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The Michael Shermer Show

A series of conversations between Dr. Michael Shermer and leading scientists, philosophers, historians, scholars, writers and thinkers about the most important issues of our time.

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EPISODE # 299

Richard Reeves — Of Boys and Men: Why the Modern Male Is Struggling, Why It Matters, and What to Do About It

Of Boys and Men (book cover)

I thought the future was female? Response: “Oh boo hoo boys…now you know what it was like for girls and women for the past, oh I don’t know, 10,000 years. Bottom rung on top now fellas. Buck up and take it for awhile. It’s our turn now.”

Shermer and Reeves discuss: • comparison method: U.S. vs. other WERID countries • education • work/labor market • family • marriage • Divorce/custody/spousal support/child support • intersectionality I: Black boys and men vs. White boys and men • intersectionality II: poor boys and men vs. middle class/upper class boys and men • What is a man? (nature and nurture in the making of a male) • what the political left gets wrong about boys and men • what the political right gets wrong about boys and men • solutions: red shirt boys early; men in STEM and HEAL • fatherhood as an independent institution

Richard V. Reeves is a senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution, where he directs the Boys and Men Project and holds the John C. and Nancy D. Whitehead Chair. He is the author of Dream Hoarders: How the American Upper Middle Class Is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That Is a Problem, and What to Do About It (2017) and a regular contributor to the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and The Atlantic.

About the Book

Boys and men are struggling. Profound economic and social changes of recent decades have many losing ground in the classroom, the workplace, and in the family. While the lives of women have changed, the lives of many men have remained the same or even worsened. Our attitudes, our institutions, and our laws have failed to keep up. Conservative and progressive politicians, mired in their own ideological warfare, fail to provide thoughtful solutions.

The father of three sons, a journalist, and a Brookings Institution scholar, Richard V. Reeves has spent twenty-five years worrying about boys both at home and work. His new book, Of Boys and Men, tackles the complex and urgent crisis of boyhood and manhood. Reeves looks at the structural challenges that face boys and men and offers fresh and innovative solutions that turn the page on the corrosive narrative that plagues this issue. Of Boys and Men argues that helping the other half of society does not mean giving up on the ideal of gender equality.

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This episode is sponsored by Wondrium:

Wondrium (sponsor)

This episode was released on September 27, 2022.

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