Overwhelming Victory for the Motion “Men Are Finished” at Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates

For the Resolution Dan Abrams, ABC News Legal Analyst, author of Man Down, and Hanna Rosin, award-winning journalist for Slate and The Atlantic, Win Debate Over Christina Hoff Sommers, feminist scholar and author, and David Zinczenko, EVP/Editor-in-Chief of Men’s Health Magazine

Debate to be broadcast on NPR stations nationwide and to be telecast on WNET/Thirteen on 10/1

NEW YORK – September 21, 2011 – Last night at NYU’s Skirball Center audience members gave an overwhelming victory to the team defending the proposition “Men Are Finished.” According to the final votes, Dan Abrams and Hanna Rosin convinced 46% of the audience to change their minds over the course of the evening, winning the Oxford style debate by a landslide (See full numbers below). Their argument: as a result of a changing economy and shifting cultural values, men, who were once seen as the dominant sex, are now in a deep slide to number two status.

The resolution was opposed by Christina Hoff Sommers and David Zinczenko, who argued that men still hold more political and economic power, and that, although women have caught up or surpassed men in some regards, this does not mean that men as a whole, are finished. 

This latest intellectual matchup was IQ2US’s 52nd debate and was presented in partnership with Slate.

ABC News Nightline’s John Donvan is the moderator, and the executive producer is Dana Wolfe.

Key Excerpts for the Motion:


“Most economists agree that what you need to get ahead these days is pretty simple.  It's just a college degree.  But women, for some reason, are much better at getting college degrees than men.  For every two men who get a college degree, three women will do the same.”

“So why are women getting more college degrees?  It's not that women are smarter because they're not smarter.  Men and women test about the same on standardized tests for both math and English.  But women have something.  Some sociologists call it grit, some call it engagement, some call it focus, some call it social intelligence.  It's some special formula that's required for success these days, which women just seem to have in greater abundance than men.  And this is a very new thing.”


“New studies show that women are more committed to protecting the planet.  They recycle more.  They're more likely to be green.  They eat less meat.  They take shorter trips.  In part because they give and follow better directions than men.  They take public transportation more.  They are also better and safer bus drivers.  They save gas by speeding less.  They make more eco purchases.  Heck, God has decided that men are finished.  Between 1995 and 2008, 82 percent of lightning strikes were on men.”

Key Excerpts Against the Motion:


“After almost 40 years of gender neutral pronouns, men are still more likely than women to run for political office, start businesses, file patents, write editorials, tell jokes.  They conduct the orchestras.  They direct the great movies.  They blow up things.”


“Women are beginning to catch up to men.  But the pace of that progress is inexorably slow.  According to the United Nations women perform two-thirds of the world's work, but only earn a fraction of the world's income.  Men own 99 percent of the world's property and rule 92 percent of its sovereign nations.  Now, I didn't get through all of Freakonomics admittedly but these do not seem like winning statistics for that side.”

Before the debate, the IQ2US audience voted with the following: 

20% of audience agreeing with the resolution

54% of audience against the resolution

26% undecided

After careful consideration of the points by the audience, Dan Abrams and Hanna Rosin won the debate: the team that moves the most votes at the end of the evening is determined the winner.

66% of audience agreeing with the resolution (+46%)

29% of audience against the resolution (-25%)

5% undecided (-21%)

To learn more about the debate and review a detailed breakdown of how the audience voted pre- and postdebate, please visit The Intelligence Squared Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/Think2Twice


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• NPR will air the debate on stations nationwide and the podcast will be available to download. Please check with your local NPR stations for additional details or visit: http://www.npr.org/series/6263392/intelligence-squared-u-s

• WNET/Thirteen will air this debate Saturday October 1 at 4PM


Rethink your point of view with Intelligence Squared U.S. (IQ2US), Oxford-style debates live from New York City.

Based on the highly successful debate program based in London, the Intelligence Squared Foundation has presented over 50 debates on a wide range of provocative and timely topics. From global warming and the financial crisis, to Afghanistan/Pakistan and the death of mainstream media, Intelligence Squared brings together the world’s leading authorities on the day’s most important issues.

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