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We’re Failing Our Boys and Young Men

Posted on Tuesday, April 11, 2023
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by AMAC, Jeff Szymanski
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21 Comments
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Boys

In my last year teaching high school in a middle class Boston suburb in 2016, a colleague flat out declared, “We’re failing our boys.” I remember staring at him perplexed. But he challenged me to peer into any special education class and the detention room after school. Sure enough. Nearly all boys, and this had been the norm for years. Fast forward to 2023. Putting high school behind us, let’s view two other institutions—colleges and prisons. The former is now dominated by women (over 60%) and the latter is devastatingly male. But why?

Answers to complex societal problems are rarely easy, but academics and other experts could benefit from a periodic reexamination of standard thinking and operation. We know testosterone leads boys to be more vocal, more rambunctious, and to act out more. Standard “solutions” often include an ADHD diagnosis followed by pills like Adderall. Next up might be a battery of tests and evaluations. The slightest deficiency can be grounds for a learning disability diagnosis and thus expensive (to the school district) special education mandates. I can attest firsthand that once a child (far more often a boy) is saddled with an individualized education plan (IEP), he rarely comes off it. It’s a life sentence. Detentions and suspensions also fall overwhelmingly on boys, even for the same behavior as girls. 

Facts. Girls are half a grade level or better above boys in all 50 states. Seven in 10 high school valedictorians are girls. College graduates are soon to be 2:1 women to men. Women with a college degree do not like to marry men without one. Single women are far more likely to own their own home, and they are far less likely to commit suicide. If you’re a young male in America today, particularly one without any higher education or job training, the statistics are increasingly grim. 

I reside in Central Florida. Retirement communities are numerous but no major colleges within an hour’s drive. Low wage service sector work, construction, and landscaping are the primary options for young men. COVID lockdowns and paying people not to work encouraged sloth nationwide. Some men never went back to gainful employment. There’s a growing population “unemployable” to a company and “unviable” to a partner. An arrest record. Tattoos on the face. A lack of meaningful work history. Too many young men are permanently closing doors to success.  Small wonder that crime and drugs fill the void. There’s scarcely a traffic stop in the area where methamphetamine is not found in the vehicle. And the triple homicide by three male teenagers that made headlines last week took place just miles from here.

But we’ve heard for decades and continue hearing that men have all the advantages. Who would dare utter that young men are in crisis? Who would further dare take up the cause to do something about it given how The Left might react?

New York University Professor Scott Galloway is one of the few out front. Galloway is an author, public speaker, podcast host, self-made millionaire, and entrepreneur. While he cut his teeth as a critic of Big Tech and is famous for telling his students not to follow their passions but to “follow their talent,” a more recent line of his, while alarming, is starting new conversations. “There’s nothing more dangerous than a lonely, broken, young man.”

Galloway is focusing attention on an educational system biased against boys plus contemporary dating and mating norms that get too many young men labeled as “not economically viable.” He’s a frequent guest on Bill Maher’s Real Time on HBO. Galloway is sounding the alarm about too many young men who are not attached to work, school, or women. That portends a less productive and more violent nation in the future. “The most unstable nations in the world have one thing in common, and that is they have too many lonely, broke, and alone men.”

Few 17 and 18 year olds of either gender know precisely what they want to do for the rest of their lives.  And they need not know. I remember trying to calm high school seniors down from angst by telling them I wanted to be an airline pilot at 17 but went on to work in travel, state government, and then education instead. Data show young women figure out and deal with the challenges of life faster and often on their own. Whether biology or something else, too many young men feel a need to “sow their wild oats” before getting serious, if they ever do. But youth recklessness and irresponsibility can have lifetime costs.

Galloway declares the ultimate positive display of masculinity is a successful man taking an interest in a young man that is not his and helping him grow. He states, “The number one indicator of suicide among teen boys is a fatherless home, and 70% of men who are incarcerated didn’t have a male role model.” He even advocates for a high school course on mating dynamics in a world dominated by Tinder. The on-line app stresses hook-ups over true relationship formation. Swiping through female photos is akin to ordering a pizza. Needless to say, it is a significant contributor in making men feel worthless. Finally, Galloway condemns the isolation of at-home work. “Young men need guardrails. They need to know how to read a room. They need to put on a clean shirt and get into the office.”

The evidence is in. We’re failing our boys and young men. Being pro-men should never be considered being anti-women. Acknowledging the current crisis is step one. Finding solutions is step two, but few if any will come from government. They will have to come from all of us.

Jeff Szymanski has a master’s degree in political science. He works in political communications for AMAC Action and previously taught high school economics, history, psychology, and sociology.

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RetiredRN
RetiredRN
1 year ago

I remember the mid-90’s when my youngest son was in middle school when the war on boys began. They were blamed for everything bad that happened in school. “ Girls are good, boys are bad”. The focus was on what girls needed,wanted, not just educationally but culturally as well. Combined with the huge increase in single-parent families usually headed by mothers getting help from government,non-profits,etc, boys were relegated to the bottom of the barrel. No wonder there aren’t many “real men” left.
Society has abandoned them for 30 years. You reap what you sow.

jeanette
jeanette
1 year ago

excellent article. One of the better ones recently on AMAC. And such sooth. It’s vital all our children get help and guidance in learning and bearing their roles in society.

