During my boyhood in the 1950’s, men were generally well-respected in our country. In recent years, our stature has notably declined, as reflected in a 2010 magazine article, The End of Men and in books such as Is There Anything Good about Men? (2010) and the 2012 release, The Demise of Guys. Here are some disturbing statistics from the latter book concerning trends in the declining academic performance of male youths:
- Boys receive 70% of the “D” and “F” grades issued by school teachers.
- Boys’ 2011 SAT scores were the worst they have been in 40 years.
- Boys are 30% more likely than girls to drop out of high school and college.
- Women are expected to earn 60% of bachelor degrees by 2016
The Demise of Guys suggests some alarming preoccupations that detract from school success and from guys’ decreased ability to form meaningful romantic relationships.
- The average boy plays video games nearly two hours per day, as compared to girls approximate average of 45 minutes daily.
- The average high school boy watches two hours of pornography weekly. In 2011 over 20 times as many full-length commercial porn films than Hollywood films were released. Hence, boys and men tend to markedly objectify women.
When we consider the mounting incidences of attention-deficit disorders, male-perpetrated gun violence, domestic violence, substance abuse and suicides, etc. the picture becomes all the bleaker. I won’t relate all of those “downer” statistics in this blog.
Boys and men are gradually developing a wider range of interests, talents and emotional expression than did male peers during my childhood and early – to –mid adulthood. For example, a lot of contemporary boys and men enjoy cooking and plant-care; previous-generation males (other than chefs) rarely cooked full meals. Many more men are willing to share household chores with their female partners and a growing number of men are serving as stay-at-home dads. Due to changing societal role expectations of men and the proliferation of men’s groups in recent decades, men are becoming more nurturing, compassionate, empathic, and somewhat freer to relate feelings besides happiness or anger.
The 2nd annual Front Range, CO Whole Man Expo, presented by Energy for Life, will feature programs designed to empower and evolve males. Examples of such presentations are: Raising the Heart of Boys, Mens Relational Journey: Healing Our Woundedness and Grandiosity; and the keynote address, Higher Courage: Manifesting Your Greatest Potential.
I consider it important for the public to be informed about challenges and difficulties that contemporary males regularly confront, while affirming qualities that we admire, respect and value in the male gender.
Baumeister, R. Is There Anything Good About Men?: How Cultures Flourish by Exploiting Men. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.
Rosin, H. The End of Men. The Atlantic Magzine, July/August 2010, pp. 56-70.
Zimbardo, P. & Duncan, N. The Demise of Guys: Why Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It. New York: Harper Collins, 2012.