incel …( plural incels) … (neologism) "Involuntary celibate" (person)
1. (broadly) Someone who is not sexually active despite desiring to be. … (specifically) A member of a mostly online subculture of people (typically misogynistic, white straight men) who define themselves by being unable to find a sexual relationship despite desiring one.
Here is a journalism question for you: Are “incels” a valid subject for news coverage in the mainstream press? I would say “yes” and I think most newsroom managers would agree.
However, I would also make the case that the so-called “incels” are actually the bleeding edge of an even larger story — which is the rising tide of loneliness in American culture, right now, especially among many young would-be adults between the ages of, oh, 24 and 40.
Is this a valid subject for news coverage in the mainstream press? I would say “yes” and I think most newsroom managers would agree.
Now, let’s go one step further, as we did in this week’s “Crossroads” podcast. Click here to tune that in.
This week’s broadcast dug into some themes (yes, I misspelled '“incel” while recording live) looming over my national “On Religion” column this week, which The Knoxville News Sentinel has already put online with this headline: “ 'The Bachelorette' preaches on God, sex and marriage.”
Why are so many young adults so lonely? Well, sociologist W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, would point to data in the biennial General Social Survey, conducted by the University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center, showing that rising numbers of young adults are either (a) struggling to get married or (b) choosing not to get married. Thus, they are part of what some researchers are calling a “sex recession” among the young.
That discussion ended up in the pages of the Atlantic Monthly. See this earlier GetReligion post by Doug LeBlanc (co-founder of this blog long ago) with this headline: “W. Bradford Wilcox and Lyman Stone explore America's lonely sexual wilderness.”