Saturday, December 15, 2012

The breakdown of civility, peace and security: Built-in societal anti-male bias a factor?

by Clifford F. Thies

From what I can tell, the incident in Connecticut more closely resembles the recent incident in Norway than other recent mass murders. The Norway incident is hard to fathom. The country is such a fine place, almost free of crime (especially if we consider the native-born population), well-established civil liberties, socially-tolerant, a prosperous economy, more guns per capita than we have here in the U.S. While, it is easy to attempt to relate the incident in Connecticut to factors that confirm our views of how the world works, how does the Norway incident, and so many others, fit that world view. We are talking of a rare event, and we have to be very careful, as well as sensitive.

My own inclination is to consider the lack of socialization of young males, whether because of the postponement of marriage, the lack of employment, the lack of successful role models, recourse to electronic gaming and other addictive behaviors, and the deepening of long-run pessimism. These conditions can coalesce into a very negative social dynamic. And, the stresses can cause more of those who have emotional vulnerabilities to snap.

From a very recent study out of the UK, from the UK Daily Mail, 16 Nov. "1 in 5 boys at primaries have no male teachers while some could go through their entire education without one":
Nearly one in five boys is being taught in a primary school without a single male teacher on the staff.

Official statistics compiled for the first time reveal how 360,485 boys aged four to 11 are attending schools which have only women teachers.

Of these, 61,060 are eligible for free school meals because of low household income.
The disclosure prompted claims that too many boys are having little or no contact with an adult male before they reach secondary school.

And since the number of male teachers is also low in many secondary schools, some could go through an entire education without being taught by a male teacher. With women increasingly taking on the role of caretaker, in some schools 'there will be no male on the premises', according to experts.

The figures, which were placed in the House of Commons library, will add to fears that misbehaviour among disaffected boys is partly driven by a lack of male authority figures.
The rise of socially-dysfunctional behavior in our country, including at the extreme murder and mass murder, is profoundly disturbing. Our thoughts are with the community that has been so badly hurt by this incident, because it's not them, it's us. It's all of us, and it's our country.

Dr. Thies is a professor of economics at Shenandoah University in Virginia.

(photo credits -,

1 comment:

Rational Nation USA said...

A thoughtful look the issue following yesterday's tragic events.

Very well said Dr.