By Matthew Reisz
Male studies will help fight 'pervasive misandry' in society, say scholars.
The "declining state of the male" was discussed by scholars at a conference in the US to launch what organisers claim is a new academic discipline.
Male studies, the conference heard, has to be distinguished from men's studies, which by definition focuses on adult males and "grew out of sociology".
The new discipline, by contrast, draws on anthropology, biology, history, politics, psychology and medicine.
A central issue, according to organisers of last week's event at Wagner College in Staten Island, New York, is "the growing problem of misandry - the hatred of males, an unacknowledged but underlying socio-cultural, economic, political and legal phenomenon endangering the well-being of both genders".
Speakers at the conference included Katherine Young, professor of Hinduism at McGill University in Montreal, and Paul Nathanson, a researcher in religious studies at McGill, who have already co-authored three books on misandry.
The blurb for their 2006 book Legalizing Misandry: From Public Shame to Systemic Discrimination Against Men speaks of a "pervasive misandry" that they argue has "been processed through popular culture since the 1990s" to create "a worldview based on ideological feminism, which presents all issues from the point of view of women and, in the process, explicitly or implicitly attacks men as a class".
Dr Nathanson also acts as an expert on behalf of those who oppose same-sex marriages.
So to what extent is male studies just part of a conservative backlash against feminism?
"We deplore misogyny," said Miles Groth, professor of psychology at Wagner College, which hosted the conference. "However, while misogyny has been identified, pointed out and addressed, misandry has not been given the attention it requires." He said this was mainly because any talk of misandry had been construed as being somehow "anti-profeminist", adding his apologies for the "dreadful locution".
The discipline's "target population" is "boys and young men under the age of 35-40, who have not had a spokesperson for their concerns", Professor Groth said. "And the concerns are plentiful: increased suicide rates among boys, failing literacy among boys and young males, unattended health problems of males of all ages, and depictions of being male in the media which, when decoded, show decided misandric subtexts," he said.
"Much recent literature on boys and young males coming out of sociology depicts males as the problem of modern culture, when in fact it is the problems of this population that need our attention, chiefly by scholarly work not driven by ideology."
The conference was organised by the Foundation for Male Studies and sponsored by the On Step Institute for Mental Health Research, which supports graduate fellowships at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.
It ended with the announcement of the first annual conference on male studies, to be held in October, and the planned launch of Male Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal in 2011.
Original article at
with this extremely useful & informative post in the comments section by Marc A:
We need male studies to look honestly at male inequalities and systematic discrimination against men in child custody, parenting laws, criminal sentencing, domestic and sexual violence laws that ignore male victims, public health policies, forced labor and military conscription laws, genital cutting laws, etc., and how men make 80-99% of homeless adults, job deaths, dropouts, suicide deaths, combat deaths, incarcerated persons, etc. and have higher mortality rates for 13 of the 15 leading causes of death.
In "The Myth of Male Power," Warren Farrell, Ph.D. looks at how both sexes were limited, empowered and disempowered by gender roles in different ways, rather than just spewing the usual one-sided man-bad woman-good story. He looks at how gender roles spelled disposability for men - working in mines, getting black lung, dying on the job, sacrificing themselves and their health, having no option to stay home, working excessive hours, committing suicide, being apart from their kids, internalizing pain, being denied custody of their kids, having their limbs torn off in wars that women supported at about the same rate men did but only men were forced to fight, etc.
The oft-cited "pay gap" is just a snapshot of average full-time incomes that doesn't account for overtime (90% male), physical risk, hour flexibility, commute distances, etc. It exists because women have more options than men to be primary parents. That's why never-married childless women outearn their male counterparts and female CEOs outearn male CEOs.
Male studies would look honestly at issues such as how:
Fathers have long been denied equal parenting rights with mothers.
In Germany, up till recently, single dads were denied any custody of their kids unless mom consented. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8395456.stm
In Japan, dads are automatically denied custody rights.
In Ireland and England were men are denied equal paternal leave.
Men are in a silent health crisis but there are still no offices of men's heatlh except in Georgia.
Maternal gatekeeping is a major factor in the shortage of father involvement.
Men get higher sentences than women for the same crime when all other factors are equal.
Drunk drivers get a 3 year higher sentence for killing a female than for killing a male. “Unconventional Wisdom,” Washington Post, Sept. 7, 2000.
Men were excluded from the international ban on forced labor for years.
Article 11 at http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/cgi-lex/convde.pl?C029
Male slaves are frequently ignored by human rights laws and policies.
Men are half of domestic abuse victims and suffer 1/3 of the injuries.
Male victims of domestic violence and their children have long been discriminated against.
"Approximately 95% of all youth reporting staff sexual misconduct said they had been victimized by female staff. In 2008, 42% of staff in state juvenile facilities were female."
"Inside youth prisons, scores of female guards violated boys." http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/metro/stories/MYSA041107.01B.krod.3a6c8d4.html
A student survey in New Mexico found 43% of teacher sex abuse comes from female teachers but over 90% of prosecutions are of male teachers. http://www.newsobserver.com/672/story/501955.html
Two out of five South African boys say they were raped, “most often by adult women.”
A Canadian study found high rates of homeless kids being molested, with 3/4 of the molestations of boys being by adult women, but there were still no programs for the boys, only for girls.
Male victims of rape often are ignored and denied services.
Men are frequently victims of rape, including statutory and prison rape, by both sexes.
Between 9% and 60% of rape accusations are false.
Archives of Sexual Behavior, Vol. 23, No. 1, 1994.
Forensic Science Digest, Vol. 11, No. 4 (December 1985), p. 64.
Men do their fair share of housework when you count all work inside and outside the home.