women may be even smaller than the above numbers suggest.

But how do such imbalances manifest themselves with regard to mating strategies? When there is a surplus of men, men are more likely to adapt to women’s preferences. When there is a larger male-to-female ratio, men are more likely to compete with each other to be what women want. And, on average, women tend to prefer longer-term relationships. In general, women report a greater desire for emotional investment than men. This is true across cultures. In fact, the sex disparity in this preference for emotional investment is greater in more egalitarian cultures. In other words, the difference in the desire for love and emotional investment between men and women is larger in societies that more strongly underscore egalitarianism and sociopolitical equality. In contrast, men, on average, are more likely to prefer more casual sexual relationships. Indeed, the sex difference in the male preference for casual sex and sexual variety is greater in more gender-egalitarian societies. For example, research led by the psychologist David Schmitt found that the sex difference for enjoyment of casual sex in Denmark, Norway, and Finland is higher than in less gender-egalitarian cultures such as Ethiopia, Colombia, and Swaziland.

And we see this on campuses with more male students relative to female students. Jon Birger, in Date-onomics, describes the dating scene on campuses with imbalanced sex ratios. On colleges with more men than women, such as Caltech, steady relationships are more widespread. Students go on dates, and men demonstrate commitment in partnerships. Men are more willing to do what women want in order to be with them. On the other hand, when there is a surplus of women relative to men, women are more likely to adapt to men’s preferences. They compete with one another to be what men want. And this is what we see on campuses with more female students relative to male students. On colleges with more women than men, such as Sarah Lawrence, casual sex is more widespread. Hookup culture is more prevalent, and men are less interested in entering committed relationships. Women are more willing to do what men want in order to be with them.

Birger describes an interview with a female student at Sarah Lawrence:

Most straight men at Sarah Lawrence had no interest in a committed relationship. “Why would they?” she said. “It’s like they have their own free harem. One of my friends was dumped by a guy after they’d been hooking up for less than a week. When he broke up with her, the guy actually used the word ‘market’—like the ‘market’ for him was just too good.”

If you have ever been around young men at elite colleges, many of them do speak in this way, especially if there are less prestigious colleges nearby. This is because male students at top colleges can attract women at their own college, as well as other local campuses. On the other hand, women at top colleges are often only interested in dating men at their own college. For these women, the dating pool is less promising compared to their male counterparts.

Interestingly, women at colleges where women are more numerous trust men less. In a study on campus sex ratios and sexual behavior, researchers analyzed data from 1,000 undergraduate women from different U.S. colleges. Women’s responses varied based on sex ratios on campus. For example, women at colleges with more women were more likely to agree that “men don’t want a committed relationship” and that they “don’t expect much” from the men with whom they go out. They also found that women on campuses with a higher female-to-male ratio were much less likely to report that they had never had sex.

The researchers report that, “women who attend college on campuses where they are more numerous tend to view men as less interested in commitment and less trustworthy. They are less likely to expect much from men, find it more difficult to locate the right kind of men, and are more likely to report that their relationships don’t work out and that a woman can’t have a boyfriend if she won’t have sex.” In other words, when men are in an environment where there are more women, they appear to put in less effort, and have less interest in relationships.

In contrast, in environments where men are more numerous, relationships are more likely to proliferate. The Harvard psychologist Marcia Guttentag and her colleague Paul Secord examined Census numbers, data on sex ratios, and historical texts dating back to ancient Greece and medieval Europe. She found that in societies where men were more numerous relative to women, the culture was more likely to stress courtship and romance. Men had to compete for wives and were thus more willing to make commitments to women. While women in such societies were more likely to be cast in stereotypical gender roles, they also, Guttentag reports, exercised greater control in their choice of romantic partner. She found that the opposite was the case in societies with more women than men. She writes, “The outstanding characteristic of times when women were in oversupply would be that men would not remain committed to the same woman throughout her childbearing years.” Intriguingly, Guttentag posits that feminist movements are energized when there is a dearth of men in the local environment:

With a surplus of women, sexual freedoms are more advantageous to men than to women. Decreased willingness to commit oneself to an exclusive relationship with one woman is consistent with that fact… It follows further that the persistence of such circumstances would leave many women hurt and angry. Other women, not themselves without a man, would nevertheless often be aware of the unfortunate experiences of their women friends in relations with men. These circumstances should impel women to seek more power, and incidentally, turn them towards meeting their own needs. Most forms of feminism are directed to just such ends.

In short, environments with more women give rise to conditions that propel women to reduce their social, economic and political dependence on men. In part because men are less interested in commitment when they are outnumbered by women and therefore have more options.

Still, much of this is assuming that men in educated dating pools prefer educated women. And for long-term relationships, they do. Compared with women, though, men tend to be more open to pairing up with less educated partners. And less educated women tend to be open to dating men more educated than themselves. What this means, then, is that educated women are not only competing against other educated women for educated male partners, but also against less educated women. To use Guttentag’s phrasing, the dating environment for educated men has an oversupply of women, and they are acting in line with Guttentag’s original findings. As Birger puts it in Date-onomics, describing why educated men are often reluctant to settle down, “Why make a lifetime commitment to one woman when you can keep her as an option while continuing to survey the market—a market that, for college-educated men, has an ever-increasing number of options?” This point has also been stressed by David Buss. In an essay titled The Mating Crisis Among Educated Women, Buss observes that it is no coincidence that the rise of hookup culture on college campuses has developed alongside the growing proportion of female students. Even Tinder, he suggests, is a part of the same phenomenon. Fewer men means more hookups.

