JS 50: Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus with John Gray NY Times Best-Selling AuthorMay 3rd, 2013 by Jason | Comments Off on JS 50: Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus with John Gray NY Times Best-Selling Author
Relationship expert and best-selling author, Dr. John Gray, joins Jason Hartman to talk about research studies and Dr. Gray’s new work, “Boys to Men.” Dr. Gray talks about how his observations have been backed up by and further explained by brain studies, showing obvious differences between men and women in brain function and hormones that affect health and behavior. He offers a deeper explanation of these differences based on scientific research showing how activities particular to each gender, diet, and an increased existence of xenoestrogens in our environment play a significant role in hormonal balance and imbalance.
Dr. Gray discusses the proper use of supplements and the dangers of pharmaceuticals. This leads into his new work regarding healthy male development and his upcoming new book, Boys to Men, a look at how boys have been affected by today’s culture, showing a higher dropout rate than girls, lower comprehension, and higher instances of boredom and depression. The high carbohydrate diet we consume plays a big role in this trend, and he cites inflammation in the brain as one factor in decreased comprehension. He describes activities, diet and supplements that can alleviate inflammation and stress and bring about optimal health in both men and women.
John Gray, Ph.D. is the best-selling relationship author of all time and the most trusted voice in relationships today. He is the author of 17 books, including The New York Times #1 Best-Selling Book of the last decade, MEN ARE FROM MARS, WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS. His 17 books have sold over 50 million copies in 50 different languages around the world.
John is a leading internationally recognized expert in the fields of communication and relationships. His unique focus is assisting men and women in understanding, respecting and appreciating their differences. John’s advice can be easily used to improve relationships at home and in the workplace.
For more than 35 years, John Gray has conducted public and private seminars for thousands of participants. In his highly acclaimed books, videos and transformational seminars, John entertains and inspires audiences with practical communication techniques. John’s purpose is to create a world where men and women understand, respect, appreciate and ultimately work together.
Summit Entertainment (Lionsgate) has purchased the rights to John Gray’s bestseller “Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus” with the intention of creating a feature film and TV series. Summit has hired Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan to adapt and direct the title into a romantic comedy, with BermanBraun’s Lloyd Braun and Gail Berman producing.
John Gray is a popular speaker on the national and international lecture circuit and often appears on television and radio programs to discuss his work. He has made guest appearances on such shows as Oprah, The Dr. Oz Show, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The CBS Morning Show, Live with Regis, Fox & Friends Weekend, Good Morning New York, Larry King Live, CNN and Company and many others. He has been profiled in major publications across the United States. John Gray lives with his wife and children in Northern California.
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JASON HARTMAN: My pleasure to welcome John Gray to the show! John Gray is a very well known author of many, many books. You may remember him from back in the old days, when he wrote the very well known, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, and all the subsequent books that came out of that work. And he’s got a new book coming out entitled Boys to Men, and so we’ll talk about the broad spectrum of his work, and it’s just my pleasure to welcome John Gray, how are you John?
JOHN GRAY: Well thank you so much, it’s a pleasure to be on the show with you.
JASON HARTMAN: My pleasure to have you. So, first of all, let’s talk about maybe some of your older work first, and how you became interested in writing about the male/female dynamic, and kind of sum that up, but then I’m very excited to talk about your new work coming out, Boys to Men, as well.
JOHN GRAY: Well, the interest I had back 30 years ago when I started understanding the differences between men and women, is still present in my life. It’s still amazing; as a marriage counselor, so much of the time, women just don’t understand the way men think, and they really need to understand. It helps them feel more relaxed, it makes them make sense of men. Men don’t make sense of women; when I help men make sense of women, suddenly they go oh, okay, then all I have to do is this, and that? And it doesn’t mean that, or this? And it just helps them reconnect so much better, and it creates a context in which we can go, okay, let me tell you about myself, and the other person can hear. And it creates a context where we can ask for what we want, and the person’s response is not like, well that’s an unreasonable request, or that’s really not so important, why are you even bothering me with that? So, understanding what’s important to women and what’s important to men, and it’s really a fascinating subject. It’s always curious to me, I’m always learning about it, and I guess, in the last 20 years, there’s been so much research in the universities with the brain scan machines, and all the progresses in hormone understanding and so forth; there’s just a massive amount of research backing up all of the ideas I served a long time ago, which at that time were very controversial, and now they’re much less controversial, because we can even back it all up with brain scans showing how men’s brains are different from women’s brains, men’s hormones are different from women’s hormones. And I have to say, new research which is done on a body—putting it all together and trying to make sense of it, even helped me understand myself, and men better, and women better.
