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Does the cultural War on Young Men contribute to mass murders?

Does the cultural War on Young Men contribute to mass murders?

Via @RightInAcademia22 Stats That Prove That There Is Something Seriously Wrong With Young Men In America:

When are we finally going to admit that we have a very serious problem with this generation of young men in America? We have failed them so dramatically that it is hard to put it into words.

We have raised an entire generation of young males that don’t know how to be men, and many of them feel completely lost. Sometimes they feel so lost that they “snap” in very destructive ways. Adam Lanza and James Holmes are two names that come to mind.

Why is it that mass murderers are almost always young men? Why don’t young women behave the same way? Sadly, Adam Lanza and James Holmes are just the tip of the iceberg of a much larger problem in our society. Our young women vastly outperform our young men in almost every important statistical category. Young men are much more likely to perform poorly in school, they are much more likely to have disciplinary problems and they are much more likely to commit suicide.

In the old days, our young men would gather in the streets or in the parks to play with one another after school, but today most of them are content to spend countless hours feeding their addictions to video games, movies and other forms of entertainment. When our young men grow up, many of them are extremely averse to taking on responsibility. They want to have lots of sex, but they aren’t interested in marriage. They enjoy the comforts of living at home, but they don’t want to go out and pursue career goals so that they can provide those things for themselves. Our young men are supposed to be “the leaders of tomorrow”, but instead many of them are a major burden on society.

When are we finally going to admit that something has gone horribly wrong?

Read the whole article.  There is much in there that is true about the demonization and demoralization of young men that goes on in the culture, from sitcoms and advertising which portray young men as dumb-asses, to an education system with a feminist agenda which treats them as presumptive rapists.

That may explain the general decline of young men’s performance, but it’s not clear to me that it explains the tiny, tiny, tiny fraction who shoot up schools.

Update:  I heard Rush read a letter from a reader on air the other day, thanks to Browndog for the link, An Interesting E-Mail on Young, White Males:

I have not watched a second of news on the school shooting over the weekend, mainly because seeing the reporting makes me cry and unable to do much else. But I’m tuned in enough to know that once again the American leftist culture is forcing us to collectively look at the wrong reasons for the problem, and as such, we will never be able to come to grips with it, much less find a solution.  What do all of the public shootings in the last years have in common?  They were all done by young white males who were from upper middle-class families.  The problem is not guns.  That’s the easy shiny thing that the liberals flash in front of us so that we don’t look at their failed political agenda.

The problem in America today is how we have treated white boys for the last decades, and it all has at its root the unrelenting liberal political agenda.  Boys have been pushed out of two of the most important activities:  school and sports.  In an all-out effort to convince girls they can do anything a boy can, schools have ignored the natural needs and learning traits of boys and forced them to learn like girls.  Fewer boys are going to college, in part because they’re being pushed out by a feminist agenda in education.  We have rushed to dilute the energetic aggressive aspects of the male species by drugging them as children and chickifying them at every turn.

We allowed our young boys to play violent murdering video games.  These types of games are the same ones the military uses to train soldiers.  But they are being played by very, very young kids in dark rooms all over the country.  You want to ban something, ban those.  We have overlooked the devastating effects on all children of not having a father in the house.  And we have ignored and not helped boys with their mental illness.  We’ve hyperventilated endlessly over girls and their eating disorders, image issues, self-esteem, sex, blah, blah, blah, but we have most totally ignored the mental challenges that boys face.

Interesting, don’t you think?  It’s an e-mail from a female listener to the EIB Network.

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Comments

Perhaps a worthwhile thought exercise on male development overall, but prompted by the incorrect notion that violence, and specifically mass shootings, are more common in this generation than previous ones.

I believe the stats on psychopaths bear out that they are much more common in males.

What a lot of people do not understand is that there are a lot of non-violent psychopaths. They are always predatory, but not violent.

The same is true of sociopaths.

But these are real deep, dark pathologies. There are a lot of young men who are culturally and developmentally just sexually mature children but who are essentially mentally healthy.

Part of me holds that only a person disconnected from their own humanity…and from reality…could act out in ways that we’ve seen. Unhappily, the history of the last century shows that people can coldly, rationally kill whole school populations of innocent children, and they have. They did it in the name of humanity and science. The Collective has so warped both.

