Author, Political Psychologist, Psychoanalyst


the wimp factor sj ducat

“Everyone should read this book. It explains so much about how the world got the way it is.”

- An Amazon Reviewer

In this landmark exploration of how male anxiety has come to define our political culture, Stephen J. Ducat shows the link between the desperate macho strutting of male politicians, the gender gap in voting behavior, and fundamentalist holy wars. He argues that a direct association exists between the magnitude of a man's femiphobia – that is, his terror of being perceived as feminine – and his tendency to embrace right-wing political opinions.

From the strenuous efforts by handlers to counter George H. W. Bush's "wimp factor" to the swaggering arrogance that led to the moral and military quagmire in U.S.-occupied Iraq, anxious masculinity has been a discernible subtext in politics. Ducat shows how this anxiety has been an underlying force in public life throughout the history of Western culture, and also explores why and how certain political issues get imbued with masculinity or femininity. Analyzing various aspects of popular culture and drawing on pioneering research on the gender gap, The Wimp Factor is an illuminating study that will alter our understanding of contemporary politics.


"...excellent and enlightening."
-- Susan Faludi, bestselling feminist author of Backlash and most recently, In the Darkroom.

"It is crucial to notice and understand the central role of a certain version of masculinity in American politics. Ducat's book helps enormously." -- George Lakoff, author of Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think.

"Read this intelligent and persuasive book. A deeply important insight in the hands of a gifted writer."
-- Arlie Russell Hochschild, author numerous books and most recently of Strangers in Their Own Land.

"The Wimp Factor is a timely and incisive analysis of the contemporary American political situation. It integrates the personal and the political as Ducat forges links between insecure masculinity and the appeal of aggressive, 'lone ranger'-type leaders... The Wimp Factor is not only an urgently needed guide but, indeed, a trailblazer."
-- Neil Altman, author of The Analyst in the Inner City: Race, Class, and Culture Through a Psychoanalytic Lens.

"[Ducat's] fresh and complex insights may reach a new generation of swing voters." – Publishers Weekly.

“Even those who disagree with Ducat's values can appreciate his skillful deployment of anecdotes, media, and wordplay." – Psychology Today

“Landmark analysis of the subtextual influence of male anxiety on American politics. This brilliant volume is teeming with stunning insights about the political implications of men’s psychological needs and desires in the context of patriarchal culture…Published in 2004, this study concluded during George W. Bush’s presidency but its explanatory power remains remarkably undiminished.” – Jackson Katz, from “Ten Must-Read Books About White Masculinity and the Rise of Trump,” October 12 2017,