JASON HARTMAN: Well, you know John, that’s really interesting. And I suppose when you’re talking about the brain scans you’re referring to the new area, the FMRI, or functional MRIs, which I think are going to lead to just amazing discoveries about us. But what’s interesting is you’re saying that these scans probably with the FMRIs, back up the things that you already noticed many years ago, right?
JOHN GRAY: Exactly. I mean, that’s the great thing. It’s like, oh, that explains why this! And that explains why that. Let me give you an example. With a brain scan they can measure blood flow to certain parts of the brain, and activity—how much activity goes on. And there’s something called the IPL on the left side of the brain and the right side of the brain, and it has a completely complementary function. And for men, the IPL is much, much bigger on the left side, and much more active. And for women, the IPL is much, much bigger on the right side of the brain, and way more active than in a woman than in a man. And so, here you have this distinction, and you start looking at what activities stimulate the left IPL. Driving a car, for example, stimulates the left IPL. Looking at a map does, planning a trip does. So basically, it has to do with time and space. What direction are we going, how much time will it take, how much energy will it take, what will the reward be? So when you’re anticipating getting a reward, to be motivated, your left IPL lights up. And this is just kind of a world that men live in that women don’t relate to. In essence, to kind of simplify it, and be playful with it, even, is that it kind of represents an aspect of men that I observed a long time ago, which is that men tend to only do what they have to do. From one point of view we may think that’s lazy, but really it’s prioritizing. And men also have a different energy supply in their body. The hormone testosterone gives us energy, and it runs out very quickly in men. Men need to make 30 times more testosterone than women. So we’re sort of always going through a cycle of activity and rest, activity and rest, whereas women are not testosterone-oriented. The other hormones—oxytocin, estrogen, serotonin—these are the primary hormones that allow her to burn fat as a source of energy, and fat has way more energy than muscle. It’s a sustained energy. And men have more muscle mass, women have more fat cells. 25% more fat cells. So really, they have enough energy to keep going on and on and on without resting—until they’re stressed. And that’s what’s happened to women today, is that women today have twice the stress levels of men. This is the stress hormone is now measured twice to four times higher in men. And this is just in the last 15 years, these big changes have happened. So that was a big investigation for me. But if we come back to the brain difference of the IPL, what we see is that the right IPL is much bigger in women, and the right IPL has to do with nurturing, it has to do with relationship, it has to do with, what do you think of me, what do I think of you, how do you feel, what do I feel, what should I eat, what are you eating—all these aspects that really you can see are in the industry which is primarily suited for women, or focused at women, like fashion, and food, and not that men are not interested in those things—making babies, and marriages and so forth—men are interested in that, but women’s brains are way more active and way more connected in those areas then men’s are. And women have feedback loops that when they’re in a nurturing situation, actually lowers stress for women. Too much of a nurturing situation actually raises stress for men, and exhausts men. Too much of a testosterone situation actually gives energy to men, lowers stress for men, but raises stress for women. So, these are like amazing observations that all these studies have done, and it kind of helps us make sense of, okay, nothing’s wrong with my partner, and it’s not like we can’t ever fit together. We’re actually wonderful complements to each other, as long as we can have a non-judgmental perspective of the differences when they show up.
JASON HARTMAN: Yeah, very interesting. Well, John, any other things you want to share just on how men and women can get along better and relate better? Because I’m very excited to talk to you about your new work, and I want to make hopefully most of the interview about that today.
JOHN GRAY: Okay. Well, this is actually a good foundation for that. But what I’ve seen is, you know, people ask me if the—if men and women have become that different in the last 20 years since I wrote Men Are From Mars. Relationships between men and women are dramatically different, but our brains are still exactly the same. That hasn’t changed. Our hormone structure is still the same. It’s been that way for a long, long time. It’s a long evolutionary process. But suddenly, we’ve changed the dynamics of the relationships. And that is a huge shift, where women are doing a more traditional male work, men are doing more traditional female activities, and suddenly, everybody’s more stressed out than ever before. And the answer is not going back in time, but the answer is being able to find the appropriate balance in our lives. What I see for women is they tend to go over to their masculine side, their testosterone hormones, which inhibit the female hormones. And they have to make sure that they have balance in their life to understand, what are those most important female hormones, and how can they not take hormones, which is what women are doing today to try to remedy the problem, but how to do certain behaviors that will stimulate those hormones? Ultimately if you take hormones, you may get symptomatic relief, which for some women just feels like they’ve gone to heaven. It also has huge risks that go with it that are still not completely defined, but they are there. And there is no long-term research on giving people hormones. Ultimately, when you give someone hormones, your body stops making the hormones. And if your body’s not making the hormones in the first place, there’s a problem you need to address, and so by taking hormones, you’re not really addressing the problem, and it gets worse. So, I’m into teaching women, and men, how to do those behaviors that actually stimulate the right hormones to stay healthy, and to maintain positive mood in a relationship. So, you know, that’s the challenge for women. And the challenge for men is twofold. One is if you’re in a relationship with a woman who’s more masculine, it tends to make you more passive, because she’s so busy doing everything, and you’re like hey, we don’t have to do everything, let’s relax, chill out. But on another level, that has nothing to do with women. Our environment is so filled with what’s called xenoestrogens—pesticides, plastics, pollution, toxicity—all these types of things have the effect in the body of estrogen. So, they’re called xenoestrogens. And estrogen, for men, is not a good thing. It suppresses his testosterone, and low testosterone for men, it creates the highest risk of heart disease, and irritability, and grumpiness, and lack of interest in sustaining relationships, inability to make a commitment. So, we see a lot of problems happening for me, that have nothing to do with their relationship, and so, we have to counteract those. That leads me into the new book, which is—which you wanted me to talk about, I’m happy to talk about, which is Boys to Men.
