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Empathy Gap

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Quote: «While more and more young women are soaring in education and beyond, a recent Congressional Budget Office report revealed one out of six young men is either not working or is incarcerated - a 45 percent increase since 1980. Mass shootings have tripled since 2011, with the majority being carried out by young men, while young male suicide rates have increased 50 percent since 1994.

There is an empathy gap in society when it comes to having compassion for the challenges boys and young men face, the issues that underlie the statistics above.

Nobody sees investing in boys' development as "worth it" and as a result boys today are growing up and deciding that it is not worth it for them to invest their time and energy back into their communities.

When Nikita Coulombe and I conducted a 20,000-person survey trying to better understand what is causing motivational problems in young men, the number one answer chosen by young men themselves was: conflicting messages from media, institutions, parents, and peers about acceptable male behavior.

With the rise of "toxic masculinity" classes on college campuses, masculinity itself is almost treated as a disease. Yet there is a decreasing number of positive male role models showing younger men the path to acceptable manhood.

(...) Young men deserve our compassion and guidance. Being a young adult is hellish enough without the added burden of being demonized by society. Growing up in poverty, I saw the difference a mentor could make. If we alienate our sons we're going to lose a whole generation, to say nothing of the ripple effects that impact us all.» - Philip Zimbardo[wp] Ph.D.[1]


  1. Philip Zimbardo[wp] Ph.D.: Hero: Young Men and the Empathy Gap, Psychology Today on August 15, 2017 (Why we should be guiding, not demonizing our sons.)