Sunday, June 23, 2013

Looking For A Few Good Men

I came across two articles this week on the decline of males in our society.

The first is an article by Michael Snyder on "32 Facts That Show How Men Are Being Systematically Emasculated In America Today".

Snyder asks the core question,
What is wrong with men in America?  Why isn't our country producing lots of strong, independent, hard working men of character like it once did?  
Snyder believes the answer begins at a very young age through a system that beats up on boys and young men to such a degree that only a few emerge as adults as strong independent young men able to take care of themselves and start families of their own.

He thinks a big part of the problem is how men are portrayed on television and movies.


Sadly, the message that our young men are getting from our television shows and our movies is that men are idiots.  Instead of being portrayed as leaders that are eager to get married and raise strong families, young men are often being portrayed as passive slackers that love to party and chase women. 
Start paying attention to how men are portrayed in the media.  In particular, pay attention to how they are portrayed in our commercials.  Our boys and young men are exposed to thousands upon thousands of hours of this "programming", and it has a dramatic affect on them.

A few of the 32 facts that are both sobering and unsettling.


#2 Back in 1950, more than 80 percent of all men in the United States had jobs.  Today, less than 65 percent of all men in the United States have jobs.  The chart posted below illustrates this stunning decline...


#6 Between 1969 and 2009 the median wages earned by American men between the ages of 30 and 50 dropped by 27 percent after you account for inflation.
#8 In 1982, 1.9 percent of all men were receiving disability benefits.  Today, 3.1 percent of all men are receiving disability benefits.
#10 More than half of all middle management jobs in America are now held by women.
#13 Incarceration rates for men in America have been steadily increasing over time.  The following is from a recent CNN article...
Looking at those born just after World War II, some 1.2% of white men and 9% of black men had been to prison by 2004, according to Bruce Western, a Harvard sociology professor. But looking at those born 30 years later, some 3.3% of white men and 20.7% of black men had been to prison.

#15 Males account for approximately 70 percent of all Ds and Fs in U.S. public schools.

#17 The average American girl spends 5 hours a week playing video games.  The average American boy spends 13 hours a week playing video games.

#21 According to the New York Times, approximately 57 percent of all young people enrolled at U.S. colleges are women.  That means that only 43 percent are men.

#24 Young men are nearly twice as likely to live with their parents as young women the same age are.

#25 Back in 1950, 78 percent of all households in the United States contained a married couple.  Today, that number has declined to 48 percent.
#26 The marriage rate in the United States has fallen to an all-time low.  Right now it is sitting at a yearly rate of 6.8 marriages per 1000 people.
#27 Today, an all-time low 44.2 percent of Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 are married.



The second article by Helen Smith explores some of the reasons why the marriage rate is down and why men do not seem to see marriage as important as they once did. in fact, just since 1997 the share of women ages 18 to 34 that say a successful marriage is one of the most important things in their lives has risen nine percentage points-from 28% to 37%. For men, the opposite has occurred, from 35% to 29%.

Smith has done extensive research on the issue and lists a number of reasons why men are avoiding the altar. What's at the top of the list?
1. You'll lose respect. A couple of generations ago, a man wasn't considered fully adult until he was married with kids. But today, fathers are figures of fun more than figures of respect: The schlubby guy with the flowered diaper bag at the mall, or one of the endless array of buffoonish TV dads in sitcoms and commercials. In today's culture, father never knows best. It's no better in the news media. As communications professor James Macnamara reports, "by volume, 69 percent of mass media reporting and commentary on men was unfavorable, compared with just 12 percent favorable and 19 percent neutral or balanced."
A few others.

2. You'll lose out on sex. Married men have more sex than single men, on average - but much less than men who are cohabiting with their partners outside of marriage, especially as time goes on. Research even suggests that married women are more likely to gain weight than women who are cohabiting without marriage. Men's Health article mentioned one study that followed 2,737 people for six years and found that cohabiters said they were happier and more confident than married couples and singles.
4. You'll lose space. We hear a lot about men retreating to their "man caves," but why do they retreat? Because they've lost the battle for the rest of the house. The Art of Manliness blog mourns "The Decline of Male Space," and notes that the development of suburban lifestyles, intended to bring the family together, resulted in the elimination of male spaces in the main part of the house, and the exile of men to attics, garages, basements - the least desirable part of the home. As a commenter to the post observes: "There was no sadder scene to a movie than in 'Juno' when married guy Jason Bateman realized that in his entire huge, house, he had only a large closet to keep all the stuff he loved in. That hit me like a punch in the face."
8. Single life is better than ever. While the value of marriage to men has declined, the quality of single life has improved. Single men were once looked on with suspicion, passed over for promotion for important jobs, which usually valued "stable family men," and often subjected to social opprobrium. It was hard to have a love life that wasn't aimed at marriage, and premarital sex was risky and frowned upon. Now, no one looks askance at the single lifestyle, dating is easy, and employers probably prefer employees with no conflicting family responsibilities. Plus, video games, cable TV, and the Internet provide entertainment that didn't used to be available. Is this good for society? Probably not, as falling birth rates and increasing single-motherhood demonstrate. But people respond to incentives. If you want more men to marry, it needs to be a more attractive proposition.
What do you think?  Do we have enough good men?




2 comments:

  1. This article is mind blowing I read it and enjoyed. I always find this type of article to learn and gather knowledge.

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  2. As a mom of a 3 year old son this really hit home when I first read it. Now I notice men portrayed as idiotic and timid in the children's movies and books--it gets under my skin! There is a lot of hope for our boys to be strong leaders, witty and courageous. I read my son stories of knights and astronauts. If this is a women's rights political thing trying to elevate women I think it's stupid. The roles of women and men shouldn't be the same. We have God-given unique make-up that shouldn't be suppressed and manipulated. I read another blog today with similar reteric. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rebeccafrech/2016/01/what-are-we-doing-to-the-boys.html. Let's not lose sight of the masculinity needed in our society!

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