The Real Gender Gap Is 'The Boy Crisis,' and Democrats Are Making It Worse
The Trump administration is working with award-winning best-selling author Warren Farrell to "Make the American Family Great Again." Farrell, a former board member for the National Organization for Women (NOW) in New York, now chairs the Commission to Create a White House Council on Boys to Men. In an interview with PJ Media, he outlined what he calls "the boy crisis" and explained how Democratic staffers in thrall to a certain type of feminism have prevented him from partnering with 2020 Democrats in his attempt to solve it.
"What we know is that when there’s a lack of father involvement, boys’ development is inhibited in more than 50 areas, which I document in The Boy Crisis," Farrell told PJ Media. From bad educational outcomes to poor mental health to high unemployment, boys and young men in America are struggling, and more involved fatherhood would help combat this crisis. "Republicans get that the best parent is both parents, they get the importance of the father and the mother and the family. The Democrats do secondarily, but they put female choice above a united family."
In the lead-up to the Iowa caucuses, Farrell spoke with seven of the 2020 Democratic candidates. He said former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas), New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, former Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), and Andrew Yang were receptive to his message, but "the campaign managers on the Democratic side were all afraid of bringing up this boy crisis issue. They didn’t want to alienate their feminist base or their base of single mothers who they thought wanted the choice to raise children by themselves and not be told that they needed to incorporate a dad."
The Trump administration, on the other hand, reached out to him. "They invited me to speak at a fatherhood summit about a year ago. They invited me to work with the White House to talk about the boy crisis."
Warren admitted that his message is "politically incorrect" but he insisted, "We either all win together or all lose together." Feminists and society at large have focused on elevating women to combat the gender gap in pay, working on the assumption that women make less than men due to inherent sexism. Yet at the same time, boys and men are falling behind in far more critical ways.
"There are so many levels of struggles with men today," he told PJ Media. "In education, they’re falling behind girls on every academic subject, particularly reading and writing, which are the two biggest predictors of success or failure. Boys are much more likely to drop out of high school and among boys who drop out of high school, the unemployment rate in the early 20s is more than 20 percent."
When it comes to mental health, "boys are committing suicide equally to girls at the age of 9 but at the age of 10-14, boys commit suicide twice as often as girls." In the 15-19 age bracket, boys commit suicide four times as often, and in the 20-25 age bracket, boys commit suicide five times as often as girls do.
Sperm counts have decreased by 50 percent; boys' IQs are going down; more of them are unemployed in their 20s, "hurting the economic health of the nation," Farrell said.
There is an increasing gap between the demand for AI and tech workers and the lack of supply. "Males tend to be more inclined to go into AI and tech, yet we are not supporting them to do that nearly as well as we could," he argued.
These various maladies often trace back to the absence of a father or a strong male role model, Farrell claimed. "Our school systems are leaving boys vulnerable in the sense of having very few male teachers in elementary school and kindergarten. Boys often go from mother-only homes to female-dominated child care centers and elementary schools. Then we wonder why boys are vulnerable to gangs and to drug dealers to provide them a sense of belonging and reputation and respect."
He also addressed the gender pay gap. "It takes one sentence" to claim that women make less money than men, but "when I say that's not accurate, it takes me an entire book," Farrell said, referring to Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap — and What Women Can Do About It. The book focuses on empowering women so they can earn as much as men, but it revealed some startling truths.
Examining 25 different measures of work-life balance, Farrell found that "in every measure, the average man — especially the average man who has children — is far more likely to make work choices that increase his pay." Women, by contrast, focus more on the balance.
"The pay gap is not about men versus women, it’s about dads versus moms," the author explained. "When you compare never-married women who have never had children to never-married men who have never had children, the never-married women earn 17 percent more than the never-married men do. When men know they’re not going to have children, they put effort into things that are more fulfilling, and in general, the more fulfilling an occupation is, the less it pays."
Women and men react differently to the birth of a child. According to Farrell, about 40 percent of women who have children work full-time while another 40 percent do not work outside of the home at all, and the remaining 20 percent work part-time. Even those who had been working full-time usually cut back the number of hours and commute time. When men become fathers, by contrast, they increase their "likelihood of working more hours."
"If he was an elementary school teacher before, now he might be open to becoming an administrator because it would earn more money for him," the author explained. "The feminists say males are more likely to become principals and that’s discrimination for men. Actually it’s discrimination against men."
Men feel pressured to make more money, leading to "the father's catch-22, which is feeling pressure to love your children by being away from your children." What feminists see as discrimination in favor of men is actually "an obligation to earn more money that the family can spend, while he dies sooner."
The father's catch-22 may make dads distant from their children, but divorce and family breakdown often leave children entierly fatherless.
"The boys who are involved in the boy crisis — struggling with depression, alienation, disobedience, video game and porn addiction, drugs, high levels of immediate gratification — these are almost all boys who have minimal or no father involvement, brought up by single mothers or whose parents divorce at a relatively early age (before 14 or 15) and the father spends less than equal time with the children," he explained. "Then both girls and boys suffer, but the boys suffer considerably more than the girls do."
In his interview with PJ Media, Farrell mentioned two programs he is working with the White House to develop: a male teacher corps so boys could have male teachers to look up to, and a father-warrior program focused on training boys to become great fathers.
"We're all in the same family boat. When only one sex wins, both sexes lose," the author warned. "'The future is female' is really not what any heterosexual girl who wants to marry really wants. Very few girls are interested in marrying boys who are failures to launch."
The future is not male or female — it is both. American society cannot truly be healthy until the challenges facing both girls and boys are taken seriously. President Donald Trump is leading in this regard, while Democrats seem to be holding it back.
Tyler O'Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.