Into the Maelstrom: The War on Boys

     The precipitous drop in the success of males in school and the workforce, while concomitantly there was an increase in the success for women has become so noticeable, that even center left policy organizations, such as Third Way, have noticed that the future for boys who grow up without a father is bleak indeed.  It is a downward spiral for boys which drags them down like descent into a maelstrom

     David Autor, an economist at M.I.T. has noted this problem:

“Of course the absence of formal marriage would not be especially significant if it did not also often coincide with an absence of stable fathers from the home and thus from the lives of their children —a trend that has also increased in recent years. As the authors noted, the decline in marriage has not led to a decline in births. In many single-parent households the absent father may have a pernicious impact on children—particularly boys—because of factors like incarceration, abandonment, and fractured family structures. There is a great deal of evidence that children from single parent homes have worse outcomes on both academic and economic measures than children from two parent families.”

     Even the New York Times chimes in by emphasizing that:

“In this telling, the economic struggles of male workers are both a cause and an effect of the breakdown of traditional households. Men who are less successful are less attractive as partners, so some women are choosing to raise children by themselves, in turn often producing sons who are less successful and attractive as partners.

“A vicious cycle may ensue… with the poor economic prospects of less educated males creating differentially large disadvantages for their sons, thus potentially reinforcing the development of the gender gap in the next generation.”

     Isn’t this more than just an economic problem of two being better than one.  Would not three be better than two in this case?  But it is not just a question of numbers, but of a lack of a father, rather than a same-sex partner or a female relative.  The lack of a father has clearly hurt boys, as seen by the fact that even some left leaning groups and researchers are noticing it.  But this also hurts girls.  they have to male role model to look up to, and less of a gauge to judge the men in their lives and less of a desire to have a stable male in their lives as husband since that idea has become an alien one for them.  As a result, these girls are harmed, but they perpetuate the problem when they have fatherless sons on their own.

     Of course, isn’t much of this by design?  Education, where teachers are predominantly women, is increasingly geared towards language, interpersonal, and group skills that girls are more adept at than boys, while at the same time mathematical and analytic skills are eschewed in the curricula.  Boys grow up with no male role model and are practically discriminated against all their life.  In effect, they opt out of constructive society and live as perpetual children, grown as they may be.  In turn this leads further to the degradation of marriage, where “men are becoming less appealing to women. Meager earnings tend to make a man less marriageable. And as men are skipping college in greater numbers, their wages are dropping.”

     This compounds the problem by further decreasing the likely-hood of marriage.  48% of births, now, are out of wed-lock.  Marriage, which was once the foundation of society, is becoming rare.  It is doubtful that society can create a successful alternative, as a tiny intellectual elite of today is not smarter than the collective wisdom of the ages.

     The result is a downward spiral where the problem, with out any aid except towards their further decent, compounds and drags down not only men, but all of society, into a social maelstrom of collapse.  Perhaps Edgar Allen Poe put it best, when he wrote:

“Our first slide into the abyss itself, from the belt of foam above, had carried us to a great distance down the slope; but our farther descent was by no means proportionate. Round and round we swept –not with any uniform movement –but in dizzying swings and jerks, that sent us sometimes only a few hundred feet –sometimes nearly the complete circuit of the whirl. Our progress downward, at each revolution, was slow, but very perceptible.”


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