JASON HARTMAN: Yeah, absolutely we’re gonna talk about that. John, before we jump into that, and I know this will be related, but, I have read and seen news reports for years, about the way the two genders are changing. And things like, birthrate, and male sperm count going down, and I hear these commercials all the time for, you know, low T, low testosterone for men. And then, about women becoming more masculine, and men becoming more feminine! And how—now, this may be totally anecdotal, what I’m saying here, but I seem to just keep noticing and hearing a lot in the media about this kind of stuff. And you know, when you called for our interview today, just before we kind of went on the air here, I was distracted because I had just heard about an attack in my neighborhood where three girls attacked another girl and beat her up. And, what is going on out there? Are the genders sort of like moving to the middle, you know, like in politics, where they’ll say, well, this politician’s moving to the center, because of the polls. You know? It seems like women are just becoming much more aggressive. And, of course this is a massive generalization. I know that. It’s a stereotype. And men are maybe becoming more docile. Is this happening in our society, these xenoestrogens that you mentioned, and all the environmental pollutants, and so forth? What’s going on out there with this?
JOHN GRAY: Well, I would have to agree with everything you just said. There’s—it’s not really moving towards the middle. It’s moving all the way out of balance the other direction. And I wouldn’t say before we were out of balance; we were just at a state of evolutionary development where women were women, and men were men, and we were complementary. And as our consciousness rises, greater self-awareness, greater introspection, and we can see this even in our children today; they’re so much smarter than we were. They’re so much more aware than we were. And there’s research that even shows that just even with the Internet, the amount of information and stimulation that is going into people—the amount of increased consciousness that’s happening—awareness of information increases our self-awareness. It accesses so much information so quickly; we’re being stimulated so much. On one level this can cause stress; but on another level, it does increase our self-awareness. With increased self-awareness, women were going, hey, I have masculine abilities as well, I don’t want to just be feminine. And so they went towards the masculine. And men, growing in awareness, said you know, I like—I can be more whole and complete within myself as well. But the problem is when we go too far out of balance. It’s like when you’re walking a tightrope, and you suddenly swing out of balance, you fall down. You’ve gotta be able to come back into balance. You gotta go back the other direction. And so, what I teach women is, you know, how to use your relationships in your personal life, when you’re at the workplace, how to have a personal life, where you swing back to, that actually stimulates the life-giving happiness hormones that can only be produced if you’re a woman, if you are nurturing your female side. For a man, if you don’t have the masculine hormones, the testosterone stimulated and supported, you’re gonna have low energy, irritability, passiveness, and in many cases grumpiness, and so forth. So, there’s, you hear all the testosterone things being recommended and so forth. Many doctors are actually giving men testosterone, which is extremely dangerous and irresponsible, in my opinion. There’s steroids. And certainly they see—sometimes they see some immediate benefits where men feel alive and great because they’ve just taken a hormone. It’s very different taking a hormone than taking one of these herbal supplements that actually help your body to make testosterone more effectively. There’s different pathways that herbs work. And one of the herbs that I prefer, and I recommend to people all the time, particularly to men, or women with low libido, is tongkat ali from Indonesia.
JASON HARTMAN: John, do you care to spell that, maybe, for the listeners? That’s quite a mouthful.
