One of the world’s most respected campaigners on men’s issues believes “dad deprivation” is directly causing what he’s termed “the boy crisis” – and unless society urgently intervenes, we will be in danger of writing off a generation of men.
This Saturday, Warren Farrell – pioneering men’s activist, author of The Myth Of Male Power and a mentor who once coached John Lennon – will give a hugely-anticipated keynote speech at Male Psychology Conference in London.
Dad-deprived boys are less likely to display empathy, be less assertive, depressed, have nightmares, talk back and be disobedient
Farrell believes modern society is being tangibly eroded by dad deprivation – through increased relationship breakdown, family courts that favour mothers, and fathers denied access to their children after a separation.
He points out that in in every one of the largest 70 developed nations, boys have fallen behind girls, and what they have in common, Farrell says, is divorce.
“Dad-deprived boys are less likely to display empathy, be less assertive, depressed, have nightmares, talk back and be disobedient,” says Farrell, 72.
“At age nine, girls and boys commit suicide in equal numbers, but boys are twice as likely aged 14, four times more likely aged 15-19, and five times more by age 20-25. This is the time when dads drift out of their lives”.
Some of Farrell’s proposed solutions are radical, such as increasing the numbers of male teachers in schools – by state legislation if necessary.
“We need a major overhaul of education system, especially in inner cities where we know dad deprivation is higher,” he says.
“These boys have no positive male role models. That makes them vulnerable to strong, destructive alpha males like gang leaders or drug dealers.”
“These boys are also most likely to be brought up by mums, then move from a mother-centered home to a woman-centered school.
“Boys need to see males caring at every stage of their lives. So we need more male teachers, period. I’d say equal amounts at least, although, in areas where there are 70 per cent single mothers, why not have 70 per cent male teachers?
“We need to encourage men into the caring sectors, to challenge the cliché that caring work is women’s work”.
Farrell also urges dads not to willingly abandon their children, which he sees as a dereliction of duty.
“Men should not withdraw like cowards,” he says. “To an eight-year-old boy, their dad is God. Backing off or abandoning them leaves the child feeling not important. Dads must fight to be a part of their children’s lives, especially if the mother blocks that”.
Here, Farrell urges separating parents to park their own differences.
Boys need to see males caring at every stage of their lives. So we need more male teachers, period. I’d say equal amounts at least ~