The “Man Problem” Is Finally Getting Some Attention…But Not Enough
I’ve written much her over the years about the “decline of men”–especially as it affects boys and male health in general. All educators know about the “boy crisis” in schools–from elementary grades through graduate schools. Anyone who pays attention knows that men’s health is seriously neglected by government and non-profit organizations.
On the positive side, one major Texas health organization (Baylor Scott & White) finally held a “men’s health fair” (“It’s a Guy Thing”). It has held women’s health fairs and events annually for years. (Yes, I attended the one closest to my home and work and it was helpful and informative.) It was not nearly as well publicized, however, as the women’s health events.
I consider it positive and helpful whenever researchers, journalists and influencers pay any attention to social problems that affect males; it’s so rare. Just bringing attention to the problems is helpful. What’s not helpful, however, is when people simply point the finger of blame and boys and men and don’t ask the social questions they would and do ask about challenges girls and women face.
As I have said many times before: When females face challenges it’s society’s fault; when males face challenges it’s their own fault.
I’m not saying it’s never males’ fault; I’m asking for more serious research into why especially boys are falling behind at all educational levels, filling up America’s prison system (which continues to grow exponentially), dropping out of school and work during their teens and twenties, living with their parents into their thirties (and beyond), and dying younger than women.
What if there was a scientifically proven method any woman could practice to reduce her chance of getting breast cancer by one third–without buying anything or going to a doctor? I guarantee it would be shouted from the rooftops by health organizations such as the American Cancer Society. The other evening at the men’s health event I asked the head of the Cancer Center where the event was held, during the Q&A session after his talk, whether there is anything a man can do to reduce his risk of getting prostate cancer. He said no. However, according to a 2004 article in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) there is a scientifically proven method by which men can reduce their chance of getting prostate cancer (if they start early enough in life) by one third. While you can read all about it on line if you know what to search for, I have never seen it mentioned in any of the monthly e-mails I receive from the American Cancer Society or anywhere else–except one small notice in Men’s Health magazine. Apparently even cancer specialists don’t know about it. Do they not read JAMA?
Again, I say, IF there were a similar simple method of reducing one’s risk of developing breast cancer, everyone would know about it–no matter how sensitive the subject/method might be. People would put women’s health and lives above squeamishness and let the whole world know about it.
Why do they not do that for men?
Here are two relatively recent fine articles in major publications (meaning with real credibility) about the “man problem.” I highly recommend them. I will provide enough information here for you to google them. I am reluctant to post hyper-links because, for whatever reason, more often than not, here, they do not work.
First: “The Sorry Lives and Confusing Times of Today’s Young Men” in Philadelphia (magazine) February 20, 2012 (by one Sandy Hingston). The article quotes top scholarly experts on the subject as well as giving real case studies to illustrate the statistics.
Second, “Why Does No One Care When Boys Fail at School and Middle-Aged Men Kill Themselves?” in The Telegraph (UK) November 7, 2015.
I have “googled” both and found them easily.
Why be concerned? Because any society in which almost half the population is struggling, for whatever reason, is bound to face serious social problems. I have NO problem with women leading, the “rise of women” is all to the good. My problem is with the “decline of boys and men” into “drop-out” status with virtually no government or non-profit organizations paying attention, setting up “shop” to help. If you look at AOL’s Welcome Page, for example, you cannot avoid seeing it–free promotional ads for non-profit organizations to help girls and women. Only once in all the years I’ve had an AOL account have I seen one for a non-profit organization to help boys. And that one I pitched to AOL. I found the organization and told them about it. But I had to dig hard to come up with one and it was local, not national.
(Finally, for those of you who have read this far and are really interested in the mentioned method men can use to reduce their risk of prostate cancer, read about it at the web site of the Harvard Medical School/Harvard Health Publication (2009 and reviewed in 2011): “Does frequent ejaculation help ward off prostate cancer?”. This is clinical, not prurient. I am assuming my readers are all adults capable of dealing with this in a mature way. I am leaving this matter here for your consideration but will not post messages or comments related to it.)