But to go back to the root question, I think that bad masculine wiring does sometimes simply result in killers. We think there are more now, but that could easily be a function of living in much more dense populations, information moving in ways it never has in history, and there simply being more of us on the planet.

I also know this: when I was a boy, we went out on Halloween without any parent near us, and nobody ever inspected our candy. Nobody would have poisoned a child, because our parents…and all the other parents…would have ripped them to pieces before anyone thought to call a policeman.

    Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | December 18, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    Here MAY be another factor…

    In the past, a crazed killer could…perhaps…have been an asset.

    Look at the idea of “berserkers”, who were pretty crazy by even crazy Viking standards. (Yes, yes…my grandpa…)

    lightning in reply to Ragspierre. | December 19, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Actually, the incidence of psychopathy is growing in women as well. Hare develped the psychopathy checklist which is widely used by mental health professionals to determine if psycopathy is present. Please keep in mind though that the diagnosis of psychopathy is not one pursued by my profession (we often use it for our own knowledge). Why? Research has shown that mental health treatment is NOT to be used with these individuals at all. So the treatment for the psychopath is NO treatment. We discovered that all treatment does is make them better at hiding their lack of feeling for their fellow human beings, which exacerbates their symptomolgy. I know you are a good researcher Rags, and I think you might be interested in the higher incidences of female psycopathy and criminality. They are still outnumbered by men, but there have been some disturbing trends in the past 30 years. In regard to the crux of the article, I don’t think it is male chemistry that results in violence. Rather, I think that Piaget’s theory of develpment is where folks should look. The develpment of trust, security, and a sense of autonomy are all things that have been affected by our current culture. This, I think, more than chemistry, video games, or gun availability is the catalyst for these crimes.

      Ragspierre in reply to lightning. | December 19, 2012 at 9:13 am

      Oh, I agree with a lot of that.

      I’ve known a few female psychopaths (don’t EVEN ask…).

      I do think there is bad wiring among people, and you can see it everywhere in the world, which sort of weakens any cultural causation argument.

      I wasn’t trying to limit this discussion to psychopaths, either. A psychotic break is not unique to them (is it even common in them?), and that can be the striking of the bell leading to horrific events.

[…] QUESTIONS: Does the cultural War on Young Men contribute to mass murders? […]

It is difficult for the average person who graduated more than 20 years ago to appreciate just how psychologically manipulative some of this radically transform the classroom and the students at the same time initiatives have been. These tragedies tend to occur in upper middle class neighborhoods where the student has a bright mind from home and recognizes both the emotional manipulation and the refusal to accommodate bright minds anymore. Not equitable.

I actually know a great deal about the Transformational Outcomes Based Education template and how it always seems to be what is being pushed in the high school background of these tragedies. Something snaps when school ceases to be a safe place and becomes the source of the trauma. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/priming-delicate-minds-for-a-desired-disruptive-revolution-what-is-the-real-damage/ is a piece I did months ago based on what Bill Ayers and others are really pushing on the classrooms.

This political tactic of using education to change the student affectively from the inside-out to have different values, attitudes, and beliefs and for it to be largely unconscious habits needs to be better understood. It needs to be part of the national conversation on what is happening in our schools and to our young people. This was being piloted in many of the places where tragedies occurred. Now it is being mandated nationally.

And so few are aware.

    Rick in reply to Robin. | December 18, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    Perhaps your special knowledge can shed some light on these events in a California middle-school:
    1. The PE teacher pairs off fast runners with slow runners, into two-runner teams. The scores of the two runners are combined, and both runners get the average score, even if the slow “runner” mostly walks;
    2. Teachers have “team pop-quizzes,” in which students are randomly paired off, individually take the quiz, and the two students’ grades are averaged and the two students both get the average grade;
    3. The 7th grade honors math teacher announces that they will be doing a team project for about a week, and that all the students can choose what team of five the want to assemble. The top students choose each other and find a table. The teacher walks over to them and says: “This bad-ass table is going to be broken up,” and it was: The result was that all students were permitted to choose with whom they would team up except for the best of the bunch, who were assigned tables.
    All of these events happened over about a month. They are not everyday occurrences, but they sure angered the better students and runners.

      n.n in reply to Rick. | December 18, 2012 at 7:28 pm

      Coerced equalization is a product of the self-esteem (without merit) movement. It’s a behavior modification scheme designed to create an illusion of equality despite functional differences arising from variations in genetics, diet, nurture, etc.