JOHN GRAY: Okay. That’s tongkat ali. Most of these libido products carry it. The problem is, it’s so popular—I mean, it is the most powerful of all, of the libido herbs and testosterone herbs, because—so, people are diluting it, they’re adding other things, they’re ripping it off to make it cheaper to increase their profits. You want to make sure you get the pure stuff. But the reason that particular herb is so significant, is the pathway in which it works, is that when your body has high estrogen—it seems paradoxical, so I’ll take a moment to explain this. But historically there have never been all of these xenoestrogens in the environment. The only time a man would ever experience high estrogen is if his testosterone levels were consistently too high, and then the body can—when the testosterone in a man goes too high, the body converts testosterone into estrogen. And then now you have high estrogen. So the body thinks, oh, I have high estrogen. Then I must cut off the production of testosterone. So there’s just this physiological response, that when estrogen levels are high in a male body, testosterone production stops, or goes way down, and that’s the pituitary gland sends a message to the testicles to stop making testosterone. Well, the herb, tongkat ali, the pathway that it works on is not a hormone; it’s just a messenger that tells the brain to send a message down south to make more testosterone. So, that’s something that’s so relevant today, because one of the biggest problems today is the excess estrogen in our environment.
JASON HARTMAN: So, what about HGH?
JOHN GRAY: Okay. Human growth hormone. So there was a phase about five years ago; for about five years it went on, where the big rage was giving older men, 70 and 80 year old men, injections of HGH, human growth hormone.
JASON HARTMAN: I saw that and heard commercials about that all the time on the radio.
JOHN GRAY: Right, right. And so, they did some real studies, and they gave people these injections, and men started getting younger, their muscles started growing, their libido came back; basically, you’re regenerating your body with HGH. HGH is how your body utilizes food. Basically, to regenerate cells. The problem with taking these things—if you’re 70 or 80, you just want—you don’t mind what you do if you can live another day. So it’s fine. But for younger people, we don’t know the long term results of adding these substances to the body. What we do know is consistently the way the body works; if you take things that actually are the substance your body makes, then your body gets the message that it’s too much, and it shuts down. The same thing happens with—and by the way, your body can make HGH; your body makes it, and yes your body makes less of it as you get older, but your body doesn’t have to grow as much as you get older. You have to keep that in mind, it’s a growth hormone. And the key to why people are so low in HGH is we eat so much. Basically, every time you eat, your—the process your body goes through, you digest the food, insulin goes up, transports the food to the cells, and then when insulin goes down, that triggers the brain to release growth hormone, and the body utilizes the nutrition to regenerate the body. But today, because we have so many carbohydrates in our diet, our insulin levels never go down. As soon as they start going down, we eat some more. So, you have to have a period of time, at least three or four hours after a meal, where you don’t eat anything, so you get a chance for the insulin levels to drop, and the growth hormone to be released. So that’s another aspect of just a natural way to create more growth hormone, is don’t eat so much all the time.
JASON HARTMAN: Yeah. Maybe the more European method rather than the American method. Which I think would have a lot of other benefits probably too, right?
JOHN GRAY: Well, it’s hard for people to do that when their food isn’t nutritious, which is why—you know, my website I recommend all these particular supplements that I’ve found to be effective for people. But you know, we’re making huge advances today. I don’t want to be critical of anybody. But we have Parkinson’s, which is another big, big deal, and what they do is they give them L-DOPA, dopamine, and then as you take it, then the Parkinson’s ultimately gets worse and worse. Your body habituates to the dopamine, and that’s caused by receptor down regulation; they don’t have any, and then nothing works. So, the drug itself works, but you have to keep using more and more and more. It’s not even a drug. It’s a bean, Mucuna Pruriens, that’s high in dopamine. Well, another scientist in Chicago realized, this same concept I’m talking about, if you give your body a huge amount of something, then your body stops making it. And if you give a lot of DOPA to somebody, what happens is your body stops making the enzymes that convert [unintelligible] into tyrosine, and tyrosine has all these other functions in the body. And your body stops making serotonin. So, if you just supplement with other supplements while you’re doing the dopamine, then suddenly you can get a dose of L-DOPA, and you don’t have to keep raising the dose, and the Parkinson’s doesn’t get worse. This is like a huge breakthrough. And then what he found is that same formula of taking some extra tyrosine and some 5-HTP to make serotonin, has a dramatic effect at helping kids with ADD and ADHD. Literally, in a few weeks, your child doesn’t have ADD and ADHD! I mean, it’s amazing that the discoveries that are out there. But you won’t hear about them anywhere.
JASON HARTMAN: Yet, John, is it just the big pharmaceutical conspiracy? Because it seems like everybody is just taking drug after drug. Prescription drugs, of course, I’m talking about, you know, nowadays. They’re just drugging people up. It’s really scary.
