The docile ones:
It’s good news on the face of it.  There is a report (Oh! You Pretty Things ECONOMIST vol. 412 no. 8895 July 12, 2014 page 22) That young people in the developed world are getting into trouble less.

The description starts in Berlin where instead of partying and doing drugs the young people study, work and try to improve their careers.  The number of Berlin teenagers who have never drunk has risen from 13% to 30% over the past twelve years.  Those a few years older drink less.  Drug use has dropped and deaths from drug abuse have fallen by half since the millennium.

In Britain violence is down along with falling drug use and the young are getting more polite.  Yes, less teenage sex, and pregnancy, too.  And the general trend is widespread.

Some speculative explanations are offered.  Of course being a one trick pony I try to see how it lines up with increasing diversity (or multiversity as I’m trying to get myself to say).   If you remember, mice during mouse “plagues” change their behavior.  Instead of being territorial and guarding nest and mates, the males become quite indifferent to intruders.  The same behavioral pattern is described by Calhoun in his experiment on overcrowding in mice.  The mouse population stopped reproducing and never reached what he estimated was the limit of their resources.  Some of the males established nests and interestingly the arrangements of the nests correlated with the dominance of the males.  There was a high status corner and a low status corner.  Most of the other males congregated in the middle and occupied themselves with pointless fighting.  But some of the males withdrew and spent all their time preening.

These reclusive groomers Calhoun called “the beautiful ones.”  He said they were very bad at social relations. 

I think one might use the word “docile” in both cases.  So yes, it might be the same thing happening in the rich world. The boys just aren’t being boys.  To a degree that is fine.  Much of the grievous activity in the world is caused by male aggressiveness.  It will be very interesting to see whether the current wave of what appears to be good sense is a passing phase or whether it increases as fertility continues to be unsustainably low and even, if the weight of evidence is to be believed, crashes.

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