(This post is a continuation – click here to read Part 2)
They are also more likely to be rejected by or removed from their families, being 25% more likely to be taken into care and 25% less likely to taken out of care by being adopted.
Boys are twice as likely to have a Special Educational Need and twice as likely to have literacy problems. They are four times more likely to be excluded from school.
1.5 million boys are separated from their fathers and half a million have no contact with their dad. The lack of a father (and lack of male role models more generally) impacts boys in different ways to girls who have a wealth of female role models including the 85% of primary school teachers who are female.
By the time they reach 16 boys are two-and-half times more likely to die before they reach 25 years old. They are also more likely to experience youth unemployment, less likely to go to university and and those that do are 50% more likely to be unemployed when they graduate.
Throughout life men are more likely to experience being unemployed and looking for work and are twice as likely to die before reaching retirement age. More than 95% of the 200 people killed in the workplace every year are men.
More than 10 men a day kill themselves with men being 3 times more likely to commit suicide. Men are also twice as likely to be victims of violent crime and are more likely to killed by strangers and killed by someone they know accounting for more than 71% of all murders.
Men are also 4 times more likely to alcoholic, three times more likely to be dependent on cannabis and account for 9 out of 10 rough sleepers.
Many of these issues overlap.
Boys who are fatherless, illiterate and end up in care are more likely to be excluded from school.
Boys with literacy problems are two to three times more likely to end up being heavy smokers, drinkers and unemployed.
Boys from fatherless families are nine times more likely to commit crime.
Boys who are excluded from school are 19 times more likely to commit suicide.
Boys who are fatherless, in care, excluded from school and have literacy problems are more likely to end up in prison.
So why is it that 95% of the country’s 100,000 prisoners male? Is it because men are naturally criminal? If that was the case surely all classes of society would be equally represented in prison.
- 90% of men in prison have at least one mental disorder
- 90% of young male offenders were excluded from school
- 60% of male prisoners come from fatherless homes
- Half are alcohol dependent
- 20%-30% of prisoners have learning difficulties
- 27% of male prisoners spent time in a care home
According to the Centre for Social Justice research studies conducted in the UK, US, China, New Zealand, Scandinavia, Hong Kong and Taiwan all agree that the following are risk factors or indicators of susceptibility to youth criminal activity:
- Inadequate parenting
- Child abuses/maltreatment
- Family disruption
- Poor parental supervision
- Parental or sibling criminality
- Having teenage parents
- Unstable living conditions
- The effects of economic disadvantage
These aren’t more men who ARE problems, these are boys who HAD problems and we failed to use those problems as an opportunity to work with these boys and help them find a way to flourish and fulfill on their potential.
There’s been a lot of talk recently about women and power. And it’s true that the majority of people in positions of power are men – AND the vast majority of us are not in power.
Ghandi said: ”Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.”
And I think it’s the same with our personal power. We could equally say: ”Each one has to find his power from within. And power to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.”
This isn’t an argument against diversifying our power bases it’s about the context we create when addressing inequality.
When I consider Ghandi’s life, he didn’t wait until the British left India to be empowered.
The same is true of Martin Luther King, he didn’t wait for his Civil Rights to be empowered.
Similarly Nelson Mandela, he didn’t wait for apartheid to end for him to be empowered.
Or the Suffragettes, they didn’t wait to get the vote to get themselves empowered.
We can’t all be in power but we can all be empowered to tackle inequality and empower others to do the same by relating to every human being as their potential.
As an optimist I believe that we can create a world together where every man, woman, girl and boy can flourish.
And we can only do that by being activists who are prepared to measure inequality, take action to tackle it and play the game of Gender Equality Top Trumps in a way that everyone wins and the world works for everyone.
By Glen Poole, Strategic Director, The Men’s Network