Why I'm founding the American Institute for Boys and Men
I suggest that you recommend joining the military for the young men who feel that they have no future. It would give them direction, a sense of responsibility, and perhaps they could even go to college through the military.
Only in a “progressive” society are men struggling.
Women who have families outside a family structure are not equipped to raise a boy into a strong male. Only a male can model male behavior. If you think about it, intact families don’t usually have these issues unless “progressive morays” are pushed
Less “progressive societies” do pretty well until someone, that is usually well-meaning, comes and tries to change the order of things. Men doing traditional men things and women doing traditional women things have worked for a millennium. No reason to rebuild something that isn’t broken. That is the problem as so many of us see it. People used to understand that without a discussion. There may be an exception here or there, but “progressive values “ are the problem, by design, I might add.
I saw how well-intention teachers limited our boy’s creativity and their learning styles were not taken into consideration in traditional classrooms. Memorization took the place of “out of the box” thinking. Limited outdoor activities led to boredom in the classroom.
As an academic advisor at a heavily focused STEM university I saw how male students struggled. For many of the students who first encountered “failure” (which could mean earning a “C” in a course), the devastation was complete. I saw them use drugs and alcohol and many dropped out. We had some students take their lives. We referred to many of our students as the “lost boys”…it was so sad. As a mother of two sons I saw how my boys struggled in college and beyond.
Your research is so very important. While men used to have the advantage in school and work, their struggles now are real and need to be explored and rectified.
Mr. Reeves, I'm a little late to the party here but just wanted to say that your work truly inspired me. I've been working with college age students for more than a decade and many of the issues you raise in your book resonated with me deeply. I've seen the loneliness, confusion, depression, and social isolation you describe first-hand yet I couldn't put it all in context until reading your book.
Moreover, the more I delved into these issues the more I realized that I wanted to make a real impact to help boys and men. I'm starting an MSW program and I envision myself working primarily with adult men. Thanks for the inspiration!
Richard - so excited for this venture! Your work has been incredibly influential and inspirational for me. I'm preaching your message to anyone who will listen! Thank you for your courage and leadership. I'm volunteering with an organization called Boys To Men, essentially a male support group network for teens modeled after the ManKind Project. I recently started a podcast called "SWiMming Lessons" (SWM = Straight White Male) -- https://open.spotify.com/show/1QvIjHA5gelH8xwcBGma5F?si=415227876d264837 -- and am building my own non-profit org now. Looking forward to supporting your work in whatever way I can.
Thank you for bringing attention to these critical issues. Your book inspired me to finally launch a men's group I had been thinking about for some time. We call it the Shine-a-Light Men's Project, a mindfulness discussion group meeting on Zoom (https://www.facebook.com/victor.caldarola/). We are only just in the promotion phase but have high hopes for the project. We are based in Rockville, Maryland, but so far have attracted participants from around the country. Thanks again, and the best success to you.
Hello Mr. Reeves,
First, thank you for your work - critical issue that needs to be elevated. Helios Education Foundation just finished a Florida Landscape Scan -- https://www.helios.org/latest/briefs/strategies-and-practices-to-close-the-gender-based-achievement-gap-in-florida/ -- that came out of one of the recommendations from the FL Task Force for the Academic Achievement of Boys. Just wanted to put it on your radar and look forward to seeing you at ExcelinEd later this year!
I recently founded www.oldegoats.com, a website for men 70+. I have read ON BOYS AND MEN. This week I published an article on my website criticizing you for not mentioning the 16.5 million men over 70 many of whom are struggling and need help. They may be the most obvious victims of the gender shift you so clearly describe. I also suggested that you include older men among those studied and helped by your Project and included the names of three organizations interested in the wellbeing of older men that you should work with.
I wish you great success.
Best Dan Bell
Thank you and congratulations on the new endeavour. I particularly appreciate your emphasis that helping boys and men need not take away from efforts to help women, not to mention your emphasis on lowering the temperature.
This is a much-needed mindset for our times and I hope your new institute will play a key role in fostering such a mindset among deeply polarised audiences - not just in the United States, but in the rest of the world.
