Is There Anything Good About Men?
Thursday, August 3, 2017 at 9:00AM
Dads on the Air in 2017, Celebrating Men, Discrimination, Gender & Masculinities, International Perspectives, Political Correctness

With special guest:

Something we have always wanted to know but never been game to ask.

This book’s title Is There Anything Good About Men? How Cultures Flourish by Exploiting Men leads on to a whole range of surprises. We often accept without questioning that women are better networkers than men and that women are better at multi-tasking but is this supported in the research? At a practical level will women succeed in the current push for much more representation on the Boards of major companies?

Professor Roy Baumeister has examined human behaviour as our culture developed. This culture brings humans enormous advantages not available to other primates. You just have to think of us being able to shop at supermarkets, sleep in a warm bed every night and being able to find out on our computers everything ever learned in human history.

But these advantages come at a cost and the demands of our culture cannot be ignored. This was shown in the recent financial crisis that no-one wanted and at a bigger level with the World Wars. Undoubtedly culture exploits women but there is a particular cost for men who, as Roy shows in his work, are regarded as expendable in our culture. This is demonstrated in the proportion of work related deaths of males compared to females when the number of male and female workers is close to equal. It is demonstrated in the number of military deaths over the centuries and in particular cases such as examining who died and who lived when the Titanic sank. In the case of the Titanic the poorest women had a better chance of survival than the richest men.

Roy is not interested in providing material for gender warriors. At a personal level he tells us that he prefers the company of women to that of men and it makes no sense to miss out on the potential contributions of women to our culture. This does not mean that we need to accept the previous generalisations that men were superior to women, or that men and women are all the same or the current promotion of women being superior due to the WAW (women are wonderful) effect.

The real situation is that men and women are equal and different. Professor Baumeister hopes that in the future, laws and policies will not provide preference for women as they do currently and we will reach the stage where men and women value each other for the different contributions they make.

Prof Roy F. Baumeister

Roy F. Baumeister is one of the world’s most prolific and influential psychologists. He has published well over 500 scientific articles and more than 30 books. In 2013, he received the highest award given by the Association for Psychological Science, the William James Fellow award, in recognition of his lifetime achievements. He has held the positions of Eppes Eminent Scholar and Professor of Psychology at Florida State University as well as visiting professorships at King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia and VU University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. He is currently Professor Social Psychology at The University of Queensland.

Although Roy made his name with laboratory research, his recognition extends beyond the narrow confines of academia. His 2011 book Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength(with John Tierney) was a bestseller. He has appeared on television shows such as Dateline NBC and ABC’s 20/20, as well as on PBS, National Public Radio and countless local news shows. His work has been covered or quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, The Economist, Newsweek, TIME, Psychology Today, Self, Men’s Health, Businessweek and many other outlets.

Song selection by our guest: U-Dwi by Hugh Masakela

Note: This program is an encore presentation of the one aired on 3 March 2016.

Article originally appeared on Dads on the Air (
See website for complete article licensing information.