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Gingersnap
05-18-2011, 11:16 AM
Guys got it made? Think again, say advocates


By Cheryl Wetzstein
The Washington Times
7:19 p.m., Tuesday, May 17, 2011

“If just one sex wins, both sexes lose.”

These words, presented Tuesday at an event in Washington sponsored by the Boys Initiative, are intended to start a national conversation aimed at improving the outcomes for American boys and men in school, work, marriage and health.

The figures are stark: Compared to girls, boys are less educated and more medicated. One in five men of prime working age is not working. Men have a life expectancy five years shorter than women. Male suicide rates start out equal to females, but steadily rise over the lifespan.

America ranks No. 1 in the world for the number of men in their 50s and 60s with college degrees, but it ranks only ninth for these degrees among men in their 20s and 30s, Thomas Mortenson, education analyst and board member of the Boys Initiative, said in a report released at the event.

This is a “shameful record” and shows that the United States is not preparing its young men to compete in a global economy, said Mr. Mortenson. “For God’s sake, people, wake up.”

“There are a lot of win-win answers here,” said Warren Farrell, a Boys Initiative board member and chairman of a 34-member Commission to Create a White House Council on Boys to Men.

When men are educated with modern skillsets and land good jobs, they are more marriageable, said Mr. Farrell, the author of best-selling books, such as “Why Men Are The Way They Are” and “The Myth of Male Power.” If elderly husbands have better health and live longer, their wives will not be thrown into poverty upon their deaths. If relationship skills or “life skills” are taught in school, both sexes should be able to communicate and problem-solve better - raising the likelihood that more children can be raised in a happy home with their mothers and fathers, he said.

If President Obama were to establish by executive order a White House Council on Boys to Men, just as he created the White House Council on Women and Girls in March 2009, it would immediately raise the profile of these problems, added Mr. Farrell, who Tuesday released a lengthy proposal about such a council from the commission.

“I am convinced today that we have a national crisis, a national security issue, a state-of-emergency issue and a nation at risk. If anybody cannot understand that, as we talk about investments and the return on those investments - which are our boys - then it is very clear we are going in the wrong direction,” said Willie Iles, national director of government relations for Boy Scouts of America.

More at the link.

Washington Times (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/may/17/guys-got-it-made-think-again-say-advocates/)