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  • Writer's pictureKrista Bontrager

Why We Need Strong Men with Nancy Pearcey

We talked to Aunty Nancy about her forthcoming book, Toxic Masculinity. She brought the receipts concerning the importance of men if a civilization is to long endure. And helped us understand why men are struggling.


Discussion with Nancy Pearcey

Nancy Pearcey is a seasoned Christian and an expert in issues of philosophy. She is a pioneer and the "Godmother" of women apologists. Ms. Pearcey is currently a professor of apologetics and scholar in residence at Houston Christian University, a fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, and editor at large of The Pearcey Report.

We had a VERY helpful and informative discussion with Nancy. In other words, be sure to watch or listen to the entire interview! Here are the highlights of our discussion:

What made you write this book on "toxic masculinity"?

The attacks against men in our culture are rampant, especially against white, Evangelical Christian men. This phenomenon pompted Nancy to start digging into the research.

Surprisingly, the empirical research data, largely from prominent Sociologist, Dr. Brad Wilcox, shows that Evangelical Protestant men who attend church regularly, test out as being the most loving to their wives, they spend the most time with their wives, they are more involved with their children (activities, sports, discipline), they have the lowest rates of divorce, and they have the lowest rates of domestic violence. What?! Nobody expected this! People need to know about this, especially Christian men. This was the trigger for writing the book!

But I thought the divorce rate was basically the same between Christians and non-Christians?

No! On the surface, it may appear this way, but the data is skewed when "nominal" Christian men are lumped together with genuinely committed Christian men who attend church regularly. The differences between these two groups is stunning! The "nominal" Christian men are less engaged with their children, their wives report the lowest level of happiness, they have higher divorce rates (even higher than secular men!), and they have the highest rate of domestic violence (even higher than secular men!).

Is there data to support the claim that men are in crisis?

Yes! Articles such as "Why Can't We Hate Men?", a Huffington Post reporter tweeted, "My New Year's resolution is to kill all men", Tshirts that say, "So many men, so little ammunition", books titled "I Hate Men" and "Are Men Necessary?"...these are just a few of the blatant examples of what men are facing in popular media and culture. Men are even degrading their own sex!

Also, boys are falling behind in all levels of education from kindergarten to graduate school...fewer men in college now, about 60% women to 40% men.

What is a Biblical view of masculinity?

At a minimum, it should include provision, protection, being in the job of parenting together as a team, building/cultivating. These are the things we see in Scripture of what men are called to do.

Several years ago, an anthropologist did the first cross-cultural study of concepts of masculinity. It was found that all cultures hold in common certain views of masculinity, which are: provide, protect, and procreate. These 3 P's are universal in terms of what every culture expects of men.

One sociologist found that men are caught between two conflicting scripts:

#1: What does it mean to be a good man?

This includes things like honor, sacrifice, provision, do the right thing, look out for the little guy, responsible, protector, generous

#2: What if I say, "Man up. Be real man." What does that mean?

This is totally different! It means be tough, strong, never show weakness, win at all costs, suck it up, play through pain, be competitive, get rich, get laid.

These are actually the traits we consider to be toxic!

These two perspectives demonstrate the conflict men often find themselves caught between.

What can parents do to raise strong men, especially in the midst of this confusing culture?

First, fathers need to develop close relationships with their sons. Let's try to recover some of what was lost when society moved into the Industrial Age. We won't have a better class of men until we have a better class of fathers.

What can churches/pastors/youth pastors do, especially for kids who do not have a father at home?

Fatherless kids should be a primary ministry of every church! If you want to overcome toxic masculinity, you've got to raise the next generation with warm, loving, and morally directive relationships with men/father figures.

The team recommends these resources:

Monique read an advanced copy and is an endorser of the book!

Nancy's previous book, "Love Thy Body" is an absolute MUST-READ! Pick up a copy today!

Connect with the Guest

Houston Christian University:

Twitter: @NancyRPearcey

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