Men in America are in crisis and masculinity is under attack. Tucker Carlson of Fox News did an eye opening four-part series on “Men in America,” and his conclusion was that “men are failing in body, mind, and spirit … when men fail all of us suffer.”1 Here are some of the major findings with additional data that bolsters an already compelling case:2
- Children do best when there is not just a father, but a biological father. The biological father is less likely to drop out of the picture when there is marriage.
- However, 40% of children are born to an unmarried mother and 40% of men who father children out of wedlock in a domestic partnership never see their children after two years.
- Research shows that boys with fathers in the home do well, but boys without fathers in the home do terribly on more than 70 different measures, including postponed gratification, depression, drinking, and drug addiction.
- Far fewer young men get married than did a few decades ago and fewer stay married. About 1 in 5 children live only with their mothers. That is double the rate of 1970.
- Boys are involved in far more disciplinary cases than girls.
- Twice as many high school boys are diagnosed with a hyperactivity disorder compared to girls.
- Men account for over 90% of inmates in prison.
- The majority of ISIS recruits are fatherless boys.
- Men are the perpetrators in all the mass shootings. About 90% of them were brought up in homes with minimal or no involvement by his father.3
Among males over 13 years old, pornography is a pernicious and pervasive problem:
- Seven in 10 use porn at least on occasion (69%). One in 10 American males views porn daily (11%).
- Less than half consider viewing pornography wrong (44%).
- Two-thirds of porn users are comfortable with how much they use (68%).
- Only one in 20 porn users says it sometimes hurts their relationships (5%).
WAGE-EARNING AND PROVIDING PROBLEMS
- Real hourly wages dropped by 20% over 30 years for working age men with only high school degrees while women saw their wages rise.
- Approximately 7 million American men ages 25-54 do not have jobs, which is 10% of the male labor force, the highest rate in the industrialized world.
- Young adult men are more likely to live with a parent than with a spouse or a partner.
MEN IN AMERICA
- Single women buy their own homes at twice the rate of single men. More women have driver’s licenses than men. There are more women managers than men in America.
- Physically, men are failing; half of young men fail the U.S. Army’s entry level fitness requirements. Fully 70% of American men are overweight or obese, compared to 59% of American women.
- Men live 5 years less than women. One of the reasons is addiction. Men are twice as likely to become alcoholics and twice as likely to die of a drug overdose. In New Hampshire, 73% of the opioid overdose deaths were men.
- Men account for 77% of all suicide deaths. There has been a 43% increase between 1997 and 2014. White males are disproportionately represented.
As if all these problems were not enough, masculinity is under assault in the culture. We have reached the point where the term itself is considered toxic or offensive to many. American men are conflicted as to what their role is in society. The consistent message that has proliferated in our nation is that masculinity is by nature bad and that it is the root cause of many of the problems that plague the nation. Everything from racism to pedophilia has been blamed on “Toxic Masculinity,” a buzzword once relegated to liberal progressive women’s studies in university classrooms, but it is now being mainstreamed.5 For example:
- The American Psychological Association released its first-ever guidelines recently for psychologists working with boys and men who are socialized to conform to what they term as “traditional masculinity ideology,” which leads to bad behavior, violence, and health problems.6
The consistent message that has proliferated in our nation is that masculinity is the root cause of many of the problems that plague the nation.
- Brown University, an Ivy League school, is offering a course: “Unlearning Toxic Masculinity. Rigid definitions of masculinity are toxic to men’s health.” They claim to be “creating safe spaces for men to unpack all of the things they have learned about masculinity and what it means to be a man.”7
- University of Texas had a class that was described as follows: “Treating masculinity as if it were a mental health crisis, ‘MasculinUT’ is organized by the school’s counseling staff and most recently organized a poster series encouraging students to develop a healthy model of masculinity.” Under fire, the University since rebranded the class.8
- West Point cadets are being exposed to a curriculum that denounces “toxic masculinity.” One cadet commented: “I’m being taught how not to be a man.”9
The problem is that leading psychologists and professors at today’s progressive universities are trying to rebrand masculinity, which is almost always discussed in negative terms, usually with the word “toxic” attached. When girls and women are discussed, the question is always about how to help them do better. When boys and men are mentioned, it’s almost always as some sort of a problem.10 Now, there is no excuse for bad behavior by men, especially when it comes to sexual harassment, but the social engineers in our culture are taking us too far. What we are seeing is the de-masculinization of men, or perhaps more specifically the feminization of men, and that is ultimately harmful to marriages, families, churches, and American society as a whole.
Toward a Solution
By this time, you may be thinking: “Is there any hope?” Yes, there is! The culture does not have the last word on manhood and true masculinity. God does. What we aspire to do is offer biblically-based solutions to the crisis of manhood and we start with a model anchored in Scripture. Again, each Stand Courageous speaker will present a part of that model:
- The Man as the Provider
- The Man as the Battle Buddy
- The Man as the Instructor
- The Man as the Defender
- The Man as the Chaplain
God wants to help you lead healthy, successful, fulfilling lives, marriages, and families. So do we.
From Family Research Council