In the 1960’s a study by John Calhoun titled ‘Mouse Utopia’ found that when overpopulation occurred the natural behaviour of the animals used in the experiment changed drastically.

Male mice stopped breeding, ceased to protect their territory and ultimately retreated from society while female mice became more aggressive and even started attacking their own young.

The mice that retreated from the "utopian" society started focusing on themselves completely. In their isolation the mice focused only on grooming, eating and drinking while havoc reigned outside.

Calhoun believed his study would serve as a prediction of what awaited the human race in the future.

In 2014 a new term started making the rounds referring to a sudden increase in men withdrawing from society.


According to an article published by Milo Yiannopoulos on the news website Breitbart, society is currently experiencing something called “sexodus” in which an entire generation of young people -mostly men- are withdrawing from society into a world of isolation.

In this isolation a type of “lad culture” is evolving in which men are focusing more on their primal needs rather than the needs of the community they find themselves in.

In these “man caves” men have no obligation to females, have no danger of being judged by society and have absolutely no pressure to perform. Fewer men now feel obliged to get married and start a family. They’d rather focus on themselves than try to live up to standards set up for them by modern society and mainstream media.

For most men the rise in feminism is a contributing factor in their fear that no matter what they are doing – it’s wrong.

More and more men are “checking out”, giving up on sex and relationships and sinking into solitary.


John Smith is a white male in his early thirties who has “checked out”.

“The allure of checking out comes mostly due to the pressure from society. I feel like the fact that I’m a male already brands me a ‘sexist’ in the eyes of society.

“The fact that I’m white automatically makes me ‘racist’ in the eyes of others,” John explains.

According to John the pre-conceived stereotypes connected to white men is inescapable; “Even though I would never harm or mistreat a female I’m automatically labeled as being sexist. The fact that I’m a privileged white man living in Cape Town by definition makes me a spoiled white racist. There’s no escaping these stereotypes no matter how hard you try.”

John is of opinion that retreating into isolation is an effortless and easy way to avoid these conflicts.

“I don’t want to be the privileged white guy who complains about being the privileged white guy. I hate those types of people. I’ve learned to accept the labels that come with my identity and to never express my discontent for them as it would only reinforce the stereotype.

“I don’t want it to sound like I feel sorry for myself or blaming anyone for anything. I simply prefer the comfort of isolation where there is no fear of offending, intruding or insulting anyone based on my gender or race.”

Like Calhoun’s mice more and more men are finding solace in environments where they have full control of the elements which enter it. The hostility they experience towards them based on their gender is labelled as “payback” and the ultimate element in driving them “underground”.

In conclusion Calhoun’s study showed that the mice never changed back. Even if the conditions were more favourable the change was irreversible, the mice were different now.

Do you think men are "checking out"? And what will the implications be? Tell us in the comments below.