      Can you imagine the shock someone from this movement experiences when they emerge to learn that merit is both desired and demanded? It’s enough to motivate development of a few dysfunctional behaviors.

      Rick-I was off being a mom and just saw your question. It sounds just like the definitions of Performance Competency and Moral Competency that the ASCD is pushing. I was about to get a copy of what is called the Pathway to Excellence and Ethics Resource Manual and wrote about it here. You will appreciate the flock of geese story which is what this sounds like. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/hiding-educations-theft-of-individual-freedom-behind-the-positive-school-c/

      The definition of College and Career Ready that is the goal of K-12 is actually tied into Amitai Etzioni’s Communitarianism in terms of the values and beliefs to be fostered. Other places I have described statements about “breaking the individual’s belief in the unitary self. Paul Ehrlich says the desire is to create nonrational Newmindedness.

      I actually came up with the metaphor The Axemaker’s Mind to describe the targeting of the rational, logical, abstract mind and the desire to substitute the instinctual, emotional mind in its place.

      How pliable,huh, to any schemer with aspirations towards Statism and Collectivism? Which is precisely what they say they are up to in the conferences we are not invited to and the reports we were never supposed to read.

        Rick in reply to Robin. | December 18, 2012 at 9:52 pm

        Thanks for your response and for the link, with its leads to other interesting links and articles. I have a lot of reading to do.
        It is ironic that I have pointed out to my granddaughters the V formation of geese and ducks that fly around here and have explained the physics to them. I suppose the next lesson should be the distinction between birds and humans. Based on some of our discussions the girls understand the meaning of “birdbrained.”

      9thDistrictNeighbor in reply to Rick. | December 18, 2012 at 10:15 pm

      Most of this garbage got started 25 years ago in an attempt to mimic what academics thought went on in business, and businesses trying to tinker with education (e.g., Lou Gerstner/RJR Nabisco Foundation “Next Century Schools”) “collaborative learning”, brainstorming, meetings, etc. Unless you structure the lesson to within an inch of your life, you end up with a situation where one kid does all the work and the rest freeload.

    n.n in reply to Robin. | December 18, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    It’s ironic, isn’t it? The “revolutionaries” are anti-revolution.

    They claim the problem is radical individualism, when in fact it is radical collectivism. It denigrates individual dignity and, in the extreme, devalues human life. If not the uniqueness of individuals, and the diversity represented by “the content of our character”, then human beings are little distinguished from animals.

    Another irony is that collectivism serves the need of minority interests through the marginalization and exploitation of the majority.

    JerryB in reply to Robin. | December 18, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    Robin, thanks for pointing out the deliberate psychological manipulation in the classroom. You mention “affective” change “inside out.” Yes, boys are pushed into the affective domain and away from the cognitive. Our culture has been shifted in this manner, e.g., the whole rock scene from the 60’s on: sex, drugs, rock-n-roll. It’s effeminate, and this goes against a man’s nature.

    Let me add classroom sex-ed, but even more vile is “death-ed” where students talk about who in the lifeboat gets to eat whom. The video games take this even further, feeding the young man’s natural urge for adventure and valor with a virtual-reality mad massacre. It’s not healthy.

    The strong, individualistic, masculine man is actually empathetic and gentle. The manipulated effeminate (liberal) man is selfish and vicious.

    gibbie in reply to Robin. | December 19, 2012 at 12:02 am

    So here’s something I’m curious about. I often read blog postings and comments in which the failures of our government monopoly school system are deplored. So I’m wondering how many of these writers send their children to these schools which they deplore.

      JerryB in reply to gibbie. | December 19, 2012 at 5:22 am

      As the gov’t has set up a monopoly on schools, it is hard for most folks to avoid them. We’re able to avoid it by having a small private Catholic school nearby. We would home school before sending our kids to a gov’t school.

