Issues

The public schools:
A system that works for girls, but not for boys

Many modern educational practices are counterproductive for boys. Success in school is tightly correlated with the ability to sit still, be quiet, and complete paperwork. Many young boys are bodily kinesthetic learners who respond to hands-on lessons. The educational establishment finds this inconvenient, and thus largely ignores it. The trend against competition and the promotion of cooperative learning strategies run counter to boys’ natural competitiveness and individual initiative. Lessons in which there are no right or wrong answers, and from which solid conclusions cannot be drawn, tend to frustrate boys, who often view them as pointless. Many healthy, energetic, and intelligent boys are branded as behavior problems as soon as they begin school, and are punished and put on Ritalin or other drugs so they will sit still. Because schools and classrooms do not fit their educational needs, many boys disengage from school long before they reach high school. Fewer and fewer of them ever reach college.

False accusations: Men and boys are presumed guilty

Research shows that false allegations of rape are common. According to a nine-year study conducted by former Purdue sociologist Eugene Kanin, in over 40 percent of the cases reviewed, the complainants eventually admitted that no rape had occurred. Kanin also studied rape allegations at two large Midwestern universities and found that 50 percent of the allegations were recanted by the accusers. Kanin found that most of the false accusers were motivated by a need for an alibi or a desire for revenge. Until relatively recently our criminal laws typically required some form of corroborative evidence to prove rape. A few decades ago, the lone accusation of a woman or a girl was not enough to charge or convict for rape. Starting in the 1970s, rape laws underwent sweeping reforms to make it easier to convict men and boys. The requirement of corroboration was among the first casualties of the old laws. Due to these changes in the law, it is now possible to charge and convict men and boys of rape solely on the say-so of a lone accuser. Men and boys, for the first time, face the possibility of having their lives destroyed if a false accuser is a good enough actress. When the laws requiring corroboration were repealed, the power of a lone accuser was greatly enhanced. She can send her rapist to prison for many years. Unfortunately, she can also send an innocent man or boy to prison for many years. Women and girls do lie about rape. The fact that we have given women and girls the power to destroy men and boys means that we need to hold them accountable for misusing that power. Currently, they are not being held accountable. We need to amend our criminal statutes to impose greater penalties for false reporting of rape and sexual assault. Only then will false accusers be deterred. Only then will they be punished justly. And only then will we treat the victimization of our sons with the same seriousness with which we treat the victimization of our daughters.

Choice: For women, not for men

1.5 million American women legally walk away from motherhood every year through adoption, abortion, or abandonment. A mother can completely opt out of motherhood simply by returning an unwanted newborn to the hospital, or by calling 911 to have an ambulance come and take the baby within seven days of birth. Men cannot legally walk away from an order to pay child support. If men are told that they should help protect a woman’s right to choose a safe, affordable, and legal medical procedure to abort her maternity, where are the women who will help protect a man’s right to choose a safe and affordable legal procedure to terminate his paternity?

Child support, legal child abandonment,
and parental responsibility

The government goes to great lengths to hold a father to his parental responsibility to financially support his child. Judges rarely lower a father’s child support obligation, even when the father’s pay is cut or he loses his job. Even when the mother prevents the father from seeing his child (in violation of the court’s order on visitation), the judge usually does nothing to help the father see his child, or to punish the mother for her interference, or to lower the father’s child support obligation. Noncustodial fathers greatly outnumber noncustodial mothers, and contrary to the myth of the “deadbeat dad”, noncustodial fathers meet their child support obligations more often than noncustodial mothers do. Meanwhile, under state law, a mother can leave her baby at a hospital within seven days of birth, or she can call 911 and have an ambulance come and take her baby — legally abandoning her child and walking away from her parental responsibility to financially support her child. The mother can abandon her baby anonymously (the hospital or ambulance service must not ask for her name) — thus the child will grow up not knowing who their parents are, or their family medical history. This law makes it simpler for a mother to return her baby to the hospital than it is to return a cell phone to the store, and makes it simpler for a mother to have her baby removed from her home and her life than it is to have the trash picked up.

Marriage

If a man marries, the odds are 50% that his marriage will end in divorce. The odds are 70% that the divorce will be initiated by his wife. The odds are 80% that his wife will get custody of the children, plus child support, the house, much of his property, and possibly alimony too. If his wages are not withheld and he fails to pay child support, the state will garnish his pay, put liens on his property, intercept his tax refunds, report him to credit agencies, revoke his driver’s license, suspend his professional and business permits, deny him food stamps, hold him in contempt of court, put his face on a wanted poster, and throw him in jail. But if his ex-wife spends the child support money on herself instead of the children, the state will do…nothing. His child support payments will be based not on what his children need, not on what he earns, but on what the court decides he could earn. If his ex-wife interferes with his court-ordered parenting time with his children, the court will do…nothing.

Divorce

Paternity fraud

Often a man is led to believe that the children his wife or girlfriend gave birth to are his, and he accepts responsibility for supporting the children, but discovers later that the children are not his — and courts force the man to continue paying child support for those children.

Domestic violence

According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year women experience about 4.8 million domestic-violence-related physical assaults, while men experience about 2.9 million — thus, men comprise about 37% of domestic violence victims. Also, over 200 scholarly studies have shown that women are about as likely as men to initiate domestic violence.

Restraining orders / orders for protection:
Easily misused at the expense of men

Courts are easily manipulated by those pretending to seek protection from abuse because the political climate reinforces the belief that men are abusers, and there is no penalty for false claims. Thus, they embolden applicants to use restraining orders for ulterior motives, such as to gain an advantage in divorce, to get custody of children easily without a family court hearing, as a quick eviction process, or for revenge.