JOHN GRAY: It is very scary. And, conspiracy always creates—the word, suddenly discredits what you’re about to say. I could just say it’s business. It’s business: when you have a product, you want to sell it. And the most profitable product on the planet right now is healthcare. And to make money off of people being sick. If you actually healed everybody, then you wouldn’t make any money, and that’s not a very productive business. So, just the whole concept of making money off of people’s health is pretty challenging, particularly if they’re sick. But take it another step away from that, and just go into the markups on pharmaceutical drugs, sometimes, are two thousand times. On a supplement, it’s like, costs $50, the health food store gets it for 50, they probably sell it on sale for 75. And they make not even 100% markup. So, there’s just so much money in the industrial complex, the pharmaceutical companies, and then there’s a whole system; they then pay for all the research to be done; they then determine the curriculum for our doctors. Who, many people think that doctors are health experts. And they’re not! You have to realize, they’re not trained in being healthy at all, and quite often they’re not healthy themselves. Unless they’re a naturopath, a holistic doctor who’s studied naturopathic medicine, homeopathic medicine, they don’t know very much about being healthy. They know somewhat, but they don’t understand all the value of these supplements, and they think it’s like talking witchcraft. And we even have laws that say if somebody gives advice, you have to go check with your doctor—well what does he know?
JASON HARTMAN: The doctor doesn’t know anything about it.
JOHN GRAY: Well, I don’t want to minimize it, doctors know some things, but they don’t understand all these new developments in the supplements and so forth.
JASON HARTMAN: Yeah. I agree with you. And the doctors I know, I don’t think they’re any example of good health. It seems, John, that the western medicine idea is just, cover things, cover up symptoms, rather than deal with symptoms. And we don’t have to go too far afield with this whole thing, but I’m sure we both agree on that.
JOHN GRAY: Well, we certainly do. And we can come right back to my new book, which is—and I know you wanted to talk about it—it’s not out yet, but it’s Boys to Men. There’s a huge crisis in boys—and girls have their own crisis—but the boys is sort of overlooked, and most people are not aware of it. But just some of the symptoms of it are, right now, in colleges, there’s two women graduating to every guy. It’s a two to one. And high school, there’s two girls graduating to every boy. There are four times as many boys committing suicide in their teenage years than girls. 90% of all children with learning difficulties are boys. What is going on?
JASON HARTMAN: What is going on?
JOHN GRAY: It’s just, everybody’s going, what’s happening? What’s happening? What we see on another level is many of these children who have learning difficulties, or close to learning challenges, they’re diagnosed with ADD and ADHD. Attention Deficit Disorder. Now, if you have Attention Deficit Disorder and a teacher is teaching you, you before bored very quickly. If you have ADHD, you’re so bored you become restless, and you become distracted. So, these are two really big problems, and typically boys are way more vulnerable to ADD and ADHD. Their research is saying, there’s four to one—four boys to one girl with ADD and ADHD—and, however, my own anecdotal experience, talking to teachers, usually nine out of ten kids who have ADD in schools are boys.
And a lot of it goes undiagnosed as well. But if you look at just the grades and the outcome, is the number one ingredient that you need for good grades, which is a measurement, that we can compare to 10 years ago, 15 years ago. Boys have gone dramatically down. And it’s comprehension. To be able to comprehend. To be interested, to not be bored, to stay focused, and to comprehend. This is our intelligence, and it’s being restricted for some mysterious reason. So, my book, I explain it very simply for parents to understand the various causes of it. It’s not genetic. This whole thing is nonsense, the thought that suddenly an epidemic comes out in the last ten years and it’s genetic—children have a genetic tendency to have different types of ADD, ADHD, but the cause is pretty much the same. And there’s a variety of causes, but the main, most common causes, are high carbohydrate diets, or the high carbohydrate diet of the mother when she is pregnant. If you have high blood sugar, blood sugar when it spikes, causes inflation in the brain.
And inflammation in the brain inhibits brain function. So, there was a—one of the most popular supplements in Europe for the last 50 years for arthritis, and arthritis is inflammation. One of the most popular supplements is something called grape seed extract. It’s very inexpensive too. Grape seed extract. And they found in some studies that just as it takes away the inflammation in your elbows, and your arthritis in your hips and everything, it also takes away inflammation in the brain. And this is the major cause of ADD ADHD symptoms in children and adults. And so, if you take grape seed extract, along with vitamin C, suddenly symptoms of ADD and ADHD go away very quickly. Even for myself, as a kid, I was ADD. When I look back at it, the tendency of that, and I go, where did that come from? Well, I drank two 16-ounce Cokes every day. That will do it. And so, you know, I did okay. I didn’t have the extreme symptoms kids have today, but I still had symptoms, I now recognize them. And now, I’m 60 years old, occasionally I’ll be reading something, and my mind kind of goes over it again and again, or I’m not absorbing it. That means I’m stressed, and I’m not comprehending, and that means there’s inflammation in my brain, or I’m tired. All I have to do is take some grape seed extract, about 300 milligrams, 600 milligrams of vitamin C, and within a few minutes I go right back to the book or the magazine I’m reading and my brain grips it, I absorb it, I comprehend it. And this is what kids are missing today.
