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This is a man's world? Yes and no, says new book
Date:12/13/2010

This press release is available in French.

Montreal, December 13, 2010 "Man up!" is an emerging expression whose significance has become loaded in our society, according to Anthony Synnott, a professor at the Concordia University Department of Sociology and Anthropology. In his most recent book, Re-Thinking Men: Heroes, Villains and Victims (Ashgate), Synnott documents the increasingly confusing roles men are to assume in society.

Synnott spent a decade researching the book, where he chronicles how males are no longer the principal bread-winners in their homes or leaders across all spectrums of the workforce. So when, exactly, did traditional male roles change? "The invention of the birth control pill had the biggest impact on the definition of men," says Synnott. "Until then, men had been the main providers of their families and in World Wars I and II the main protectors of their countries. Men had also been rulers in terms of politics and economics despite the universal suffrage in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K."

The author says the birth control pill, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, facilitated a number of social changes: a plummeting birth rate; an increase of women in the labour force; a shift in the balance of economic power as women earned their own money; a rise in the divorce rate; the women's movement from 1968; the increased politicization of women; the increased enrolment of women in universities (with parity in 1985 at the bachelors level).

"The resulting implications changed occupational distribution among genders and income distribution," says Synnott.

Growing anti-male bias

The book also examines a pervasive anti-male bias that's grown over the last few decades. Since the 1970s, Synnott says it has become acceptable in Western society to express hatred for men, e.g. misandry or the
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Contact: Sylvain-Jacques Desjardins
s-j.desjardins@concordia.ca
514-848-2424, x5068
Concordia University
Source:Eurekalert

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