      Your unwritten question, whether gov’t schools cause boys to become sociopaths, I don’t know, but I suspect they contribute. In any case, they are to be avoided if at all possible.

Our culture has spent a full generation now demonizing males and devaluing masculine virtues. Just watch the commercials on television. How many celebrate the positive side of masculine roles? And how many treat males (especially white males) as total freaking p-whipped idiots?

I have thought for some time now, that the wiring in the male that helps him overcome his fear & terror when it’s time to hunt or engage in warfare,in caring for his tribe, is the same wiring that, when it goes haywire in a demented individual, causes a man or boy to commit a heinous crime. And I could be totally wrong on this. But, while I agree that our current culture treat males disgracefully, I don’t think it has anything to do with these awful tragedies. A sane male can deal with these cultural issues in a sane way.

    Browndog in reply to Jojrun. | December 18, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    After reading your post, several times, giving it due thought, I can give credence to the first part of your post.

    However, it seems you contradicted it in the second part.

    Maybe I’m reading it wrong-

      Jojrun in reply to Browndog. | December 20, 2012 at 1:25 am

      Thank you for you comment. I would be interested as to what you thought might be contradictory. I’d like to explore that more. Thanks.

Rush read this on the radio yesterday-

An Interesting E-Mail on Young, White Males

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2012/12/17/an_interesting_e_mail_on_young_white_males

One of the best pieces I’ve ever read pertinent to this subject was a few years back, by Kathleen Parker (Yes, that one)

If anyone can find it, it’s worth posting a link. She nailed it.

For goodness sake,does EVERYTHING have to be a damn pathology with you collage guys? This guy in Newtown was defective at birth,not created in America’s laboratory. Stop Already, I’m sick of this over analysing of every event that spills in the news,and especially these outragous ones where you all lose your minds.

    Browndog in reply to Rich K. | December 18, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    I for one, understand your frustration.

    Especially when no one, I mean no one, is blaming the shooting on the shooter.

    However, it’s human nature to try to understand why….

    You understand why, don’t you?

    pretty sure nobody here is a collage guy.
    I did wear a wreath other day as a joke though.

    Phillep Harding in reply to Rich K. | December 20, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    I think most of the discussion is about how the leftoids are reacting to the shooting.

    But, yes, the kid had a number of developmental problems / birth defects / whatever, some with physical symptoms. I’ve seen the one that made him so skinny before, but that kid was just a good natured goof, fairly well treated by his class mates. So, “What else?”

    I hope that Adam Lanza is very thoroughly examined. His behavior just does not add up. I don’t understand him destroying his hard drive.

I think the problem is that we are directed and manipulated by fanatics. Whether it is diet, education, culture, art, or relationships, we have experienced extreme swings in one direction after another. There is a distinct lack of moderation in our lives.

Both men and women would do well to reject the advice of fanatics, whether they appear in the form of a teacher, scientist, artist, politician, or a self-proclaimed expert. The general rule of thumb to enjoy comprehensive success is moderation in all things. Beyond that, we specialize as needed and warranted.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | December 18, 2012 at 7:21 pm

Unless the military has been totally chickified since I served almost 30 years ago, a 2-3 year stint in the military (I’m partial to the infantry) will go a long way toward turning boys into men. When they are discharged, they’ll know about discipline, responsibility and how and why one needs to respect authority. If we’re lucky they’ll develop a strong sense of patriotism and pride in their country for having served.

Mandatory military service is one of the things I admire about Israel. Mandatory military service will never happen here – heck we won’t even do a draft – but I bet we’d benefit as a society if a brief period of 2-3 years military service were mandatory.

    There is another reason to support universal military service: risk. It is imperative that every voting member of our society be exposed equally. This, more than anything else, will change our energy and foreign policies immediately.

    That said, for purposes of proper development, we can substitute farming, or similar service, for military service. The point is that people need to be stakeholders in a society. They need to have an equity investment. Not a few days, weeks, or months as required by Habitat for Humanity; but, something primary and substantial.

    We are trying to resolve the civilization paradox. Unfortunately, the preferred solutions are accelerating and reinforcing the development of dysfunctional behaviors through a progressive dissociation of risk.