JASON HARTMAN: Amazing. That is really amazing. You know, John, when I heard you on another interview recently, talking about your new book, you talked about, I think, about the employment prospects, and what’s going on with men in the workforce as well. Or, young men, particularly, you know, you talked about those graduation rates—some of that stuff is really, really mind-blowing. And I assume that when you talk about statistics like that, we’re still producing about the same equal amount of boys and girls as they’re born, right? So…
JOHN GRAY: That’s right. There’s an equal amount of boys and girls. And twice as many girls who are considered educated. And education in our society today, quite often is a prerequisite for getting a job. And even once you have a job, for getting job promotions. I mean, you can actually, in some jobs, you can be very competent, but you didn’t have the degree, so you can’t get promoted, where somebody else who has the degree has the opportunity to get promoted. So that’s one huge injustice and challenge for males today. But also, just simply getting a job. If you don’t have an education, it’s so much harder. And so, suddenly, that becomes a huge challenge of men getting work. The next aspect of men getting work, is, women—and whatever reasons we want to attribute to this—are often willing to come in at a lower pay grade than a guy. So, a guy looking for work has to look for a job where he feels he’s going to support himself and his family. So, he really sort of has a higher requirement. And companies know this. You can hire women for less money. Even though from a realistic point of view, a woman with a child has huge needs for greater money. But she tends to be more willing to accept the low-paying jobs. So, you’ve got the high-paying jobs taken by the women, because they have more education, and you have the low-paying jobs taken by the women who don’t have the education.
JASON HARTMAN: So it’s this middle ground where men are just losing out, now. I want to comment on that, as an employer, because I remember I had a girlfriend years ago who was rather—had feminist leanings for sure, and she would always complain about how women statistically only make 72%, or 73% of what men make, and complain about how unfair that was. But I will tell you though, John, I’m not so sure that’s true, because as an employer who has hired hundreds and hundreds of people over the years, when I would put an ad out for a receptionist for my company, women would apply. Men wouldn’t apply! And when I would put an ad out for outside sales, men would apply. And I think there’s a self-selection, a self-sorting, that goes on.
JOHN GRAY: There is. There is. There’s a place for—now, what often they’ll say with that figure, which is so many disputing figures, and it is a big debate, but it’s really an inaccurate figure, it’s just the one that suits everybody on the news. There’s actually debates going on about it. Here’s another figure which is completely accurate by the US government, which is, single women make more money than men, for doing the same jobs. Now that’s an average. 13 cents more on the dollar, or something like that. Women are actually—if they’re single. So, there you have another aspect to it.
Then you have the double concept of, when you go into the detail, and there’s a whole book written by a friend of mine, which is why men earn more—you know, married men do earn more than married women. There’s a reality there. But then you say, well, what work are they doing? Is it for all the exact work? And that’s where the details come in. Very significant. Which is, the details, if you’re both heart surgeons, who’s been a heart surgeon longer? That’s gonna cause you to make more money for the same job. That’s A. B, who comes in on the weekend and works overtime for the same job? That’s typically the male. Because the female, will typically not want to work overtime, because she has children at home. And she doesn’t—you know, she feels that there’s that responsibility. The male often has a wife who will take care of his children so he can have that opportunity to compete more, and make more. So, there’s lots of—
JASON HARTMAN: There are a lot of factors. And it certainly should be noted that many women leave the workforce for five or seven years to raise their children, which is great, and that plays into it too. I mean—
JOHN GRAY: It does, it does.
JASON HARTMAN: Men have five to seven years more experience, on average, if they’re 40, 45 years old by that time, right?
JOHN GRAY: That’s exactly right. So you come back to, the studies that say women are making less, they’re basically saying a woman doing the same job. But they’re not comparing a woman doing the same job who has less years of experience. So, it’s a really challenging aspect. You know, I’ve actually done a study of 100,000 men and women, and you ask the phrase, do women—are women appreciated in the workplace? And 80% of women say no. So—and you ask men, are women appreciated in the workplace, and 80% of men say, of course. If I was to ask you, do you appreciate those women you hire—
JASON HARTMAN: I certainly do.
JOHN GRAY: Absolutely. That’s why we hire them. I talk to bosses all over the place who think the women are great. And they’re fantastic. But these women actually will say, in a survey, I don’t feel valued and appreciated. So I’m also working on a book called Gender Smart Workplace, where we close the gender gap. Where men can understand why women are not feeling valued in the workplace. It’s not about the money. On a personal level, I’ve never heard a woman say I don’t feel valued because I’m not making enough. That’s just some political feminist statement kind of a thing. On a personal level, people will say things like, I don’t feel included, I don’t feel valued, men walk on eggshells about me, they have their own club—you know, there’s all kinds of issues that happen in the workplace that are really—that can really make the workplace better if we understand how men and women are different.