Fatherlessness:
Children’s crisis created by government

The worsening problem of fatherlessness of children is driven partly by middle-class, middle-aged women choosing fatherlessness for their children, and partly by federal rules governing child support collections. People think that child support enforcement benefits children, but it does not. When welfare agencies collect child support, the money actually goes to the government to reimburse it for welfare payments already made to mothers. Each state collects child support money and deposits it in a state fund, but the federal government dictates the way the system operates. Federal taxpayers subsidize state government operations through child support. While officials claim their perennial crackdowns on “deadbeat dads” increase collections, the increase is achieved not by collecting arrearages of low-income fathers already in the system, but simply by pulling in more middle-class fathers. These fathers have not abandoned their children. Most were actively involved with them, and many clamor for more time with them. Yet for the state to collect its funding, fathers willing and able to care for their children must be designated as “absent”. Divorce courts are pressured to cut children off from their fathers to conform to the welfare model of “custodial” and “noncustodial”. The perverse incentives further criminalize fathers by impelling states to make child support levels as onerous as possible. This also creates a windfall for middle-class divorcing women and an incentive to create more fatherless children. This leads to the destruction of families by creating financial incentives to divorce, and the prevention of families by creating financial incentives not to marry upon conceiving a child. The state must then devise programs to deal with the social costs of millions of fatherless children.

Circumcision

Medical research shows that infant male circumcision reduces penis sensitivity significantly and permanently, and the procedure is medically unnecessary to begin with. Federal and state laws prohibit any medically unnecessary genital cutting of girls — but boys are denied the equal protection of these laws.

Unequal justice: The gender double standard

A study done by the Pennsylvania commission on racial and gender discrimination in the courts concluded that gender is by far the greatest indicator of sentencing disparity — Men are much more likely than women to be sentenced to prison for committing the same crime, and men receive significantly longer sentences than women who do go to prison for committing the same crime.

College: Often a hostile environment for men

Sensationalized but discredited statistics, drastically exaggerating the occurrence of date rape and domestic violence, are often an integral part of campus culture. Also, the U.S. college-age population is 51% male / 49% female, but college undergraduates are 43% male / 57% female. The percentage of male students continues to decrease. Colleges and universities are doing little or nothing to correct this worsening gender disparity.

Draft registration:
When the government says rights for all,
but responsibility for men only

All young men must register with Selective Service for a possible military draft. Even physically or mentally handicapped young men must register. Penalties for failing to register include five years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and permanent ineligibility for government benefits, such as student financial aid. Women are exempt from registration for a military draft. Even women who are Olympic athletes are exempt from registration, simply because they are women. The government goes to great lengths to guarantee that women have all the rights that men have — but when it comes to the possibility of a future military draft, the government insists that only men must bear responsibility. Women’s guaranteed rights with exemption from responsibility is privilege — the opposite of equality.

Sexual harassment

Laws intended to stop coercive or abusive sexual behavior in the workplace have been drastically expanded to eliminate any overt manifestations of male sexuality that might upset some women. Women are seen as powerless in interactions with men; distinctions between trivial and severe offenses are erased; and once a man is accused, he is presumed guilty.

Sex offender registry laws go to extremes
at the expense of men and boys

Most states require anyone convicted of a sex crime (not just rape or other physical assaults, but anything that violates the loosely worded sexual contact laws) to register as a sex offender for life. These laws can be used (and often are used) to convict an individual when another individual feels they were unable to give consent. Prosecutors can get a longer sentence if they can find a way to link a crime with the sexual contact laws — which creates an incentive to expand the categories of people who have to be listed on the registry. As a result, many people listed on sex offender registries are not rapists, not pedophiles, not violent, and not a threat to anyone — but once the sex offender label is applied, society views them as violent sex criminals.

Homelessness

The problem of homelessness is essentially a problem of single men. Far more men than women, and far more single adults than families, end up homeless. Until we understand how and why that happens, nothing we try to do about homelessness will have much of an impact. Unless we confront our prejudices and oppressive practices in relation to men in general and homeless men in particular, nothing is going to change.

Suicide

80% of suicide victims in the U.S. are men or boys. Boys commit 86% of all adolescent suicides. Why aren’t we asking what’s wrong with a culture that drives boys, much more than girls, to take their own lives? If men and boys supposedly have power and privilege, why do far more of them kill themselves than do women and girls?

The wage gap: A result of women’s choices

Women are less likely than men to choose to work longer hours at more demanding and hazardous jobs (which pay more); less likely to choose to travel, relocate, or have long commutes for jobs which pay more; and less likely to have more years and more consecutive years of experience, because women are more likely to work part time or take years off of work to care for their children. Given these factors, it would be very hard for men to not earn considerably more than women. When men and women with the same qualifications are working in the same job, women earn as much as men do.

The gender gap in health care

There are glaring disparities in awareness, funding, media coverage, and research between prostate cancer and breast cancer, even though the incidence rate per 100,000 people is 135.2 for breast cancer and 172.3 for prostate cancer (about 27.5% higher for prostate cancer), and the death rate per 100,000 people is 27 for breast cancer and 32 for prostate cancer (about 18.5% higher for prostate cancer). Also, men die younger than women (about 5.2 years younger), and more men develop cancer and die from it than women, and they do so at younger ages. In spite of this, there are several federal offices for women’s health, but not even one federal office for men’s health.

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