    Is there anyone one you could check with on the chickification of our military? From what I’ve heard in diverse places, I believe that is precisely what is happening. Things like Drill Instructors are being limited in the what they can say to recruits and how they say it. The physical expectations of future soldiers are also coming down, from what I’ve sensed. This is my suspicion from what I’ve read in different places. Since you have actual military experience to compare with, please investigate this further. The integration of women more fully into the service also is a part of this.

    9thDistrictNeighbor in reply to MaggotAtBroadAndWall. | December 18, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    “When they are discharged, they’ll know about discipline, responsibility and how and why one needs to respect authority. If we’re lucky they’ll develop a strong sense of patriotism and pride in their country for having served.”

    I always loved when a goofball kid would come back after his first leave with a visible sense of pride, a sparkle in his eye, and a hearty “yes, Ma’am”. I once asked a boy what was the best thing he got out of joining the military after high school…he said “Respect”, to which I replied, “Respect for what?” He thought for a moment and said, “Myself.”

    FreshPondIndians in reply to MaggotAtBroadAndWall. | December 19, 2012 at 12:15 am

    Listen up, Maggot.

    From what I hear, they’ve stopped the Bayonet training \with recruits (my favorite part of basic training). I’ve been out of the Infantry for six years now, and I’m not afraid to admit that the Infantry made me the MAN I am today.

      The Marine Corps still does bayonet training in boot camp. That’s why we call you doggies pogues! 😉 In fact they’ve gone and one-upped themselves in hand-to-hand training too.

Why aren’t people calling for the murder of Noam Chomsky or other “progressive” leaders who have brainwashed modern teaching, feminism, etc.?

we’ve endured several decades of weeping and wailing over alleged misogyny while, in fact, it was misandry that was weaving its tentacles into every part of our society.

“There is much in there that is true about the demonization and demoralization of young men that goes on in the culture, from sitcoms and advertising which portray young men as dumb-asses, to an education system with a feminist agenda which treats them as presumptive rapists.”

Much that is true, indeed, and the truth hurts. The failure of the current generation of parents is another fault, but the bottom line is that most of the young generation deserve to be called out on their behavior, and are not, which also leads to a continuation of the cycle.

“Why is it that mass murderers are almost always young men?”

Because they have very high volumes of testosterone in their blood streams and no experience of dealing with it.

I’m sorry but this is a ridiculous red herring. There really is a war on men and schools really have failed boys. But the peak year for mass shootings in this country was in the 1930s (I think it was about 1935). That was before the war on boys was going.

Conflating the two issues does no one any good and makes the people pushing it look like … like they’re just pushing an agenda.

> Our young women vastly outperform our young men in almost every important statistical category.

This is simply not true, especially in matters of science, mathematics, and technology which are now so important in our society. I work in the tech industry, and almost all of the extreme producers such as developers of new languages, libraries, frameworks and technologies are men. Your more likely to find women as customers in a strip club, than as lead developers of large projects.

Are all the perps of public shootings white males? What about Virginia Tech?

I refer again to statistics. There are 315 million people in America, each a potential mass shooter each and every day.

We can and do measure the number of killing sprees that were not prevented, but we cannot measure the number that were successfully prevented, by the mental health system, by the court system, by law enforcement, by churches, etc.

Two evenings ago, in San Antonio TX, a gunmen attempted to shoot up a movie theater but was stopped by an off-duty Deputy Sheriff after he’d shot one man. For all we know, this event may have turned into the worst spree killing ever. Likewise, sometimes a serial killer who might have gone on to kill dozens, hundreds even, gets caught on his first kill.

I think it a testament to American societal civility that there aren’t far more insane events like the CT massacre, especially considering the existence of our 2nd Amendment rights.

One such event is too many, but is zero a reasonable goal with a country of 315 million free people?

We could arguably put a complete end to all crime, eliminate just about anything else we wanted gone – obesity, slackery, etc. – but at what cost to personal freedom?

Forensic psychology is my field, thirty years’ experience, but I wouldn’t dare make the pronouncements on the subject of why people kill that I’m reading and hearing hourly since the CT massacre, 90% of it from people with no founding in the related fields. This forensic psychologist knows no more or less than anyone else about this case and I have no idea why Adam Lanza started killing.

