Child-Men fueled by Red Bull
What is happening with young men today?
It seems that no matter where you look, there are child-men everywhere. The difference between child-men and men is a cultural phenomenon in that the former still lives with his parents, is around teeny-five years of age, and generally avoids responsibility. Since some of the statistics related to the achievement of young men is inaccurate, I present recent and verified statistics below:
- In 2012, 40% of men and 32% of women returned home to live with their parents (Fry, 2013).
- In 2010, 78.9% of men and 21.1% of women in the United States died by suicide (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, n.d.)
- In 2010, 62% of associate’s degrees, 58% of bachelor’s degrees, and 60% of doctoral degrees were conferred to women (National Center for Education Statistics, 2012).
- In 2004, adolescent girls spent and average of 5 hours per week playing video games whereas their counterparts spent and average of 13 hours (Gentile, Lynch, Linger, and Walsh, 2004).
These are only a few shocking statistics that illustrate the demise of young men, or child-men, in the United States. While socioeconomic factors lead child-men to return home to their parents, the general lack of responsibility is not due to socioeconomic factors. The achievement gap between men and women, which relates to lack of responsibility or drive exhibited by child-men, is demonstrated by achievement in higher education. There is nothing inherently wrong with women improving their education. In fact, it is a hallmark of societal growth and improvement. However, a society that is knowledge driven (i.e., careers that require a bachelors degree or above) will continue to create a disparity between child-men and women. This is a problem because educational equality, which translates into earning potential, contributes to the long-term success of interpersonal relationships. While women are not necessarily concerned with out-earning their partner, because historically a woman’s value came from being a mother, daughter, and child, child-men will feel increasingly disparaged. Men’s value, on the other hand, has historically been tied to their career and achievement. This will inevitably lead to interpersonal relationship satisfaction. If the partners are not on par in terms of educational achievement or drive for that matter, they will not be able to communicate effectively.
The disparaging statistics of young men in the United States must end. In order to promote healthy interpersonal relationship functioning, young men must be encouraged to explore their masculinity and, most importantly, to integrate the seemingly opposite dynamics of strong and compassionate. It is an unfortunate misnomer that men cannot be strong and compassionate at the same time. While it may not seems important to address the aforementioned issues now, it is important to recognize that these issues will persist across future generations of men if not properly addressed.
Bly, R. (2004). Iron John: A book about men. Cambridge, MA: De Capo Press.
Hymowitz, K.S. (2012). Manning up: How the rise of women has turned men into boys. New York, NY: Basic Books.
Moore, R. and Gillette, D. (1991). King, warrior, magician lover: Rediscovering the archetypes of the mature masculine. San Francisco, CA: Harper Collins.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. (n.d.). Suicide deaths. Retrieved on June 01, 2014.
Fry, R. (2013). A rising share of young adults live in their parents’ home. Retrieved on June 01, 2014.
Gentile, D.A., Lynch, P.J., Linder, J.R., & Walsh, D.A. (2004). The effects of violent video games on adolescent aggressive attitudes and behaviors. Journal of Adolescence, 27, 5-22.
National Center for Education Statistics. (2012). Degrees conferred by sex and race. Retrieved on June 01, 2014.