The rate of mass shootings has tripled since 2011. We blame guns, violence in the media, violence in video games, and poor family values. Each is a plausible player. But our daughters live in the same homes, with the same access to the same guns, video games, and media, and are raised with the same family values. Our daughters are not killing. Our sons are.
2017 and the #metoo movement marked a cultural shift in the mass outing of long-tolerated sexual harassment, largely perpetrated by men. In seeking its origins, we wonder – what went wrong between the genders? How can we better nurture the emotional well-being of young men, who are more drawn by social programming to violence, misogyny, and other negative behaviors?
Although men as a group have far more power in our society, most individual boys and men do not feel powerful, and that discrepancy has implications for how they view themselves and engage with others. As studies of boys, men, and masculinities have found, traditional constructions of gender can be detrimental to boys and men as well as girls and women. When we take the whole range of human qualities/roles/experiences, divide it in half into masculine and feminine, and when society reinforces that only men be masculine and only women be feminine, then everyone loses.
On Thursday April 5th we are taking a deeper dive into our next generation of boys. We will discuss why they are falling behind (compared to girls) in social development, math and science, why they are far more prone to violence, bad behavior and suicide and most importantly what we might all do about it.