We can identify features of his life,family, MH history, upbringing, experiences, etc., and decide it was this or that or some combination therein that set him off, but – statistics again – there are likely tens of thousands of people in America with the same or worse set of circumstances who haven’t and won’t go on a killing spree.

We need policy makers with the courage to admit and to say, “I don’t know” before we chase our empathetic noses right off a cliff into a burning pile of unintended consequences.

Come on. This kid, as well as the Giffords shooter in AZ and the Batman shooter in Colorado are INSANE. Ok ? Video games do not create killers and psychos that are intent on killing cannot accurately create a situation in a video game that even approximates reality.

This is a MYTH and we’re not doing anyone any favors perpetuating myths.

Coddling boys and allowing them to sit around on the couch watching TV or movies or playing video games may not be “good” for them, but it DOES NOT create killers.

Just stop. Mental illness is serious. It isn’t caused by anything so lame as video games and it sure as hell won’t be addressed by pretending video games are to blame.

    BuckIV in reply to deadrody. | December 18, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    I don’t believe video games can create killers out of well adjusted young boys/men. However, I don’t think it should be out of bounds or egregious to consider whether hours of solitary violent video games can influence already mentally ill boys/men to act out violently when they may not have previously.

      Kenshu Ani in reply to BuckIV. | December 18, 2012 at 11:37 pm

      Well adjusted is the key phrase here.

      Video games are rated, just like movies and TV. Heck, many video games now have disclaimers telling players to take regular breaks. It is the parent’s job to monitor what their children are doing. If the game is inappropriate, don’t buy it or don’t let them play it. Same goes with movies and TV.

      Parents that use video games, movies, TV as a substitute parent or nanny are not raising well adjusted children. It is not the video games’ fault, it is the parent’s fault.

      This is what upsets me the most with today’s society. No one is willing to take responsibility for their actions or inactions. As a result, excuses are made so that no one is responsible and faceless “corporations” are lined up as guilty by default.

      Video game manufacturers are no more responsible for how people play their games than gun manufacturers are responsible for how people use their guns. One is a tool for entertainment and the other is a tool for killing. But they are both tools and dependant on people for using them.

    Radegunda in reply to deadrody. | December 18, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    If young people are not influenced by the media they consume or the games they play, why should we think they’re influenced by what they hear in school, or church, or that organized sports or other activities have any effect on developing character?

    Of course young people are influenced by media and entertainment. Denying that there’s any influence at all (“It’s only a game!” “It’s only a movie!”) is to deny that culture has anything to do with human social development.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Radegunda. | December 18, 2012 at 11:18 pm

      Video games began maturing in the late 70s, while the first person shooter – the game most like an actual shooting spree – matured and soared on the market in the early 90s. I’m not a gamer and we can quibble about the exact years.

      Now, given those timeline markers ending now in 2012, how many boys have grown up playing video games, especially the more violent ones? Do we therefore see a rise in shooting sprees since the early 90s? No, we see a decline since then.

      What percentage of youngsters play violent video games mostly or exclusively alone? Though not a gamer, I do have six kids, all adults now, and as I recall there was a definite socializing aspect – mine, and I’d imagine most kids everywhere, prefer to play with other kids, physically side by side, or online with distant gamer ‘friends’.

      Do video games turn some boys into loners, holed up in their rooms or the basement obsessively playing and playing and playing till they lose touch with reality, or do boys who are predisposed to loneliness and self-isolation choose to play video games because it can be done alone and out of sight of others? Chicken or egg?

      Again – statistics. I wouldn’t know how to calculate the number of young players of violent video games since the early 1990s, but I know the number is high – and that virtually none of them turn into spree killers. Given that, how can it be said that violent video games creates killers? Why not blame the bag of Cheetos they eat from while playing? The same assessment can be made about violent movies and TV shows – how many regularly watch them vs how many turn into mass killers.

      No matter what set of circumstances we identify among past mass killers, almost none of the great many other people who share those circumstances turn into spree killers. Correlation is not causation.

