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May 14, 2022

In the episode I speak with Mary Eberstadt about her latest book Primal Screams: How the Sexual Revolution Created Identity Politics. She argues that the revolutionary changes to family structure across the western world: fatherlessness, divorce, abortion, single parent homes, the shrinking of the family –have caused deep hurt in people and that many of the social problems we face today are manifestations of a “primal scream” for belonging.

 Eberstadt explains that the breakdown of the family has resulted in a widespread subtraction: we have a much smaller protective infrastructure around us than our ancestors did. While many people connect family decline to individual things like loneliness or educational achievement, it also has large macro impacts. She argues that primary cause of political rage, identity politics, gender confusion, and more is rooted in the breakdownof the family and people’s struggle to answer the question “Who am I?”  

Primal Screams is a very important book that combines an empirical examination with a real empathy for people who suffer from the impact of the sexual revolution and the break down of the family.

We discuss a number of issues including:  

  • Loneliness in the elderly and the young

  • The rise in psychiatric problems among Generation Z and Millennials

  • What we can learn from animal behavior and family structure

  • How the sexual revolution harms women and children and only benefits predatory men.

  • Transgenderism

  • The #MeToo Movement

  • The role of abuse and sexual dysphoria

  • The lack of siblings and the problem of social learning

  • The Myth of the Lone Wolf

  • The Trend of Incels

  • The Great Resignation

  • How Feminism creates problems for both girls and boys

  • Masculinity and Decline of Males

  • Declines in Fertility

  • Contraception

  • Critiques and replies to her argument by Mark Lilla, Peter Thiel, and Rod Dreher


Mary Eberstadt holds the Panula Chair at the Catholic Information Center in Washington, DC, and is a Senior Research Fellow at the Faith and Reason Institute. Her latest book is Primal Screams: How the Sexual Revolution Created Identity Politics, with commentaries by Rod Dreher, Mark Lilla, and Peter Thiel. 

Her other books include It's Dangerous to Believe; How the West Really Lost God; and Adam and Eve after the Pill. Mrs. Eberstadt’s writing has appeared in many magazines and journals. [Her 2010 novel The Loser Letters, about a young woman in rehab struggling with atheism, was adapted for stage and premiered at Catholic University in fall 2017. Seton Hall University awarded her an honorary doctorate in humane letters in 2014. During the Reagan administration, she was a speechwriter to Secretary of State George Shultz and a special assistant to Ambassador Jeane J. Kirkpatrick at the United Nations. Updates about her work can be found on her website,



Mary Eberstadt Website:

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