The American Dream
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Have we completely and totally failed an entire generation of young men? Have we failed to equip them with the tools that they need? Have we raised an entire generation of young men that do not know how to be men? Today, young adult men are nearly twice as likely to live with their parents as young adult women are, and young adult men are much less likely to go to college than young adult women are.
Now I want to make something perfectly clear before we proceed. The point of this article is not to slam women or drag them down. Not at all. Rather, the goal of this article is to point out that we have a real problem with our young men and that they are lagging way behind. Vast numbers of them don’t want to go to college, don’t want to pursue careers, don’t want to get married and don’t want to take on any serious responsibilities. Of course there are always exceptions. In fact, there are some young men out there that are absolutely outstanding. However, what this article is trying to say is that the overall trends all point to the fact that our system has raised up a crop of young men that are generally weak, directionless, wimpified and unwilling to take responsibility. This is not a good thing.
What comes to your mind when you think of men under the age of 30 in America today? Does an image of an irresponsible, sex crazed, beer swilling slacker come to mind?
Unfortunately, that stereotype is way too true. We have failed our young men. We did not teach them how to be men. Yes, as I noted earlier, there are definitely exceptions to this, but in general we have a real problem on our hands.
Let take a look at some of the hard numbers.
As a recent CNN article noted, young men between the ages of 25 and 34 are almost twice as likely to live with their parents as young women the same age are….
The number of adult children who live with their parents, especially young males, has soared since the economy started heading south. Among males age 25 to 34, 19% live with their parents today, a 5 percentage point increase from 2005, according to Census data released Thursday. Meanwhile, 10% of women in that age group live at home, up from 8% six years ago.
Among the college-aged set, the 18- to 24-year-olds, 59% of males and 50% of females lived with their parents, up from 53% and 46%, respectively.
So what in the world is causing this?
Men that are between 25 and 34 should be in their prime working years. Instead, almost one out of every five of them is living with mommy and daddy.
This is a major problem. Rather than working hard, taking responsibility and building their own lives, we have way too many young men that are living in our basements and that spend much of their time watching television or playing video games.
The lack of ambition among many of our young men is absolutely appalling. Today, young women are far more likely to pursue a college education than young men are. According to the New York Times, approximately 57 percent of all young people enrolled at U.S. colleges are women. That means that only about 43 percent are men.
As I have written about previously, unemployment is also rampant among our young people.
Only 55.3% of all Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 were employed last year. That was the lowest level that we have seen since World War II.
Today, there are millions of young men that are sitting around with no job, no hope and no direction in life.
But even many of those that do have jobs are not making much money. The number of the “working poor” in America is rapidly increasing, and this is especially true among young adults. Since the year 2000, incomes for U.S. households led by someone between the ages of 25 and 34 have fallen by about 12 percent after you adjust for inflation.
In the past, women always complained about the “gender gap” when it came to wages, but today we are actually seeing that reversed among our young people. In fact, author Guy Garcia says that women in their twenties now earn more money than men of the same age in the ten largest cities in the United States.
This current generation of men also seems to be extremely hesitant to take on the responsibilities of marriage and family. Today, an all-time low 44.2% of Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 are married.
Instead, most young men seem to want to run around “hooking up” with as many women as possible without any consequences.
But there are consequences. The irresponsible behavior of our young men is putting an incredible amount of strain on our young women.
For example, in 2010 42 percent of all single mothers in the United States were on food stamps.
So what is causing all of this?
Well, certainly there are a lot of factors, but it certainly does not help that men are almost always portrayed as weak, irresponsible, sex-crazed idiots on television and in our movies.
This point was made very well in a recent article in The Washington Times….
If the fall TV season is any guide, the sexual revolution that was supposed to liberate men and women from traditional sex roles seems to have resulted instead in a straight-up role reversal. The male characters are messes — insecure, jobless, barely able to dress themselves without a wife or girlfriend and/or living in mom’s proverbial basement. Their female counterparts, meanwhile, are flaunting the same selfish, boorish ways that once got men called “chauvinist pigs.”
Today, our society generally does not teach young men that they should be strong, noble, ambitious and eager to take responsibility.
Instead, we are constantly sending our young men the message that we expect them to act like idiots, drink lots of beer, chase women and pretty much be as lazy as possible.
I fear that we have failed this entire generation of young men. Yes, there are many that have turned out great, but in general we have a real mess on our hands.
So what can we do about all of this?