      I can only hypothesize that there are sets of circumstances that will produce a mass murderer, that these sets are fluid and one such killer may share none of the circumstances of another such killer, and that the ignition point for the onset of the murder spree, the convergence of necessary circumstances, is so extremely rare that it happens only once every couple years (on average) among a huge population of 315 million. We may never learn the truth of it via a behavioral study approach. On the other hand, we may learn next year via the hard sciences that insane killing sprees and the patterns of mental illness that typically precede them are all caused by, I dunno, some currently unknown parasitical neurally acting bacterium, or a brain virus, or… ?

      All I ask is for policy-makers to understand and accept that it’s generally a good idea when seeking solutions to first identify the problem. These shootings are the result of the problem. What’s the problem? If one’s answer is “I don’t know” then why are you pushing specific solutions? Shouldn’t you be researching to determine the problem?

      These last questions are rhetorical – liberals went full hog political within an hour of the shootings, but the GOP-ers are proceeding along political pathways no less. As a parent, I consider this a greater crime than Adam Lanza’s. At least Lanza had insanity for a reason*.

      *A reason is not an excuse.

        I think the first major first-person shooter was “Duke Nukem”, but the first I remember was “Doom”, in late 1993. I remember because after I finished finals and before college graduation, I squatted in a friend’s dorm room and played Doom non-stop.

        lightning in reply to Henry Hawkins. | December 19, 2012 at 8:56 am

        I know from your other posts that you work in mental health, as I do. In regard to the video games, wouldn’t you say that the real “reason” goes to the whole “being left alone in their room” and not having developmental needs met? I guess I am more a believer that a child’s development has more to do with their behavior than exposure to violence via any form of media. In my experience as a clinician, I came across many cases (especially in white males) the problem of emeshment with a parent (usually the mother) that was a result of the mother treating her child as a surrogate mate. Often, the child’s needs were not met at any stage of develpment due to the parent being so consumed with their own wants, needs, and desires. The combination of neglect and an overly permissive parenting style (whereby the parent tries to make the child a peer) seemed to breed the violent antisocial. Did you witness the same?

          Henry Hawkins in reply to lightning. | December 19, 2012 at 10:15 am

          You may be missing my point. Yes, I have witnessed such things, and extrapolated out for the whole country the number of such circumstances would be very large, and yet, virtually none of these kids turn into mass killers.

The worst school massacre in US history took place way back in 1927. I honestly don’t think its our culture or anything of the like that causes these types of incidences, I think some people really are just insane.

    back then the culture allowed them to blame the perp.
    todays culture allows people to blame the tools used and the first victim, his mother. they cannot ONLY blame the crazy bastard that did it.
    so yeah, I think culture is a factor. I could be wrong though, that happens a lot lately 🙂

      Radegunda in reply to dmacleo. | December 18, 2012 at 9:51 pm

      It seems odd that the same people who yammer about “root causes” of crime are the same ones who blame the inanimate instrument for the crime — until you realize that in both cases the perp is not held morally responsible.

    Phillep Harding in reply to Awing1. | December 20, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    The Bath, Michigan school massacre perp was 55 years old. The school massacres that are of interest in this discussion were committed by teens. Not related, IMO.

I don’t know what the problem is, but video games seems to be a too easy, pop psych solution. I grew up with lots of killing in westerns and war movies, cap pistols, Davy Crocket rifles, .22’s and BB guns. I learned to shoot at 5-7 years old and had my own rifle by 10. My friends and I had constant wars with cap pistols and toy rifles. I killed and was killed many times. We carried guns and knives to school. If there was an opportunity to become a crazed, stone killer I can name a couple of dozen candidates. It didn’t happen. Let’s find another reason for the young men of today. Too much coddling?

Funny this. I just posted early Tuesday morning that “Mass Killings are a Male Problem.” In the last 30 years, only one mass murderer has been a woman.

Why? Some sociologists are taking a look at what happens to boys in school over the years they move through the grades, and it isn’t pretty. “The male construct, known as hegemonic masculinity in gender studies, is mainly developed at school” (bold original).

Or not developed very well, as it turns out.