Why Don’t You Get a Job?

Other factors don’t bode well for long-term relationships. According to the Pew Research Center, nearly 80 percent of never-married women, compared with less than half of never-married men, report that having a partner with a steady job is “very important” to them. Employed men are more attractive to women. And given that successful women tend to value success in prospective partners even more than less successful women, it stands to reason that employed women place an even greater value on employment when selecting a partner. However, Pew has also found that among never-married adults, for every 100 women, there are only 84 employed men. If all employed men were suddenly taken, every sixth woman would be partner-less.

Why does any of this matter? Maybe relationships aren’t that important, and people derive happiness from other things, like career success. But consider recent research led by Nathan Kettlewell at the Economics Discipline Group at the University of Technology Sydney. Kettlewell and his colleagues found that when it comes to cognitive and emotional well-being, job-related events such as getting a promotion or being fired doesn’t actually have much impact beyond about 3 months. What does impact well-being? Negative factors on well-being were the death of a partner or child, separation or divorce, and major financial loss (e.g., bankruptcy). Positive factors were getting married, having children, and a major financial gain (e.g., inheritance or lottery winnings). Considering that few of us are going to inherit money from a rich uncle or win the Powerball, establishing a relationship with people we love is key to our sense of well-being.

Why are men falling behind when it comes to education? Several suggestions have been offered. One might be video games. In a paper titled “Cutting class to play video games,” the economist Michael Ward looked at a dataset of more than 6,000 high school and college students. He found that when video game sales increase, students spend less time attending class and doing homework and more time playing games. Furthermore, this “crowding out” effect was stronger for males and lower income students. He also found that the average amount of time spent playing video games was three times larger for males compared to females.

The economist Erik Hurst has suggested that leisure time has become so valuable to men that they are less willing to exchange that time for other pursuits. In an interview, Hurst has said, “In our culture, where we are constantly connected to technology, activities like playing Xbox, browsing social media, and Snapchatting with friends raise the attractiveness of leisure time. And so it goes that if leisure time is more enjoyable, and as prices for these technologies continue to drop, people may be less willing to work at any given wage.” This may be why fewer young men, relative to women, are employed or attending university.

Furthermore, Hurst and his colleagues found that from 2000 to 2015, labor hours fell by 12 percent for those aged 21–30. What has filled this free time for men? The researchers found that young men increased the number of hours dedicated to leisure by about the same number of labor hours they lost. And what kind of leisure? An article in The Economist reports, “For each hour less the group spent in work, time spent at leisure activities rose about an hour, and 75% of the increased leisure time was accounted for by gaming.” Video games might be more appealing than other ventures, and many young men have decided to dedicate more of their time to gaming and less to education or work. Interestingly, these young men do not report being unhappy. Hurst goes on to say, “These individuals are living with parents or relatives, and happiness surveys actually indicate that they quite content compared to their peers.” However, the men surveyed are quite young. It is possible and perhaps likely that as these men reach middle-age, their feelings will change.

For now, many young men understand that women want educated and successful partners. Why not work harder to adapt to this preference? In their book, The Demise of Guys, psychologists Philip Zimbardo and Nikita Duncan suggest that the answer is twofold: fake war and fake sex. They argue that many young men have a natural desire for conflict, struggle, and accomplishment. Video games satiate this desire. They are designed to induce a sense of gradual achievement in the face of obstacles adapted to be just above the player’s ability. Alongside this, young men also have a natural desire to seek sexual partnerships. Digital porn satiates this desire. Porn provides a virtual experience of sexual fulfillment with multiple different partners. Many young men may have simply decided to derive a sense of accomplishment from gaming, and a sense of sexual satisfaction from porn.

Sexy selfies and dating pools

In short, there are far more educated women than educated men. Educated women, on average, prefer men who are educated as well. And among couples in which the woman has more education, they tend to prefer men who earn more than themselves. But the reality is that fewer young men are graduating from college compared to women, fewer men are employed, and fewer men are seeking employment. The dating pool is shrinking for women who are interested in successful, educated, men with good career prospects. In such an environment, hookup culture becomes more widespread, which women tend not to like as much as men. The romantic landscape is rosy for educated men, who are more open to dating both educated and less educated women. But for women, the situation doesn’t look as great. Research suggests in such an environment, sexual competition between women intensifies. In fact, a recent study found that the proliferation of “sexy selfies” may be due in part to economic inequality, as women compete to earn the attention of a shrinking pool of economically successful men.

The good news, though, is that among couples in which both individuals are educated, they tend to be happier. Their divorce rates are lower and their satisfaction with their marriages are higher. But as the incentives continue to shift, and imbalanced ratios continue to influence the dating pool for the educated, we may see fewer such couplings.


Rob Henderson is a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge and a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. You can follow him @robkhenderson

Vincent Harinam is a law enforcement consultant, research associate at the Independence Institute, and PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge. You can follow him @vincentharinam

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