Jason
Jason
1 year ago

Good article!

Kay
Kay
1 year ago

… if you think your whacked-out democrat friends are doing our boys any good, calling them girls, telling them they can get pregnant? Then, you’re the problem; you’re what’s wrong with our nation –

Heather Johnson
Heather Johnson
1 year ago

Thank you for this article. While it did not touch on the spiritual training of young men, it did open the door to a conversation that needs to take place. We see all too often the fruit that is yielded by ignoring the real life mentorship and training of boys and young men.

dave s
dave s
1 year ago

I only have granddaughters but Wow. I was not aware of any of this.

Jerry
Jerry
1 year ago

When I was in school back in the 1950s and 60s teachers had a way of dealing with those testosterone fueled boys who got out of hand and wouldn’t listen it instructions. Every teacher had a paddle in their desk drawer. When a young man got out of hand that paddle would come out and be applied liberally to his butt. When he felt the pain he would see the light. No need for detention or drugs. Nuff said.

Linda Martin
Linda Martin
1 year ago

Very good article and sadly, so true.

Alice
Alice
1 year ago

I would like to tell you of my experience. I spent about 30 years teaching in a lower elementary classroom – mostly first grade – in 2 different states and 3 different school systems. I noticed, just as the author of the article noted, that some boys were about a semester behind the girls. You could tell that at least some of them were not lower IQ, but just not ready to do that level of school work – even in first grade. Then I had a kindergarten class in which there were 2 boys who had late birthdays so their parents had kept them home another year. They didn’t fit into the kdg program either – especially the 2nd semester as they were ready to do a lot more by that time.

Even in my high school years, I always wondered why boys tended to date the girls in the class that followed them. (I went to a very small school so everyone was aware of all the boy/girl relationships.) I now figure it is because they were closer to the same maturity level.

I have been retired since 2001 so this has been happening a long, long time, and I’m sure it wasn’t a new phenomena in my day. It seems part of the solution would be to have beginning kdg classes which also started at 2nd semester time so a late bloomer could start at the appropriate time for him or her. It would mean split class for all of elementary school, at least. Now, these comments are not to ignore some of other serious problems which our are currently occuring in our society. They need to be worked on big time just as diligently.

Jeri
Jeri
1 year ago

Proud to say that my boys are hard core traditional men. They are gentleman to nth degree, strong, honorable, faith filled and 100% there for their wives and children. We have 6 grandsons and 4 granddaughters. Those 6 boys will be every bit as manly as their daddy’s. We pray hard that 4 boys are being raised somewhere to be the right men for our granddaughters. Proud of the real men we raised.

anna hubert
anna hubert
1 year ago

Girls do not fare much better being treated like a common piece of trash abortions at 13 papilloma virus vaccine advised at 9 A crime has been committed against both Their childhood has been stolen

tika
tika
1 year ago

this began in the ’60s at least. we fought it off for decades. every generation has the same task. the left smells weakness, apathy in the air. step up your game.

David Millikan
David Millikan
1 year ago

Excellent article.
Clinton’s started pumping drugs Redlin (Kiddie Cocaine) into boys cause teachers were too lazy to handle boys in schools and Hillary started her MAN HATING program taking away programs for boys to grow up and be MEN.
Remember how Hillary started the BS that Football was VIOLENT and made boys mean? (All over the news daily).
And started ALL the girls only programs? Still to this day.
And started the smartass mouth with smartass attitude, Man hating, and Golddigger attitude for girls to follow?
And look at the girls attitudes today.
Well, you have Hillary, FAKE news (cnn), and the Socialist liberals to mostly to thank for that.
But wait. I’m not cutting any slack for those that should have stepped up as Men and raised their boys to be MEN.
But still wait. Where are ALL the Boys Programs?
All we see every day is crap for girls in every commercial and every movie practically trying to make them believe that they are men.
Therefore, you have WOKE LOSER Socialist democrats putting boys down every day for political purposes to only serve them.
MEN, way past time for YOU to step up and be a MAN.
Or do you want YOUR boys to be little girls and wear dresses?

Jason
Jason
1 year ago

What are you talking about? Your comment does not make sense.

Jeff
Jeff
1 year ago

Part of the Marxist’s plan…make men incapable or disinterested in fighting for either their country, their wives/mothers/daughter or their honor. Then the Marxist takes over America.

porterv
porterv
1 year ago

I read a lot of history. Women suddenly become more prominent when a.civilization is getting ready to collapse. America’s collapse {and Western Civilization) probably began with the administration of Woodrow Wilson and it has been slow but steady since. Currently I blame the public schools and their anti-testosterone medications. China is an extremely masculine society. The last statistic I read said that there are something like 1.4 males born for every female. It is a cultural thing. Islam society is also very masculine. If either of these societies conquer us, they will not be very tolerant of our current way of life.

kamala harris; project 2025
democrats
kamala harris
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