I found myself back here looking at the comments again today...it's so interesting to "see" so many people who want to help you. My great hope is that there is a mom, like me (52), who is raising to adolescent boys, in your new think tank. As a board certified health and wellness coach I see too often how the struggles of boys/men result in negative adaptations that affect mental health, and physical health as well. As a middle-aged women whose life has been deeply affected since my own childhood around the struggles of boys/men (as seen in my father and my brother, other teen boys and college-aged boys, employers, partners, spouse and now boy-children and their peers and male teachers) I feel like I've spent my whole life shape-shifting to fulfill my own needs, while navigating the needs of the boys/men around me. I've lived the "two things can be true at once" conundrum...I've suffered greatly at the hands of men...and I've watch the boys and men around me suffer...and I have great empathy for all of us. When I red-shirted my 15yr old in preschool and requested male teachers for him (in a sea of only female teachers) people thought I was just trying to "coddle" my son. AND...here we are. My hope is that it doesn't take too long to research what our lived experience already knows...the struggle of boys/men is real. Moms like me live in an energy of "what can we do" or "what can we try", and we need to be listened to. Our life experience has been shaped by the patriarchy and now we are trying to "raise" boys who can participate in their own lives, in a more thoughtful, balanced way. And we need as much help as we can get. I will continue doing whatever I can in my own life, in hopes that this small contribution can reverberate somehow to others. First and foremost, we all need to keep the dialogue open. So, thank you. People like you and Scott G etc. are willing and able to do this in a much more far-reaching way. I'm glad we are on this ride together...let's work together to help create change.
I have heard Scott Galloway talk about this issue many times. Such an important topic. I appreciate that you will be doing a deep dive into the data in a nonpartisan way (which is so important these days), and working to bring this issue to the forefront -- not an easy task. I look forward to following your work. (BTW: I do recruiting for nonprofit organizations. Let me know if I can help you as you build your team.) https://www.linkedin.com/in/sherryettleson/
Let me know how I can collaborate with your center in any way. You can connect with me through LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dshattuck/
I just watched your TED Talk and read your piece shared by the Gurian Institute. Your message needs to be spread far and wide. And this veteran teacher would love to be part of your organization/mission. Thank you for being a voice of reason on this matter. Best wishes to you and I look forward to reading more.
I too am raising my hand to help in any way that I can Dr. Reeves.
I am an elder Millennial and currently live in the tech hub of Seattle, but I grew up in a small rural town in northern New York.
In both locations I have observed an increased need for help for struggling men and boys.
In Seattle, it is substance abuse and homelessness and in my hometown it is substance abuse and a lack of job opportunities.
Neither location seems to have an overabundance of options or positive male role models for young men (monied 20-something tech bros in one location and government subsidy dependent right wing extremists in the other) and with each passing day our society seems to shift more towards polarization than problem solving.
Your proposal to drive increased participation in HEAL jobs is a fantastic idea and so very needed in society for many reasons, but I feel like in both locations, young men feel pressure to avoid these types of jobs due to the cultural norms of the location.
In Seattle if you're not a SDE making $300K+ or a 40 year old second generation VC good luck affording a home or an apartment for under $4K.
In my conservative rural hometown, you're more likely to find men in a militia than in nursing or teaching roles.
I don't know how best to help in either situation, but you're one of the few people I've heard trying to address the larger issue of a lack of positive role models in a thoughtful, solution driven way.
While I don't have the academic background that some of the other commenters do, I do have a master's degree, the strong motivation to be a good role model that comes with being a new father, and compassion for those around me who are struggling.
I believe in your work at the American Institute for Boys and Men and feel that it can help drive change in time. I would very much like to help, and will continue to listen for ways that I can.
Good luck on separating ideology and social science on this issue--which is what I think you mean by "culture wars."
Raising my hand, Dr. Reeves.
I'm a father of 3 boys and 1 girl. I was blessed with a father who knew he was imperfect but was able to regularly bring strong men into my orbit. I learned so much from my father and these men.
I taught principles of fatherhood and positive masculinity in prison. An informal poll showed 85% had no strong male role model in childhood.
Our boys certainly need our support.
Thank you for launching this initiative. I'll be looking for opportunities to support.