One political party accuses another of a "War on Women." Surely women's issues are important and worthy of support. Yet, in this same era of support for women's rights and opportunities, we are destroying men and obscuring authentic masculinity. Looking at the body count, it appears that men, not women, are in the crosshairs.
Does this sound too harsh? Check out these sad and disturbing statistics (1) suggesting that males are not faring well in our society.
* Starting in elementary school, boys earn lower grades, receiving 70% of the
D’s and F’s, while girls earn 60% of the A’s;
* One million + teens drop out of school every year and 80% are male;
* Only 65% of males graduate from high school, versus 72% of females.
* Only 43% of men will graduate from college, compared with 60% of women;
* Almost 90% alcohol and drug violations are perpetrated by males;
* 95% of juvenile homicides are committed by boys;
* 56% of men ages 18 to 24 live at home with their parents;
* 66% of men 25 to 34 have never married, compared to 40% of Gen-Xers;
* 33% of men in this group are unemployed.
On top of these gut-wrenching statistics, "The Census Bureau reports that median incomes for men under 34 have fallen since 1974 (while women’s have increased), and median net worth for those under 35 has fallen by more than one-third in the last decade to a paltry $10,400... according to the Federal Reserve. ...earnings for young men without a 4-year degree have plummeted since 1980." (2)
Other trends disturb me as well, including the rise of addictions to video games, computer betting, and online pornography among men.
There are a variety of causes of male malaise. Schools expect too much too soon of boys, who are not wired to sit still for hours on end. Many grow frustrated and are diagnosed with ADHD. Many boys check out on academics by fourth grade.
Marital breakups and the trend to forego marriage (and have kids anyway) means many boys are growing up in homes with no father around. And even in Christian homes, men are often missing or wimpishly silent when it comes to modeling authentic manhood.
The world has a comic-book view of manhood, with violence, sexual conquest, and rebellion being the benchmark behaviors of 'real' men. But the Bible tells us that real men love sacrificially, even while they live bravely and fight (yes, the violent kind of fighting) heroically for just causes.
Biblical men don't fight every time someone disses them, but they do fight for honor and fairness, for 'truth, justice, and the American way.' Sure, that was Superman's tv mantra from the days of black and white tv, and it sounds hokey to some. But to me, it sounds even better today than when I sat in front of my tv in the early sixties. It's time to bring back not just the 'Man of Steel' but men of spiritual steel. I'm praying for this, and asking God how I can help.
1)from: http://www.sfchronicle.com/opionion/article/Millenial-men-s-failure-to-launch-is-a-problem-6305817.php 2) Quoted from Boys Adrift by Dr. Leonard Sax, 2010, Basic Books