The Ongoing Decline of the American Male

"The average American man dies five years before the average American woman, in part because of increased death rates among males from opioids, alcohol, and suicide." - Intellectual Takeout

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Bert Perry's picture

....would be a look at the statistics from, say, 50 years back.  I'm guessing that 50 years back, it was still true that the strong majority of prisoners and school discipline problems were male, and that male life expectancy was a few years less than that for women as well.  There are some things we cannot really blame on an over-emphasis on the problems of women here, really.  For that matter, men have always been, as a whole, more likely to use tobacco or abuse alcohol than women, and I'd guess the same holds for illegal drugs, too.  

Regarding the portion of women in college, graduate school, and medical school, sure, but keep in mind that with the exception of medical school, the great portion of these positions are in the liberal arts--we are not as a whole talking about a career track that is going to end in the executive suite by any means.  Women are also heavily over-represented among the ranks of student loan debtors and deadbeats for this reason.

I'm with the author in expressing concern over men suffering from unwed parenting as well, a world where growing up without Dad is bad for both sexes, is this especially about men?  Really?  

One big thing that is male-specific, though, is that a lot of guys simply are wired to work with their hands, a far bigger proportion than women, and our current tax system more or less incentivizes manufacturing imports with a 2% average tariff and income taxes of (including FICA) 12.3%, 17%, 22%, and on up to around 50%.  We are effectively subsidizing imports by funding the military, coast guard, and ICE through the income tax.  Add generous welfare benefits and tax provisions incentivizing single parenting, and is it any surprise that men denied a decent career and a wife start hitting the bottle and the needle?

Sure, it's more complicated than that, but it does strike me that if we fixed that--I'm for free trade, but what we have now is stupid trade--we might give a lot of guys hope who are currently despairing.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Steve Newman's picture

Just kidding, Bert.

One of the things that was and is a common demarcation of male life expectancy is the difference between married men and unmarried men. This site cites statistics that say that married men live up to 17 years longer than unmarried men ( I would surmise that loneliness, which is endemic for many married and unmarried men, is a real factor.  

Bert Perry's picture get it, but loved the quip.   :^)  And agreed on the marriage issue.  Just told a guy last night that the goal of exercise is to be a good husband a few more years than would otherwise be likely.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Ed Vasicek's picture

Great and true thoughts, Bert and Steve.

It always frustrates me when people -- even people "on our side" -- manipulate statistics to add strength to whatever argument they happen to be making.  Statistics are so easy to manipulate, but we must control ourselves; we are usually aware (albeit via a quiet voice in our heads) when we are fudging.

Women have always lived longer then men.  Men have CLOSED the gap when it comes to life expectancy. See:

The difference in life expectancy has many factors. If the gap were the criteria, men have gained ground. But lifespan is far from the real issue and such arguments weaken the case for those of us who believe that there is a "masculine crisis."  We see the unmotivated young men in their house pants and hoodies walking with their heads down when they take a break from their gaming.

I do think that males, especially white males (we are such horrible oppressive bigoted chauvinists), are the object of ridicule and that this social turnaround has had it psychological and sociological effect on men.  There is a refusal to accept the male disposition in families (when it comes to boys) and society at large.  Some societies, by the way, are feminine (like Scandinavia and Netherlands), while others are masculine (Slovakia and Italy head this list). The US used to be in the middle, but I suspect the established powers have moved toward the feminine (veganism, etc.), while others have reacted in the opposite way (amassing guns and growing Duck Dynasty beards).  This information (about masculine and feminine cultures, not Duck Dynasty) is documented in "Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind" by Geert Hofstede and Gert Jan Hofstede, McGraw Hill, 2005.

But these issues are more than just how our society operates (increasingly feminine), but individual roles.  The who gender-uncertainty crisis into which we are now immersed has, as its roots (in my opinion), a disrespect for  the natural outworkings of both genders.  We are not only doing social engineering, we are trying to dissuade individuals from conforming to their gender's natural inclinations by presenting such conformity as a straitjacket rather than a protective guardian.



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