You know, how does a woman feel appreciated. Even in my own life, when I had a counseling practice, I had this great assistant Helen. She’s still a very good friend. And she wanted to quit. And I said why? And she said, she didn’t feel appreciated. I emphasize, she’s a great assistant. I thank my lucky stars to have found her. But the way I communicated to her didn’t say to her that she was appreciated. So I said to her, what would it look like if I appreciated you? She said, you’d know more about what I do.
And this is a real key thing. Men feel appreciated when you just acknowledge the results of what they’ve done, and you pay them well for it; they go, look what I did! The women don’t feel valued unless you really understand all the work they put in, the struggle they put through, the angst they go through, the experiences they have, the highs and the lows, and we’re not talking a therapy session here, we’re just talking a few extra minutes every day to listen and ask questions, to know that more details about what she goes through. Then women feel very much like, now you know, I stayed up really late for that, and I had to call this person 13 times, and they were a jerk. If you understand what they go through, then they feel, ah, you really value me. Because if you don’t know what somebody does, how can you value them? And that’s the perspective women have. And that is, again, we come back to brain differences. That’s the right IPL, that says, see how I feel, see what I do, and then you can value me. But for men, it’s the left IPL. See what I did in terms of the outcome of what I did, and what I accomplished, and that’s where men feel valued.
JASON HARTMAN: Yeah, interesting stuff. John, tell us a little bit more about your new book. First of all, when’s it coming out?
JOHN GRAY: I don’t have a publication date. We’re still in the editing stage. So probably next year it will come out.
JASON HARTMAN: What else are you covering? The title is interesting: From Boys to Men. I mean, you know, maybe a little bit more about the title, and what it’s about. I mean, you explained this problem, with the learning disabilities, the suicide—I mean, it’s just awful. The education situation, very grim. The employment situation, grim.
JOHN GRAY: And ADD, the ADD situation, the ADHD situation. These are—with practical solutions to help. And it’s also helping parents to understand their sons and what their sons need, and a big part of what sons are missing today is happy mothers. This is a really key thing, is the boy gets the message of his own sense of worth—if he sees his mother not happy, or the father not being able to assist the mother in happiness, he doesn’t get a clear message that he has the power and relationships to be successful. So that’s a real key thing for mothers to become aware of. And ways they unknowingly cut off communication with their sons—I go into a lot of communication there. Skills, where mothers will ask too many questions. Mothers can also be too empathetic. Too protective, particularly with boys.
Boys need to have a greater sense of risk-taking in their life, and mothers—their job sort of is, oh yeah, you can go there, but, look it, this could happen, and this could happen, and this could happen. She’s kind of like the doorkeeper to hold you back. And there’s a value to that so kids don’t do crazy things. The father is the balance to that, which is kind of like, well, try it! See what happens! Just, he wants to climb a tree—alright, I’ll watch. Go ahead, climb. Be careful. But the mother is like, you’re not old enough to climb that tree. And dad says, I’m gonna be here. And there’s a whole dynamic as well, of the role of the father that we talk about in terms of sons. Some research has shown that kids who, when parents divorce, if the child goes with the father—if the boy goes with the father, versus goes with the mother, there’s a much more positive outcome for the boy if he goes with a father, or has—if it’s both mom and dad, it’s even better.
But if it’s one or the other, the boys that go with their fathers actually end up better in life, and right away, what we find is just boys who grow up with mothers, single mothers with boys have a much higher percent of ADD and ADHD problems, whereas the boys who go with their dads don’t. And this is the influence of dads. Dad is—just the presence of men with men increases testosterone and increases dopamine, and ADD is a condition of inhibited dopamine function. So, just boys being with fathers, in control of their lives, has a huge effect of setting boundaries. Which helps to stimulate dopamine in the brain of boys. You can see in a child, they’ve actually measured that when a father comes into the room, a different brain chemical gets produced, and that’s dopamine. When the mother comes into the room, a calming brain chemical gets produced, serotonin. So, children need a balance of mom and dad. And if they’re gonna get a divorce, they need to make sure that they still have that balance, and make peace, and provide a network for those children of contact with both. I mean, these are the ideals. We have to know what our north star is to navigate the ship. Life is not perfect, but at least we can know how to move towards it.
JASON HARTMAN: Sure. Yeah. Very good points.
JOHN GRAY: Those are some of the dynamics we go into.
