What are Men’s Issues?

Note: While many of the examples and statistics in here are from the United States, the same concepts apply throughout much of the Western world.

 
man-contemplating
 

Men’s issues are as valid as women’s issues, but until recently they have received little attention from the media or public policy.  This page is intended as an introduction to men’s issues, which are part of the broader men’s movement.

First of all, it is important to realize that most people in the men’s movement aren’t interested in pushing women into subservience.  While their approaches may vary, most men’s advocates are interested in addressing the disparities that have increasingly affected men and boys in (mostly) Western nations since the late 1960s.  This is an essential part of achieving gender fairness for both sexes.

Second, the men’s movement is not just a concern of white men, or just of straight men.  Men’s issues affect all men and boys, regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status.  

The men’s movement exists because men and boys are at a disadvantage in several important areas in today's politically correct social structure.  Laws and conventions originally intended to encourage equal rights for women have evolved into special privileges without responsibility for women and an elevated status for women only.  This is taking place against a backdrop of misandry (hatred of men) in society.  The result has been serious harm to many areas of society, such as family structure, education, and social services programs.  Ironically, this has had a negative impact on women in general, and on children in particular. 

While difficult to list all of the issues affecting men and boys, we provide a summary of the most visible ones.  These are:

Quick Facts

  • The male suicide rate is 3.5x higher than women's [1]
  • Only 1 in 6 divorced fathers have primary custody of their children [2]
  • Men are portrayed in media as violent, sexually deviant predators, or as incompetent parents, workers & caretakers [3] [4]
  • 93% of workplace fatalities are men [5]
  • Men are 2 to 3 times more likely than women to suffer from a substance abuse disorder [6]
  • 78% of murder victims are men [7]
  • The homeless population is over 70% male [8]
  • Men's life expectancy is 5 years shorter than women's [9]
  • More than 10% fewer men than women attend college and those men that do are more likely to drop out [10]
  • 56% of boys will undergo genital mutilation in the form of circumcision [11]
  • Access to certain government benefits is denied to men unless they register for the draft [12]
  • Men account for more than 93% of inmates in the U.S., and are incarcerated at a rate 14x higher than women [13]
  • A man will receive 63% harsher sentencing than a woman for an identical crime with identical criminal history [14]

© 2003 by Steven G. Van Valkenburg.  Adapted from “What is the Men’s Movement” by Trudy W. Schuett.  Content used with permission of the author.