    DuraMater in reply to dsensing. | December 18, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    Some very excellent points made here tonight; particularly with regard to the negative influences on young boys in their educational experience. I would only propose another aspect to this experience is the tendency to initiate medication regimens, very often at the suggestion of a primary school teacher. I am personally aware of several instances in which a parent has been pressured by their child’s teacher to have the child placed on mood or behavior modifying medication. In the overwhelming majority of these cases, there was no clinical indication for such intervention; yet occasionally, an accommodating practitioner wrote the scrips.

    It is well established that the labels of ADHD, hyperactivity syndrome, attention deficit disorders, etc. are grossly misapplied and over diagnosed. In addition to developing a distorted sense of self, a crippled identity which may promote social and emotional dependency, these children are often subjected to neurochemical manipulation for years. I do not know the stats regarding gender distribution, though I suspect boys outnumber girls.

    Compounded by the molding and indoctrinating influences some of you have already described, perhaps these boys are more inclined to retreat into a fantasy world of power offered by violent video games or are at greater risk to self medicate and explore some of the more dangerous alternate consciousness activities, further weakening their grasp on reality or ability to relate to humanity.

      lightning in reply to DuraMater. | December 19, 2012 at 8:44 am

      You have hit on a very interesting point. We should examine how normal boisterous boy behavior is either accepted or condemned and the effects this has. I also wonder how men and boys feel about this issue personally. Have they felt constrained by society? Do they think they have been feminized? I know men don’t like to talk about it, but unless they do the status quo is bound to stay.

    Pasturized in reply to dsensing. | December 19, 2012 at 7:48 am

    The very phrase “hegemonic masculinity” is indicative of a cultural war on young men.

Let us look at something as simple and innocent as learning to read. We know that girls tend to read at earlier ages than boys, and have fewer problems. A few years ago the feminists noticed that there were many more male heroes in early reader and young adult literature, and they pushed for more books on introductory levels where the main character was female. The problem is girls will read books where the main character is a boy or a girl, but boys prefer books with a male main character. That didn’t stop the feminists. More books were written with female leading characters.

Notice that Harry Potter is a boy. I doubt the books would have been as successful if the main character had been a girl. Remember Nancy Drew and Bobbsey Twins? Those were girl characters, and girls read those books. Boys read Tom Swift and the Hardy Boys.

    Browndog in reply to Milwaukee. | December 18, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    Remember….Hardy Boys.

    Boy, do I. Read every single one. Had to cut extra grass, shovel driveways, neighbors, to pay for the subscription through Scholastic..

BannedbytheGuardian | December 18, 2012 at 10:17 pm

There is a 50 year old former marine who had a sex change & began Community College

BannedbytheGuardian | December 18, 2012 at 10:21 pm

There is a 50 year old former marine who had a sex change & began Community College to help)his new life.

He is now on the girls basketball team . all reports are that the girls are quite happy for him & that they are winning more matches.

So as one door closes another begins.

BannedbytheGuardian | December 18, 2012 at 10:52 pm

This lady is 6 ‘8″
I would be interested in a hormone test for these 3 recent young male killers.

IN the meantime I hope Chaz Bono does not goostal on us.

Commenters inspired to think….inside themselves and apart from rhetoric, before saying a word-

I call this a successful blog post.

[…] law professor William A. Jacobson ask if the cultural War on Young Men contribute to mass murders.  He  excerpts 22 Stats That Prove That There Is Something Seriously Wrong With Young Men In […]

The article brings up a good point. Women and girls have had their self-esteem, eating disorders, etc. focused on and addressed ad nauseum. How about the men on this site? Do you feel like you are able to be a man in every sense of the word? Do you feel society puts too many constraints on men? Do you feel like you can’t be yourself? I ask because I am not a man, and as such don’t know the answers.

You ask, “When are we finally going to admit that we have a very serious problem with this generation of young men in America?”

As far as feminists and their anti-Western, anti-enlightenment allies are concerned, the answer is “Never,” since the destruction of white males (aka “patriarchy”) is their entire raison d’etre.

I would say some affirmative action is in order here. Every school district that receives federal money must have as teachers no less than 30% of it’s staff male military veterans. With preference hiring going to those vets from the infantry. That would be a good start and if Gloria Steinem doesn’t like it she can kiss my ass.

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