JASON HARTMAN: Yeah, that’s an amazing level, really, John, of detail there in those dynamics. You know, the presence of the father, the presence of the mother, and the future holds, I think, with technology, such good things, in terms of us continuing to understand more and more about this. But your work, and your research, has certainly been on the cutting edge. Tell people, if you would, where they can learn more. Give out your website.
JOHN GRAY: Well, thank you. They can certainly learn more at marsvenus.com, is my website. And all these sort of supplements that can help out, I have a little store there, and I have a video on each one, to show people, explaining greater detail how the brain works, the body works, why we need certain things today, or why someone might need it. But you know, one other thing I want to point out, which I think is dramatically wonderful, it’s a question every parent has: how much time should my child sit on a video game? As it turns out, the video games are just as damaging to the brain as cocaine, if you spend too much time on them. The same part of the brain lights up as with cocaine.
Now you become dependent upon excess stimulation—that’s called addiction—and the normal stimulation, parental approval, parental motivation, the desire to please your parents—that suddenly has no power over the child. So parents gain less power over their children to lead and guide their children, the more they play these games. It also actually interferes with brain development if it’s too much. So, this has all been theory and speculation. We can see it certainly as an addictive thing; you take the video away from the child, they get upset, just like you take away a drug. Now we’ve got research showing that when a child’s playing a video, you’ve got the middle part of the brain, called the nucleus accumbens, where there’s a lot of pleasure, gets stimulated. There’s nothing wrong with that.
That’s connected to—there’s a blood flow from there to the front part of the brain, which is the executive center of the brain. For the first hour of a video game, there’s a connection between the middle brain and the front brain. After about an hour, the front brain just turns off, and the middle brain continues to be stimulated. That’s not good. That’s the addiction setting in. That means the child’s actually gaining less control over their life, about making decisions, and they’re more into a just kind of a conditioned reaction state, more like a conditioned animal, a monkey, that you can train them to do something. That part of the brain’s actually called the monkey brain, conditioned brain, as opposed to the front part of the brain that is stimulated through education, where children learn to set goals and achieve those goals, behave responsibly, explore morality and so forth. That part of the brain actually turns off after about an hour. So, for the first hour, they’re actually learning good skills. So, that’s a nice study, because it kind of says to the parents, all right, don’t worry about for an hour, but after that it’s too much. Kind of like with a vitamin pill, you know, it’s good for a certain amount, but if you take too much it can make you sick.
JASON HARTMAN: Yeah, most certainly. Well, what are you doing in the way of supplementation and products? I see on your website that you have products and so forth.
JOHN GRAY: Oh. Well, they’re not my products. A few, I designed, because nobody else had them. But what I do is I’m the kind of consumer, I test all this stuff and see what works with my clients, and test it out, see what’s really working out there, and try to find the best deals for people, and recommend things. And so, I have like a little 10-minute video on things for depression—particularly relationship-oriented things—depression, anxiety, mood disorders, energy levels, libido, passion, hormone balance, menopause—I mean, there’s a product there that I imported from Korea called RX for women, and that does have my picture on it, because they market it there with my picture, because I’m kind of well known there. But, that one, in three days, women’s hot flashes stop. I mean, it’s just amazing. Women order bottles of it. Just because, imagine something you take if you’re a woman with hot flashes. It’s only herbs, and all those symptoms of menopause go away in three days. I mean, it’s a shocking, amazing response that people have. And it’s actually, a double blind study showing that hot flashes will go away, and all those other symptoms. And it’s not actually taking hormones, but it’s herbs that help send messages to the brain to balance your hormones. Those are the kinds of products that I recommend to people, that are kind of relevant to their sex lives and so forth. So, it’s quite extensive, the kind of things that are under the sheets people don’t talk about, but I do.
JASON HARTMAN: Well, John, I’m looking forward to your new book. And the title, again, Boys to Men?
JOHN GRAY: Boys to Men. Boys to Men.
JASON HARTMAN: Okay, great.
JOHN GRAY: Thank you so much!
JASON HARTMAN: Fantastic. Thank you, John. And I gotta ask you one final question before you go. How did you ever think of the title Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus? What a great title.
JOHN GRAY: Oh, it took two years of looking for a way to talk about gender differences without people suddenly getting upset. Because this is back 30 years ago, and I’ve seen—1984, I saw the movie E.T., and my talk, I happen to say, women, just imagine your husband’s E.T., and they all laughed. And I thought, this is a perfect way to talk about it, from different planets. And some women even talked and said, where’s my husband from? And I said Mars. And that was it! Everybody’s laughing. This is it, this is what I’ve been looking for.
JASON HARTMAN: Good stuff. Well, John Gray, thank you so much for joining us today. Really appreciate it.
JOHN GRAY: You’re very welcome. Thank you. Bye bye.
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Transcribed by David