Scientists conclude millennial men are significantly weaker than their dads

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Statistically, it's pretty likely the nation's dads really could kick millennials' butts.

A study in the Journal of Hand Therapy measured both the grip and pinching strengths of 237 full-time North Carolina students between the ages of 20 and 34, reported the Washington Post, and compared it to similar, though not perfectly comparable, data from 1985.

The conclusion? In 1985, men could squeeze with approximately 117 pounds of force, while today, 20 to 34-year-olds can produce a paltry 98 pounds of force.

According to the Post, health researchers consider grip strength a fairly reliable indicator of other kinds of strength, as well as some health outcomes. So the study serves as a kind of proxy for the overall physical fitness of today's American men — who did much worse than women, who have not changed significantly in strength measurements since 1985.

"In 1985, the typical 30-to-34-year-old man could squeeze your hand with 31 pounds more force than the typical woman of that age could," the paper wrote. "But today, older millennial men and women are roughly equal when it comes to grip strength."

While some men's rights activists may be likely to cite millennial men's noodle arms as the result of the mass feminization of the nation's virile inheritors of patriarchal norms, there's something entirely more banal at work, wrote the Post. Fewer men today are employed in sectors of the economy requiring manual labor, and are instead employed in more sedentary office jobs.

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Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

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